March 18, 2019

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Anita Silvers in her office filled with artifacts

Anita Silvers passes away

Nationally recognized advocate for disability rights and beloved San Francisco State University Professor of Philosophy Anita Silvers passed away peacefully in her sleep Thursday, March 14. As an SF State faculty member for more than 50 years and a former chair of the Department of Philosophy, Silvers accrued professional accolades for her work and her service to students and colleagues.

“Dr. Silvers embodied the highest scholarly achievements, mentoring commitment and service and leadership to San Francisco State and the greater community,” said Dean of the College of Liberal & Creative Arts Andrew Harris. “Philosophers know her as the philosophical voice of disability for almost single-handedly creating a new and fast-growing field of philosophical research.” 

As a child, Silvers was disabled by quadriplegia from polio. Grounded in her own experiences, she became a leading advocate for equality for persons with disabilities. She produced groundbreaking research on disability and justice, including her acclaimed 1998 co-authored book “Disability, Difference, Discrimination: Perspectives on Justice in Bioethics and Public Policy,” which is widely cited in legal affairs. Silvers also worked to make California college campuses more accessible and to ensure that disability services were available.

“She has touched and transformed the lives of countless students, scholars and activists,” said Chair and Professor of Philosophy Justin Tiwald. “We must work to ensure that her memory and her inspiration outlives her, as she hoped and expected of us.”

Read more about Silvers’ life and career here. A memorial will be announced at a later date.


Jeff Duncan-Andrade

Professor honored for innovative education programs

Visit Jeff Duncan-Andrade’s office in San Francisco State University’s Ethnic Studies & Psychology Building and you’ll see boxes filled with plaques and statues — honors he has accrued over a 25-year career in education. But the San Francisco State associate professor of Latina/Latino studies says accumulating kudos has never been his goal.

“I think they are a way to acknowledge you for what you’ve done, not for what you will do,” Duncan-Andrade said. “I want to stay present about what I can do next and what I can do better.”

Despite that lack of interest in racking up acclaim, Duncan-Andrade just received more: He was named the 2019 Brock International Prize in Education Laureate. The award is bestowed annually on an innovative educator chosen from an international field of nominees. Duncan-Andrade was officially presented with the honor last week at a symposium in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

A co-founder of the Roses in Concrete Community School, a lab school in Oakland that provides an alternative model for urban education, Duncan-Andrade is also a faculty member in SF State’s Race and Resistance Studies department. And through the Community Responsive Education Group, which he co-founded, he works directly with schools around the world to improve education for underprivileged and at-risk students.

“We are honored to have Jeff Duncan-Andrade as our 2019 Laureate,” said Brock Prize founder John A. Brock. “The prize is about educational ideas that make a difference, and his work in creating and helping others create positive, equitable learning environments is significant in transforming educational outcomes for all children.”


Looking out the window of an airplane

University number one again for certain Gilman scholarships

For the third straight year, SF State is the number one institution in the nation for students receiving the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to participate on mid-length and long-term study abroad programs. SF State is also the number three institution overall nationally for students receiving the Gilman Scholarship for all study abroad program durations.

Distributed by the U.S. State Department, the scholarships support students of limited financial means who wish to study abroad. Each year, SF State Abroad sends a representative population of the campus’ diverse student body overseas and works diligently to ensure that those with Pell Grants apply for a Gilman Scholarship. Among those study abroad applicants who apply at SF State, nearly 50 percent are selected to receive this nationally competitive scholarship. By providing more than $1 million to SF State students over the past five years, the Gilman Scholarship has been essential in supporting the University’s commitment to long-term, affordable, exchange-based study abroad programs.

“San Francisco State University has a long, proud history of supporting diversity among our participants in education abroad, including but not limited to students of color, first-generation college students, traditionally underrepresented students in higher education and transfer students,” said Study Abroad Coordinator Janelle Waldrep. “We feel that the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship is a fundamental opportunity that supports our tenet of ensuring equity and diversity to the highest-impact practices offered in overseas study.”


Graduate College of Education holds “teach-in”

The Graduate College of Education held a “teach-in” event focused on union activism and teacher strikes in Burk Hall 28 on Thursday, March 7. Union leaders from the Oakland Unified School District, the San Francisco Unified School District, the Service Employees International Union and the California Faculty Association engaged in a panel discussion about the importance of unions, activism and membership to students, faculty and teachers. This panel discussion was invaluable to educators in light of the teacher strikes becoming more and more common across the country. The demands of these educators go beyond bread and butter issues to include rethinking the support structures needed for students to thrive (e.g., counseling, nurses, credentialed teachers, music, the arts and healthy physical spaces).

The Graduate College of Education stands in solidarity with teachers and educators in the Bay Area and across the country.


Candidate for director of Counseling and Psychological Services to visit campus

The Division of Student Affairs invites you to attend the community forum presentation of Stephen Chen, candidate for director of Counseling and Psychological Services. Chen is currently associate director of Counseling and Psychological Services at San Jose State. He will present on the mental health challenges of today’s college population and his ideas on how university counseling centers can meet these challenges. A Q&A session will follow.

When: Wednesday, March 20, 1:302:15 p.m.
Where: Student Services Building, Room 401


Nominations for Distinguished Faculty, Staff Awards being accepted

The Academic Senate annually acknowledges outstanding faculty members for extraordinary, meaningful and lasting contributions in the areas of teaching, professional achievement and service. This year also ushers in an inaugural staff award to acknowledge outstanding staff members for their excellence in service.

By recognizing achievement in these areas, the Senate celebrates the climate of excellence we create together. Please consider nominating your colleagues. Completed nominations are due by April 2 and should be submitted online. Full guidelines are available for the Distinguished Faculty Awards at senate.sfsu.edu/content/distinguished-faculty-awards. Guidelines for the Distinguished Staff Award are available at senate.sfsu.edu/content/distinguished-staff. Questions may be directed to Faculty and Staff Awards Committee Chair Jennifer Arin at jarin@sfsu.edu or ext. 5-7311.


New and improved CSU Learn available

Human Resources is pleased to announce the introduction of its new and improved learning and development portal, CSU Learn. CSU Learn has more than 75,000 online courses, books, videos and live activities. With this platform, you will be able to enroll in and complete professional development courses and compliance trainings.

Please click here to access CSU Learn.

A link to a helpful quick-start guide is available online. Also, a voluntary Learning Lab scheduled for Wednesday, March 27, from 11 a.m. to noon will provide all users an opportunity to navigate the system with live support and assistance with real-time inquiries.

If you are unable to access the portal or are experiencing technical challenges, please submit a service request to Service Now or contact the IT Service Desk at service@sfsu.edu.

For further information about CSU Learn and/or the Professional Development Department, please view the HR website or contact Manager of Organizational Development Lisa Ike.


Safety Champion of the Month

As part of its mission to promote environmental stewardship and protect the health and safety of SF State faculty, staff and students, Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) has begun awarding a monthly Make Safety Happen – Safety Champion of the Month Award. November’s award prize — two free movie theater passes — went to Noel De Dios. De Dios is part of the Facilities Integrated Waste Management group and is receiving the award for his support of the University’s e-waste program. Send your recommendations for the Make Safety Happen – Safety Champion of the Month award to sfehs@sfsu.edu.


Wear Movement seeking suit jackets and shirts

Is your closet full of clean suit jackets and button-down shirts you don’t need anymore? Why not pass them along to students who could use them for job interviews? The Wear Movement, which aims to reduce waste by sharing donated textiles with those who need them, is especially interested in interview-ready attire this spring. Items can be donated in the lobby of the Cesar Chavez Student Union Wednesdays between 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. 


Call for pre-proposals: Title III Part A or Title V programs

The U.S. Department of Education is offering funding to support higher education institutions serving low-income students (Title III Part A programs) and Hispanic students (Title V programs). Those interested should submit pre-proposals to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) describing their activities relevant to the funding opportunity announcements. The pre-proposals should be sent to AVP for Research and Sponsored Programs Michael Scott by March 22.

Required materials for ORSP submissions:

  • Summary no longer than three pages in length
  • All on- and off-campus collaborations
  • Publications or other indicators of productivity in the past three years relevant to this FOA

Title III Part A (Strengthening Institutions)
This program helps eligible institutions of higher education become self-sufficient and expand their capacity to serve low-income students by providing funds to improve and strengthen the academic quality, institutional management and fiscal stability of eligible institutions. Various types of projects are possible with this funding: See the Title III Part A website for specific information.

Title V (Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions)
The Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (DHSI) Program provides grants to assist Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs) expand educational opportunities for, and improve the attainment of, Hispanic students. These grants also enable HSIs to expand and enhance their academic offerings, program quality and institutional stability. A variety of projects are possible with this funding: See the Title V website for more detailed information.

If you have any questions please contact Jessica Mankus at jmankus@sfsu.edu or ext. 8-3052.


Academic Senate meeting, March 19

The Academic Senate will meet Tuesday from 2 to 5 p.m. in the Nob Hill Room of the Seven Hills Conference Center. An open-floor period from 2 to 2:10 p.m. will provide an informal opportunity to raise questions or make comments to Senate officers or University administrators. Please arrive promptly at 2 p.m. The agenda will include:

  • Proposed Revision of #F16-241, Retention, Tenure, and Promotion, first reading
  • Proposed Master of Science Degree in Statistical Data Science, second reading
  • Proposed Certificate in Computational Linguistics, second reading
  • Proposed Minor in Queer Ethnic Studies, second reading
  • Proposed Minor in Critical Pacific Islands & Oceania Studies, second reading
  • Proposed Resolution on the ASCSU General Education Task Force Report, first reading
  • Proposed Resolution in Honor of the ’68 Student Strike at SF State, second reading
  • Proposed Revision of #S09-212, Observance of Religious Holidays, second reading
  • Proposed Revision of #F13-267, Academic Freedom Principles, first reading
  • Proposed Resolution in Support of a Student Ombuds, second reading
  • Proposed Revision of #S03-158, Hiring Policy for Tenure Track Faculty, first reading
  • Proposed Revision of the B.A. in History, consent item
  • Proposed Graduate Certificate in History Education, first reading
  • Proposed Graduate Certificate in Ethical Artificial Intelligence, first reading
  • Proposed Graduate Certificate in Marketing in the Digital Economy, first reading
  • Proposed Revision of F11-258, Fellowship Committee Policy, first reading
  • Proposed Resolution In Support of Increased Participation of Staff in Shared Governance and Service, first reading 
  • Proposed Revision of #F17-242, Academic Calendar Policy, first reading
  • Proposed Revision of #S16-014, University Policy on Written English Proficiency, first reading
  • Proposed Change of Name for the College of Business, consent item

The complete agenda and support documents for the meeting are available online.


Mixed heritage/Asian Americans in media roundtable, March 20

Mixed heritage/Asian Americans artists — including performing artists, musicians, fine artists, creative leaders, filmmakers, visual designers and writers — make significant contributions to the artistic and cultural life of our state. And yet representations of them in the arts and media remain both limited and problematic. A roundtable event Wednesday, March 20, will tackle this issue. Filmmaker Ina Adele Ray, Asian American storytellers Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo and Nancy Wang and 2018 Hewlett 50 Arts Commission Award winners Brenda Wong-Aoki and Mark Izu will offer their perspectives. Students and faculty will also be introduced to a proposed minor in critical mixed race studies being developed in the College of Ethnic Studies. To be held from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in LIB 286, the event is co-sponsored by the SF State Asian American Arts Initiative, the Institute for Civic and Community Engagement’s Director of Faculty Development & Community Engaged Scholarship and the Department of Asian American Studies.


HR benefits events, March 26 & 28

Human Resources invites you to attend two upcoming information events. A CalHR Savings Plus 401K/457b Plan Education Event will give employees the opportunity to schedule individual consultations on Tuesday, March 26, in ADM 255. And a CalPERS information session will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday, March 28 in LIB 121. Space is limited for both events, so please register to attend on the HR Benefits Events & News page. If you are unable to attend keep an eye on the page as additional events are scheduled throughout the year.  


“Jewish Studies and Food Writing,” April 2

Award-winning journalist and J. contributing editor Alix Wall will visit campus to give a talk titled “Jewish Studies and Food Writing” on Tuesday, April 2. A reception will follow this free event. Wall’s presentation will be held from 2 to 3:15 p.m. in HUM 415.


Study Abroad Fair, April 2 & 3

Take a stroll through the center of campus on Tuesday, and Wednesday, April 2 and 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to see this year’s Study Abroad Fair. The tables at the fair will represent different countries where SF State students can study abroad  through SF State and CSU international programs. International students and study-abroad alumni will decorate each table and be on hand to talk about their country. Please encourage students to mark their calendars for the event, since it will begin the first day after the spring recess.


Manu Karuka discusses “Empire’s Tracks,” April 4

Manu Karuka, assistant professor of American studies at Barnard College, will visit campus Thursday, April 4, to discuss his book “Empire’s Tracks: Indigenous Nations, Chinese Workers, and the Transcontinental Railroad.” Karuka’s book reframes the history of the transcontinental railroad from the perspectives of the Cheyenne, Lakota and Pawnee nations and the Chinese migrants who toiled on its path. His discussion will be held from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in room 116 of the Ethnic Studies & Psychology Building.


Gail Whitaker memorial, April 15

Gail Whitaker, former dean of the College of Extended Learning and AVP for Academic Program Development, passed away March 4 after a long battle with multiple myeloma. A memorial service will be held at the Seven Hills Conference Center on Monday, April 15, from 4 to 6 p.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation at 383 Main Avenue 5th Floor, Norwalk, CT 06851 or online at themmrf.org/get-involved/donate-to-the-mmrf.


Campus Recreation’s 5K Walk, Run & Roll, April 28

April is Earth Month, and Campus Recreation invites you to celebrate by taking part in its 8th Annual 5K Walk, Run & Roll on April 28. This year Campus Recreation is partnering with the Environmental Resource Center to make it a zero-waste event and help participants learn how to live more environmentally sustainable lifestyles. The event is inclusive and open to all participants with a variety of fitness backgrounds. Participants will be given a free goodie bag and breakfast burrito as well as an event t-shirt. There will be giveaways and awards to celebrate the fastest runners as well. See you there — check-in begins at 9 a.m.!

For more information, visit campusrec.sfsu.edu/special-events/5k-runwalk or email spevents@mail.sfsu.edu.

Esquibel cooks up ideas for decolonized cuisine

Pull up a seat at the table for a decolonized meal with professors (and life partners) Luz Calvo and Catrióna Rueda Esquibel at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco (JCCSF) Tuesday, April 2. Along with chefs and other guests, Esquibel (an SF State professor and interim associate dean of the College of Ethnic Studies) and Calvo (a professor at Cal State East Bay) explore reclaiming culture and history through food and storytelling. When Calvo was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006, both radically changed their diets and began to research traditional precolonial Mesoamerican cuisine featuring plants indigenous to the Americas. They went on to write a book about it: “Decolonize Your Diet: Plant-Based Mexican-American Recipes for Health and Healing.” Interested in enjoying a meal of their dishes and exploring heritage crops and traditional food preparation techniques? Get tickets for the JCCSF event here.


Eliason talks weight and health for sexual minority women

Professor of Health Education Mickey Eliason was quoted in an NBC News report about a study that claims that lesbian and bisexual women are more likely to be overweight than heterosexual peers. Eliason cautioned that health care providers and others shouldn’t jump to the conclusion that there’s a connection to individuals’ state of health. “It might be an overblown problem,” Eliason said. “Almost all of the studies find higher weight. But, among sexual minority women, there’s no conclusive evidence of higher rates of the health disorders that come with being overweight, such as [type II] diabetes.”


Piryaei honored for poetry

Shabnam Piryaei, assistant professor of Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts, has won the 2019 Sonia Sanchez-Langston Hughes Poetry Contest. Split This Rock, a nonprofit network of socially engaged poets, presents the award annually. Piryaei’s winning poem is titled “nextdoor app.” You can hear Piryaei read it here.


Stillman explores climate change impact

A study by Professor of Biology Jonathon Stillman exploring the impact of the intense heat waves that seem to be in Earth’s future drew coverage on several websites. Stillman’s review paper, published last month in the journal Physiology, explored how climate change will lead to both hotter and longer heat waves, leading to extreme conditions humans and animals will struggle to cope with. “Summertime is quickly becoming a deadly season for life on Earth,” he wrote. Read more about Stillman’s paper here.