August 20, 2018

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President Wong at Convocation

Tragic loss for University, community

With deep sadness, the Department of History must share the news of the passing of Professor Dawn Bohulano Mabalon, historian of race and ethnicity in the 20th century U.S. and Filipina/o American history. Mabalon was a beloved colleague and teacher whose course on food cultures and foodways was the highlight of many students’ time at SF State. Her book “Little Manila Is in the Heart: The Making of the Filipina/o American Community in Stockton, California” brought to light an authentic history of a community often neglected in California history. As an advocate and scholar, she was unmatched, and she is sorely missed by both the communities whose histories she brought to light and her many friends in the department and across the University. We will share news of a memorial event to celebrate and honor her life and work as it becomes available.

Alum wearing a SFSU t-shirt

University names two new deans

Sophie Clavier has been named dean of Graduate Studies at San Francisco State University effective July 1, while Lori Beth Way was appointed dean of undergraduate education and academic planning effective June 1.

During her 22 years at the University, Dean Clavier has served in many roles: from graduate student (with an M.A. in international relations) to graduate coordinator; from award-winning professor to associate dean in Faculty Affairs; and from department chair to associate dean in the College of Liberal and Creative Arts. “Dean Clavier’s experience anchors her commitment to the University's core mission of academic excellence and educational equity, particularly in the critical area of graduate studies,” said Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Jennifer Summit .

Lori Beth Way has agreed to serve as SF State’s dean of undergraduate education and academic planning, a role she has filled in an interim capacity for nearly two years. Dean Way joined SF State in 2015 as associate dean of academic planning after serving as senior advisor for undergraduate education at Emerson College and in leadership roles at Chico State, where she was a full professor in the political science department.

“Dean Way brings to her position a powerful commitment to the success of students, faculty and staff—along with a keen appreciation of the interconnectedness of all three,” said Provost Summit.

Mary Ann van Dam and friends

Faculty members honored

Four SF State University faculty members were honored with Distinguished Faculty Awards at the final plenary meeting of the Academic Senate on May 8. The awards, given each year since 2007, recognize faculty members who excel in teaching, service and professional achievement as a way of celebrating the University’s climate of excellence.

Professor of Biology Kimberly Tanner and Lecturer in Ethnic Studies Mark Bautista received Excellence in Teaching Awards, while Professor of Biology Thomas Parker was given the Excellence in Professional Achievement Award and Professor of Political Science James Martel was honored with the Excellence in Service Award. Each of the awardees received a $4,000 stipend as part of the recognition.

Learn more about the Distinguished Faculty Awards and this year’s honorees.

GatorFest volunteers sought

This year, the University is welcoming students and their families to campus with GatorFest, a unique, weeks-long series of events. GatorFest starts Thursday, Aug. 23, when students begin moving into campus housing. Faculty and staff helpers are needed for an array of welcome events and outreach efforts in the weeks that follow. In particular, volunteers are being sought for the following events:

Entering Year Photo
Saturday, Aug. 25, 9 – 10:30 a.m.
Cox Stadium
Help bring together new entering students for a unique group photo.

Regional Receptions
Sunday, Aug. 26, 11 a.m. – noon
Various locations
Network with new and current students, staff and faculty who come from or have lived in the same part of the state.

BART Station Welcomes
Monday, Aug. 27, and Tuesday, Aug. 28, 8 – 10 a.m.
Greet and orient new students at the Daly City BART station.

Maps and Munchies
Monday, Aug. 27, and Tuesday, Aug. 28, 8 – 10 a.m.
Various locations
Greet and orient new students near the Administration Building, the Cesar Chavez Student Center and elsewhere on campus. All volunteers will receive a T-shirt and further instructions.

Sign up to volunteer here by Thursday, Aug. 23. For additional information, email Chris Trudell at or Grace Yoo at

GatorFest schedule available online

The current lineup of GatorFest events and activities can be found online here. Interested in adding to GatorFest with your own welcome event or first-year support program? Email Chris Trudell or Grace Yoo.

Magazine looking for strike memories

Fifty years ago, activists at SF State kicked off the student strike that would eventually lead to the creation of the University’s College of Ethnic Studies. As part of a cover story looking back on the strike, SF State Magazine is gathering recollections from students, staff and faculty on campus at the time. If you were a member of the SF State community in 1968 or know someone who was, the magazine’s editors would love to hear from you. Send an email to or share this message with any ’68 Gators you know.

University Convocation, Aug. 23

The Office of the President and the Academic Senate invite you to attend the Opening University Convocation (formerly the Open Faculty Meeting) in McKenna Hall on Thursday, Aug. 23. All faculty and staff are invited this year, with a light breakfast community reception at 9 a.m. inside CA 153 near the McKenna Theatre. The Convocation begins at 10 a.m. 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 campus leadership. More than two dozen departments will have representatives on hand to talk about the work they do on behalf of students and the University. Free SF State tote bags will be given to the first 100 attendees at the reception, and a donation of personal toiletries is requested for our Basic Needs Initiative.

Campus Open House, Aug. 24

Departments and colleges across campus will be hosting open houses on Friday, Aug. 24, as part of GatorFest. Click here for a complete list of open house events.

Ramirez-Valles publishes paper

Jesus Ramirez-Valles, who starts as director of the Health Equity Institute today, is one of the authors of “‘Anywhere But Here’: Querying Spatial Stigma as a Social Determinant of Health Among Youth of Color Accessing LGBTQ Services in Chicago’s Boystown,” a new paper in the journal Social Science & Medicine. The lead author on the study was one of Ramirez-Valles’ Ph.D. students in his previous position as chair of Community Health Sciences at the University of Illinois-Chicago School of Public Health.

Peper leads biofeedback sessions

Professor of Health Education Erik Peper gave the invited presentations “Advanced Biofeedback Master Class” for the Israeli Biofeedback Neurofeedback Association and chaired the session “Research Findings and Demonstration of Healing by the Japanese Monk/Healer Abe” in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Aug. 9.

O’Shaughnessy co-authors coming-out paper

Assistant Professor of Counseling Tiffany O’Shaughnessy recently co-authored the article “Expert Consensus on Facilitating the Coming-Out Process in Sexual Minority Clients: A Delphi Study” in the Journal of Gay and Lesbian Mental Health. The paper was the culmination of a project that began when the first three authors (David T. Solomon, Oakleigh M. Reed and Jessica R. Sevecke) were Central Michigan University students frustrated with the lack of clinical guidance available to therapists about how to best support the coming-out process for LGBTQ clients. The paper presents the results of a Delphi study that explored what expert therapists recommend in order to support the coming-out process via therapy.

Sears talks cross-dressing law, history

Associate Professor of Sociology and Sexuality Studies Clare Sears presented a slideshow of archival images from her research on policing, gender and cross-dressing in 19th century San Francisco at the James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center of the San Francisco Public Library on July 24. She also read from and discussed her book “Arresting Dress: Cross-Dressing, Law, and Fascination in Nineteenth-Century San Francisco.”

Melendez examines AIDS efforts

Associate Professor of Sociology Rita Melendez and three other researchers published “Improving PrEP Implementation Through Multilevel Interventions: A Synthesis of the Literature” in the journal AIDS and Behavior in June. Their analysis was presented at the International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam in July. Read more in SF State News

Wolin, Gardner, students team up for workshop

Jessica Wolin, associate director of community practice for the Health Equity Institute and lecturer in health education, partnered with Jewlee Gardner of Health Promotion & Wellness and a group of master of public health students to present a featured workshop at the Student Affairs and Enrollment Management conference, Assess Yourself to Success, in June. They kicked off the conference and provided an introduction to assessment and its grounding in the concept of Praxis.