May 16, 2022

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The San Francisco State University pylon sign at the 19th and Holloway avenues campus gate

Distinguished Faculty and Staff Award winners announced 

The Academic Senate is pleased to announce the recipients of SF State’s 2022 Distinguished Faculty and Staff Awards. The honorees were presented at the final meeting of the 2021-2022 Academic Senate by the Faculty and Staff Awards Committee co-chaired by Dylan Mooney and Darlene Yee-Melichar. 

Honorees received a $4,000 stipend provided by the SF State Foundation Board and a plaque honoring their achievement and had their photos added to those of past award winners. An in-person celebration of their accomplishments took place immediately following the Academic Senate Plenary Session.  

This year’s awardees include the following distinguished faculty and staff:  

  • Excellence in Teaching (Tenured Faculty)
    Hsiao-Yun Chu, School of Design, College of Liberal & Creative Arts
  • Excellence in Teaching (Lecturer Faculty) 
    Genievive del Mundo Mendieta, Metro College Success Program, College of Ethnic Studies 
  • Excellence in Professional Achievement (Tenured Faculty)
    Mahmood Monshipouri, Department of International Relations, College of Liberal & Creative Arts 
  • Excellence in Service (Tenured Faculty) 
    Sandra Rosen, Department of Special Education, Graduate College of Education 
  • Excellence in Service (Staff) 
    Rose Carmona-Arbulu, Metro College Success Program, College of Ethnic Studies

Toni Mirosevich kneels on Mori Point south of the Pacifica Municipal Pier and beach.   </p>

Retired professor finds heaven among Coastside outsiders

Jobs in truck driving, restroom maintenance and attic insulation attracted Toni Mirosevich. Anything involving manual labor, she felt at ease — until chronic fatigue arrived in her 30s. She then discovered a new vocation using her hands. Writing led to a distinguished career as an author, poet and SF State professor over the past three decades.

Mirosevich’s new collection, “Spell Heaven and Other Stories” (Counterpoint Press), is a fictionalized account of the fishers, crabbers, surfers, drifters and other “outsiders” whose ways of life draw them to a seaside pier about 8 miles south of campus.

“These are my people,” said Mirosevich (M.A., ’92; MFA, ’94), a professor emerita of Creative Writing. “You don’t have to put on airs around them.”

Read the full story on SF State News.

Graphic image of a woman in a yoga pose with the text Wellness Room

Finals week Wellness Room & Week of Zen programming 

The Library, the Tutoring and Academic Support Center (TASC) and Health Promotion and Wellness (HPW) are continuing to provide a space to support the whole person during the high stress of finals. The Wellness Room (located in the Library Events Room, LIB 121) seeks to help students balance school and self-care by providing a quiet study space with relaxing activities, including guided meditations, puzzles, yoga and coloring. Students will also find study snack packs and art kits from HPW and study resources from TASC. Please encourage students to visit the space between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday or Thursday and Friday.  

The Wellness Room is also offering a Week of Zen programming — a suite of academic support workshops, discussions to support students during finals and de-stressing activities. Faculty and staff are also welcome! A schedule of activities is available on the Library website.

You’re invited: open forum interviews for AVP for Facilities Services, May 17 – 20

The vice president and CFO of Administration & Finance and the Search Committee invites the campus community to meet the candidates for the associate vice president for Facilities Services through virtual open forums. The position provides innovative strategic leadership for the planning and implementation of customer-focused facilities services for SF State’s students and employees. As a trusted advisor to the VP-CFO and campus leadership, the AVP-FS provides guidance on a broad range of operational and strategic initiatives and priorities. Thought leadership, industry trend awareness and innovation are imperatives for this position that affects almost every element of how SF State achieves its academic mission. 

Please visit the search website for information on the candidates and to register to participate in the virtual open forums. The forums will be held: 

  • May 19, 3:15 – 4:15 p.m. 
  • May 20, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. 

SF State welcomes persons with disabilities and will provide reasonable accommodations upon request. To request a reasonable accommodation for this event, please contact the Office of the Vice President and CFO of Administration & Finance at as soon as possible. 

Commencement ambassadors still needed

There’s still time to help celebrate graduating Gators by signing up to be an ambassador at one of these year’s two in-person Commencement ceremonies. Ambassador assignments will be from 1:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Thursday, May 26, (for the Classes of 2020 and 2021) and Friday, May 27 (for the Class of 2022). Sign up online or contact Dania Russell at for more information.  

Zoom Cloud recording deletion change coming July 1

Beginning July 1, Zoom Cloud recordings will move to a 365 day or older deletion process. Any recordings older than 365 days will be moved into Zoom “Trash” for 30 days, after which they will be permanently deleted and cannot be recovered. This is a change from the previous 586 day deletion period initiated in January 2022 and will impact recordings made prior to July 1, 2021. This change only impacts users who have saved Zoom Recordings into the Zoom Cloud.

For more information and instructions on deleting or retaining recordings, visit the ATCentral blog

PACE students awarded Merritt Community Capital Scholarships

The College of Health & Social Sciences is pleased to announce that Urban Studies and Planning student Kathy Angeles and Master of Public Administration students Taylor Davidson and Temur Umarov each received a 2021-2022 scholarship from the Merritt Community Capital Corporation to support their studies in affordable housing development and management.

Merritt awards annual scholarships to students in the School of Public Affairs and Civic Engagement (PACE) to promote and encourage student career interest in this field.

ITS Q1 2022 accomplishments 

Information Technology Service (ITS) staff have been busy this Spring Semester ushering in many Q1 campus technology improvements and advancements. ITS strives to provide our campus with the latest and most secure technology that ensures SF State student success, safety and educational well-being. ITS would like to show its gratitude for its dedicated and hardworking staff, leadership and campus colleagues for their support and dedication to SF State technology and continuing to support advancing our campus into the future. We are “better together.” Learn more on the ITS website.

Academic Senate report

The Academic Senate met Tuesday, May 10 via Zoom. At the meeting: 

The 2021-22 senate adopted by general consent the resolutions: 

  • Commendation in Honor of Dr. Jennifer Summit, SF State Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs
  • Commendation in Honor of Dr. Maggie Beers, Assistant Vice President for Teaching and Learning
  • Thanking and Commending Dr. Wei Ming Dariotis for Service as Faculty Director of the Center for Equity and Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CEETL)
  • Commendation in Honor of SF State Academic Senator Dr. Genie Stowers
  • Commendation in Honor of Academic Senate Chair Dr. Teddy Albiniak
  • Commending and Thanking Outgoing Members of the 2021-22 Academic Senate
  • The senate presented as information item Resolution Reviewing and Recommending Further SETE Activity
  • The senate welcomed a presentation of Distinguished Faculty and Staff Award winners

The Academic Senate held elections for the 2022-2023 Senate Executive Committee and is pleased to announce the results for the one-year terms beginning on June 1, 2022:

  • Chair: Michael Goldman, Biology
  • Vice Chair: Brad Erickson, Liberal Studies
  • Secretary: Ellen Hines, Geography and Environment
  • At-Large: Mai-Nhung Le, Asian American Studies, and Santhi Kavuri-Bauer, Art
  • Academic Policies Committee Chair: Brian Beatty, Equity, Leadership Studies and Instructional Technologies
  • Curriculum Review and Approval Committee Chair: Rick Harvey, Recreation, Parks, and Tourism
  • Faculty Affairs Committee Chair: Jasper Rubin, PACE
  • Student Affairs Committee Chair: David Olsher, English
  • Strategic Issues Committee Chair: election pending
  • Academic Senate of the CSU (ex officio): Darlene Yee-Melichar, Gerontology (PACE); Robert Keith Collins, American Indian Studies; Nancy Counts Gerber, Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Immediate Past Chair: Teddy Albiniak, Communication Studies

The full agenda, meeting materials and minutes can be found on the senate website.

University Budget Committee (UBC) meeting, office hours, May 19 & 20

The University Budget Committee (UBC) will meet via Zoom from 10 a.m. to noon on Thursday, May 19. These meetings welcome members of the campus community to attend and learn about the University budgeting process. An open forum at the end of each meeting provides an opportunity for public comment. UBC is comprised of SF State faculty, staff, students and administrators. More information about the UBC can be found on the Administration & Finance website.

The day after the UBC meeting, Office Hours will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. on Friday, May 20. Peer-hosted by UBC members, Office Hours offer an opportunity for questions about budget-related topics and meeting feedback. All campus staff and faculty are welcome to listen or contribute to budget-related conversations.  

UBC welcomes persons with disabilities to all meetings and may provide reasonable accommodations upon request. To RSVP to the UBC meeting as a guest or to ask questions about the UBC or its work, please email

CalMatters highlights student’s appreciation for SF State mask mandate

A May 6 story on CalMatters focused on reactions of immunocompromised college students to COVID-19 public health protocols.  

SF State graduate student Olive Patton discussed why she feels safer in indoor spaces where face coverings are required. “My life has kind of changed very positively in the last two years by everybody wearing masks around me,” she said. 

Associate Dean of Students Pam Su said that SF State has kept its mask mandate and other safety measures due to concerns for the health of high-risk members of the University community and their families. 

“We know that there are students and faculty who live with people who are immunocompromised, or have children who are not able to get the vaccine yet,” Su said. 

Mello wins grant to study classism and tobacco use by high school students

Associate Professor of Psychology Zena R. Mello has received a second Pilot Research Award ($766,000) from the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program to continue identifying novel ways of preventing and reducing tobacco use in adolescents. She is the first faculty member at SF State to receive funding from this program.  

Mello will conduct a mixed method study with local high schools to determine how perceived discrimination based on socioeconomic status, namely classism, is associated with tobacco use among adolescents. Community engagement will include partnerships with parents, teachers and adolescent-serving organizations. She aims to create a preliminary curriculum for tobacco use prevention and intervention that targets classism among adolescents. 

SFGate features School of Music course in video game composition

On May 11, SFGate published a feature story about the School of Music’s course in video game composition.  

“The SFSU course teaches young musicians about one of the most viable career paths in a profession that’s becoming less and less viable, especially in San Francisco,” the article stated. 

Lecturer Steve Horowitz teaches the course. He is former audio director for Nickelodeon, where he composed music for games related to “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Dora the Explorer,” “Star Trek” and other properties. 

Peña-Guzmán to CNN: Animals’ dreams help establish value and respect

Animals have dreams, which can help humans value and respect them, Associate Professor of Humanities and Liberal Studies David M. Peña-Guzmán tells CNN.  

“In dreaming you really see the power of the mind at work,” said Peña-Guzmán, author of the new book “When Animals Dream: The Hidden World of Animal Consciousness.” “It is a really powerful reminder of how much we have underestimated and understudied animals and the extent to which the animal mind remains this unexplored territory about which we know relatively little.”  

Englander quoted by ABC News on QAnon rhetoric 

On May 7, ABC News quoted History Lecturer Susan Englander on false claims that were used to attack Ketanji Brown Jackson during confirmation hearings for the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Englander and other experts note the rhetoric echoed language used by followers of the extremist QAnon conspiracy theory. 

“It’s yet another opportunity to exploit people who are feared, because they actually may obtain power,” Englander said. “You’re going to lie. ... You’re going to give [voters] the worst-case scenario regarding what happens if these [progressive] things become normalized.” 

Logan: Starbucks wage proposal fuels legal, reputational questions

Starbucks has stirred up controversy with a plan to withhold pay increases for workers at its stores that are unionized or planning to do so. John Logan, professor and director of Labor and Employment Studies, addresses the issue in an opinion piece for The Conversation on May 10. 

“In the face of diminishing returns for traditional efforts to persuade workers against unionizing, Starbucks appears to be upping the intensity,” Logan wrote. “But going to war with its pro-union workers involves significant reputation risk for Starbucks — something the company itself has seemingly acknowledged.” 

Gross gives Cohn lecture at CSU San Bernardino

Rachel B. Gross, the John and Marcia Goldman Chair in American Jewish Studies, was the featured speaker at the fifth annual Rabbi Hillel Cohn Endowed Lecture on the Contemporary Jewish Experience. The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at CSU San Bernardino presented the virtual event on May 9. Gross’ talk was titled “Feeling Jewish: Nostalgia and American Jewish Religion.” 

Estuary and Ocean Science Center applies for grant for eelgrass restoration

SF State’s Estuary and Ocean Science Center is part of a proposed initiative to facilitate eelgrass restoration in Richardson Bay, the Marin Independent Journal reported May 5. 

The Richardson Bay Regional Agency and its conservation partners have applied for a $1.2 million grant from the National Coastal Resilience Fund of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.   

Anchors dropped by vessels to the floor of the bay have caused underwater eelgrass to scar over 90 acres. Biology Professor Katharyn Boyer, interim executive director of the Estuary and Ocean Science Center, said the pilot program would further explore the most effective way to restore the eelgrass.  

“What we don’t know is whether each of the scars will have to be restored in the same way,” Boyer said.