May 28, 2019

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Lynn Mahoney

Lynn Mahoney appointed president of SF State

The CSU Board of Trustees has appointed Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D., to serve as president of San Francisco State University. Mahoney currently serves as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs for California State University, Los Angeles.

“San Francisco State is the city’s vibrant and diverse nexus for academics, culture and advocacy. The transformative education offered at SF State uplifts the lives of those who earn a degree, and graduates go on to become the community’s next generation of leaders,” said Mahoney. “I look forward to working with faculty, staff, students, community members and campus administrators to ensure a welcome and inclusive environment for our students as is befitting of one of the most socially conscious cities in the country.”

Mahoney becomes the 14th president of SF State and the first woman appointed to serve in the role in a permanent ​capacity. She will join the campus in her new capacity on July 15. Mahoney succeeds Leslie E. Wong, who will be retiring in July 2019 after 46 years in higher education including service as SF State president for the past seven years.

“Throughout her career, Dr. Mahoney has been dedicated to student success and has made a profoundly positive impact on the lives of tens of thousands of students across the CSU,” said CSU Trustee Rebecca Eisen, chair of the SF State search committee. “She is the type of bold thinking leader who will continue to elevate SFSU.”

As the chief academic officer at Cal State LA, Mahoney’s portfolio of responsibilities includes oversight of all eight of the campus’ colleges as well as the library and all academic support units.

From 2008 through early 2015, Mahoney held various roles at California State University, Long Beach including associate vice president for undergraduate studies and interim vice provost and dean of undergraduate studies where she oversaw enrollment planning and institutional research among other areas. Her other professional experience in higher education includes leadership positions at Purchase College, State University of New York, where she was associate provost for integrative learning and vice president for students as well as a member of the faculty.

Mahoney earned a bachelor’s degree in American studies from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in history from Rutgers University.


Adam Day (left), Leslie E. Wong (center) holding up framed document and Timothy P. White (right)

President Wong made President Emeritus

On Wednesday, May 22, the CSU Board of Trustees conferred the title of President Emeritus on SF State President Leslie E. Wong for his years of service to students, faculty, staff and alumni. President Wong is pictured with Trustee Chairman Adam Day and CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White.


Ten students and a faculty member pose for the camera.

University nabs top prizes at CSU competition

SF State students put on a strong showing at the 33rd annual California State University (CSU) Student Research Competition held recently at Cal State Fullerton: Three of the 10 in the competition (pictured at left) came in first place in their category, putting SF State in a four-way tie for first-place winners among all CSUs, and two more placed second.

Julia Moon, who is pursuing a master’s degree in psychology, led the graduate behavioral and social sciences division. Her research examined whether the way adolescents perceive time could influence anxiety. James Getomer, who is pursuing an M.A. in design, took first place in the graduate creative arts and design division. His project was inspired by the state of student mental health in 2019. Getomer researched the issue by gathering statistics from scientific studies and interviewing students and staff members. SF State’s third first-place winner was Brandon Van Over in the division of graduate physical sciences and mathematics. His project resulted in a mathematical proof for simplifying the calculation of what’s called the “Frobenius number,” a problem that’s relevant to widely used programming algorithms.

The other top finishers from SF State were David Hlusak, who took second in graduate humanities and letters for his project “First Came the Sound: How the Media Covered the Port Chicago Affair and its Impact on Integration in the U.S. Navy,” and Khanh Tran, who placed second in undergraduate and graduate education for his presentation “The Alma Project: Reflective Journaling to Promote Belonging and Persistence in STEM.”

Read more about SF State’s Student Research Competition winners here.


CampusMemo summer schedule

Today’s Campus Memo is the last issue of the spring semester. During the summer, CampusMemo will be published twice: on June 17 and July 15. Regular weekly publication will resume on Aug. 12.


Thank you celebration reminder

The campus community is invited to honor the accomplishments and legacy of President Les Wong and Mrs. Phyllis Wong during a thank you celebration Thursday, May 30. The celebration will be held at the Seven Hills Conference Center from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Purple and gold attire is encouraged.


Vice Provost for Academic Resources interviews coming up

Final candidates have been selected to interview for the position of vice provost for Academic Resources. The campus community is invited to attend the candidate presentations. Time will be allotted for questions and answers, and each presentation will be followed by a light reception.

  • May 29: Bradley Olin, Associate Vice President for Academic Budget and Planning, San Jose State University
    Presentation: Wednesday, May 29, 2:40-4 p.m. in LIB 244
  • June 3: Richard Sax, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, University of Rio Grande
    Presentation: Monday, June 3, 10:45-12:05 p.m. in LIB 244
  • June 4: Dwayne Banks, Founder and CEO of Health and Social Sector Analysis (HSSA) Presentation: Tuesday, June 4, 9:45-11:05 a.m. in LIB 244

For changes and updates to presentations and candidate information please go to academic.sfsu.edu/content/now-hiring. All information will be updated as it becomes available.


Academic Senate Election results

At its meeting on May 14, the Academic Senate elected members of the 2019-2020 Academic Senate Executive Committee.

The Officers of the Academic Senate for 2019-2020 will be Chair Nancy Gerber, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; Vice-Chair Teddy Albiniak, Department of Communication Studies and director of Forensics; and Secretary Kim Schwartz, director of the School of Theatre and Dance.

The two at-large members on the Academic Senate Executive Committee for 2019-2020 are Tom Thomas, chair of the Department of Management, and Rachel Small, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

The chairs of the Academic Senate standing committees are:

  • Academic Policies Committee: Genie Stowers, School of Public Affairs & Civic Engagement
  • Curriculum Review and Approval Committee: Ellen Hines, Department of Geography & Environment
  • Faculty Affairs Committee: Jasper Rubin, School of Public Affairs & Civic Engagement
  • Student Affairs Committee: David Olsher, Department of English Language & Literature
  • Strategic Issues Committee: Dylan Mooney, staff in the College of Health & Social Sciences

SF State places fifth in Recyclemania competition

SF State ranked fifth nationally in the annual Recyclemania competition, which pits universities against each other to see who can reduce and recycle the highest percentage of waste during an eight-week period. SF State diverted 70 percent of its waste from the landfill during the competition. For information on how you can help improve the University’s recycling rate, go to sustain.sfsu.edu/recycle. Complete results for the competition can be found here.


Mashouf Wellness Center launches summer fitness initiative

The Mashouf Wellness Center is excited to launch its faculty and staff M.O.V.E Initiative this summer. The goal is to create a healthier and more social campus community through transformative activities. You can join the M.O.V.E Initiative by signing up for a summer membership for $99 at the Mashouf Wellness Center or online at member.campusrec.sfsu.edu. A kickoff for the M.O.V.E. Initiative will be held Monday, June 10.


Donations being accepted for R. Christopher McGee Scholarships

Chris McGee, a lecturer in the Department of Geography & Environment since 1986, passed away in his sleep last October. He is remembered as a colleague who generously shared his profound knowledge and unique insights, always exhibited genuine kindness and lent timely support to colleagues and students alike. McGee’s family has established an endowed scholarship in his honor and is now accepting donations. The award will be based on financial need, passion for the field of geography and environment and the applicant’s statement of unusual challenges, be they personal, financial or psychological. Anyone wishing to donate to the scholarship fund may send a check made out to San Francisco State University Foundation. The check memo should note that it is for the R. Christopher McGee Scholarship. Checks should be mailed to Office of University Development, Attn: Michael Behrens, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue, ADM 153, San Francisco, CA 94132.


SF State Fall Convocation — save the date

The Office of the President and the Academic Senate invite you to attend the Fall Convocation in McKenna Hall on Thursday, August 22. Join your SF State colleagues for a celebration of the start of a new academic year, hear from campus leaders about challenges and opportunities in the coming year and meet the University’s new faculty, staff and administrators. Refreshments will be served outside McKenna Hall from 8:30 to 9:45 a.m., and the Convocation will start at 10 a.m.


Faculty administrative search pool reminder

The Academic Senate has created a Qualtrics survey to gather information about faculty interest in shared governance opportunities on our campus. Faculty can register interest in one or more of the Academic Senate appointments on committees across campus. This will help the senate match faculty interests with opportunities as well as increase the diversity of its committees.

Faculty in the faculty service pool are also eligible to be nominees for administrative searches across the University. The senate encourages all campus faculty to add themselves to the list by following the link here.


First Aid/CPR/AED certification, July 19

The Environmental, Health, and Safety department will host another first aid/CPR/AED certification Friday, July 19. The class will be held from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in LIB121.


Join SF State in the SF Pride parade, June 23

The Division of Student Life would like to invite the campus community to sign up to walk in this year’s SF Pride Celebration Parade Sunday, June 23. The first 100 to register will receive a free T-shirt. Sign up here


In memoriam: Robert Craig

Professor Emeritus of Design and Industry Robert C. Craig passed away May 6 at the age of 91. He joined the SF State faculty in 1965 and retired in 1994. There will be a gathering to remember Craig on Sunday, June 9, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Burlingame Recreation Center, 850 Burlingame Ave., Burlingame, California. An overview of his contributions to the University and the community can be read here.

Sparks talks homelessness

Associate Professor of Urban Studies Tony Sparks was quoted in an article in the Huffington Post about the failure of American cities to effectively address homelessness. According to the article, part of the problem is that comprehensive services require large expenditures that don’t immediately boost revenue. “We know that it’s cheaper in the long run to provide housing for homeless people, but cities don’t get money back when that happens,” Sparks said. Read more here.


The lady is a champ

The Sunday Streets program, which creates temporary open space and recreational opportunities in neighborhoods that lack them, recently gave a big shout-out to English Language & Literature Lecturer Jolie Goorjian. The program named her its May Shift Champion in honor of her many hours of volunteer service (often with her 4-year-old son) and her success recruiting other volunteers.


Crook explains why pain is appalling

Assistant Professor of Biology Robyn Crook was quoted in multiple news outlets about how the brain links pain with emotions. Crook explains a theory that some animals with more complex brains evolved an emotional component to pain because it makes painful experiences more memorable and hence more avoidable. “Having that emotional component linked to the sensory experience really is a great enhancer of memory,” she said. “And so humans, for example, can remember a single painful experience sometimes for their entire lives.” Read more here.


McBride weighs in on theater controversy

School of Cinema Professor Joseph McBride wrote an editorial for the Bright Lights Film Journal in reaction to Bowling Green University’s recent decision to rename its Gish Film Theater. The theater was originally named for actress Lillian Gish, one of the stars of D.W. Griffith’s groundbreaking but deeply racist 1915 film “The Birth of a Nation.” Activists demanded that the name of the theater, which is in the university’s student union, be renamed because of Gish’s association with the film. “A university should be a place where the history of the arts is studied with care and perspective and the debate over artists’ legacies should be allowed to flourish, rather than a place where, as too often happens today, we try to obliterate from awareness the controversial aspects of our troubled history,” McBride wrote. The full essay can be found here.