December 10, 2018

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A woman in a white lab coat and blue gloves holds the beak of a pelican covered in oil

SF State joins Oiled Wildlife Care Network

SF State’s Estuary and Ocean Science (EOS) Center is now a partner organization with the Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN), making the center a triage site for volunteers to care for wildlife affected by oil spills in San Francisco Bay.

“Now we’ll have a place to take the animals that’s right here in the Bay — because the EOS Center is the only place on the Bay that has that kind of space and capacity,” said San Francisco State Professor of Geography & Environment Ellen Hines, the Center’s associate director.

The OWCN organizes wildlife rescue and rehabilitation during California spills and provides funding for research and training for wildlife care volunteers. In the past, the organization was limited by a lack of space to organize volunteer efforts on the San Francisco Bay, which is vulnerable to oil spills due to heavy shipping traffic and the presence of several nearby refineries. The 53-acre EOS Center campus and unique waterfront location will make it an ideal triage center for OWCN during any such accidents in the future.

There are ways for the SF State community to assist with the response to future spills, too. Anyone with an email address can register to volunteer in the event of a spill by contacting Volunteers will receive at least an hour and a half of online training, covering things like safety considerations, techniques for dealing with animals and the chain of command for oil-spill response.

“When there’s an oil spill, it’s hard to know how to get involved,” said Hines. “This is an exciting way for people to do something.”

Rendering of new student housing shared space

New student housing underway

A kickoff event last week marked the beginning of construction on a Holloway Ave. facility that will eventually house hundreds of Gators. The project is the result of a development collaboration with Pacific Union Development Company (PUDC) and RLR Ventures (RLR), who have been working with SF State on the Holloway Ave. revitalization project since 2014.

“This new housing project will give students [a] sense of community, a new sense of belonging and a chance for SF State to expand its campus life,” said Associated Students President Nathan Jones, who spoke at the construction kickoff ceremony.

Upon completion in 2020, the project will be located on the southeast edge of the SF State campus, serving as a hub of student life activity and pedestrian connection between the University and its surrounding community. The 572-bed, mixed-use community will feature fully furnished apartment-style units with private and shared accommodations. Residents will have access to nearly 14,000 square feet of modern amenity space, including social and recreational lounges, and an Academic Success Center. Additionally, the community will include nearly 15,000 square feet of on-site retail. The development is designed sustainably and will pursue a LEED Gold certification.

“This public-private partnership with American Campus Communities and Pacific Union Development Company will help us meet the demand for modern, on-campus student housing,” Porth said.

Continental Breakfast food

University launches food-sharing app

According to a health assessment conducted last year, 44 percent of SF State students report struggling with food insecurity. Creating programs that alleviate this burden is essential for promoting academic success and student retention — and Health Promotion & Wellness (HPW) is stepping up to do something. Through a partnership with Information Technology Services and the Associated Students Environmental Resource Center, HPW has launched Gator Grub Alert, a service that sends students push notifications about free food opportunities on campus via the SF State Mobile App. Students can go to SF State’s basic needs webpage,, to get instructions on opting in.

Staff and faculty can support the program by posting alerts after catered events where there is excess food available for students. Sixty staff and faculty members have already been trained in the program. To get involved, send an email to

More opportunities for faculty and staff to help will be rolled out in the spring. Watch CampusMemo for announcements. 

Upcoming CampusMemo hiatus

The Monday, Dec. 17, issue of CampusMemo will be the last of 2018. The newsletter will be on hiatus during the winter break and will resume weekly publication on Tuesday, Jan. 22. Got information that needs to be shared with the campus community before then? Submit an item now

Call for applications: CEETL faculty director

The Office of the Provost calls for applications and nominations for the position of faculty director, Center for Equity and Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CEETL). The full position description and application procedure is available on the CEETL website.

Hancock elected to presidential search committee

Shae Hancock, executive assistant to the Office of the Vice President, University Enterprises, has been elected staff representative to the Advisory Committee to the Trustees Committee for the Selection of the President (ACTCSP). The University administration thanks all staff employees for their participation in shared governance, especially the bargaining union representatives who volunteered their time and participated in the nomination and final vote count.

Save the date: An open public forum with the ACTCSP will be held on campus Tuesday, Feb. 5. This will be an opportunity to tell the committee members what the campus community is looking for in its next president.

Blanket donations needed 

“Baby, it’s cold outside,” the old song goes. Unfortunately, not everyone is prepared for the winter chill in the air. That’s why the Wear Movement, the SF State clothing recycling program, is collecting blankets for those who need them. Blankets can be dropped off at the Family Interiors & Apparel office, Burk Hall 329. The Wear Movement will work with Homebridge, a nonprofit that provides in-home support services, to distribute the blankets to people in need throughout the city.

ITS development highlights

Information Technology Services (ITS) is excited to share highlights from its Enterprise Application Development teams’ recent releases. With these advancements, ITS has streamlined processes, improved efficiencies, increased functionality and made the overall IT experience a great one for students, faculty and staff.

In August, ITS launched a newly architected parking permit registration online application with a simplified, easy-to-navigate design. It provides a more streamlined workflow for users, resulting in faster processing for first-time permit applications. Other useful new features include a parking map, the ability to fully submit a request for parking online without having to email the Parking Department and automatic Lot 19 approvals for faculty and staff.

September brought three new PeopleSoft Campus Solutions enhancements: (1) Enhanced Admission Status now allows undergraduate and graduate applicants to see the status of their applications and their outstanding application action items; (2) GE Status Mass Update is a new process that enables admissions staff to update the General Education statuses of students in batch; and (3) Electronic Graduate Application is a new online SF State graduation application that streamlines and simplifies the application process.

November brought Single Sign On (SSO) to the mobile app. This upgrade is one of the most highly requested features from students and should make using the mobile app a more efficient experience. After you log in to any Gateway application or Campus Solutions, you are good to go without needing to log in again.

More information about these recent ITS developments can be found here.

Academic Senate report

The Academic Senate met Tuesday, Dec. 4, in the Nob Hill Room of the Seven Hills Conference Center. Among the meeting highlights:

  • Chair Nancy Gerber gave a report about the retirement of Dean of Faculty Affairs Sacha Bunge, the search committee for a replacement and Health Promotion and Wellness’ Gator Grub program.
  • The Senate approved a recommendation from the Executive Committee on a proposed revision to the All University Teacher Education Council.
  • The Senate approved a recommendation from the Curriculum Review and Approval Committee on a proposed revision of the B.A. in Journalism, Concentration in Print and Online Journalism.
  • The Senate approved a recommendation from the Curriculum Review and Approval Committee on a proposed revision of the B.A. in Journalism: Concentration in Photojournalism.
  • The Senate approved a recommendation from the Student Affairs Committee on a proposed resolution in support of honoring the City of San Francisco minimum wage.
  • The Senate approved a recommendation from the Executive Committee on a proposed revision of the Faculty Honors and Awards Committee.
  • Amy Kilgard, faculty director of the Center for Equity and Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CEETL), and Maggie Beers, executive director of Academic Technology, gave a presentation on CEETL progress and goals.

A complete list of action items from the meeting is available online.

College of Extended Learning open house, Jan. 17

The SF State community is invited to join the College of Extended Learning (CEL) for its Open House and Registration Fair on Thursday, Jan. 17, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Downtown Campus (835 Market Street, 6th Floor). Instructors, campus partners and staff will be available for questions, and students will be able to register for most classes at the event. This is a great opportunity to find out more about CEL’s professional development, online certificates and academic programs. You may also enroll in classes for your own career advancement. For more information, please visit the CEL website or contact Janet Alford at or (415) 817-4264.

In memoriam: Ludmila Ershov

Emerita Professor of Foreign Languages and Literatures Ludmila Ershov passed away in San Francisco on Nov. 28. Born to Mihail Duca, a Russified Romanian, and Lyubov Olovyankina of Kungur, Russia, in a French district of Shanghai in 1933, she was raised in Russian culture and attended Shanghai’s College Municipal Francais. With the coming of World War II, she found herself in a displaced persons camp in the Philippines and, later, Paris and the United States. Her master’s degree from San Francisco State was followed by a Ph.D. in Slavic languages and literatures from Stanford. She taught at SF State for 20 happy and fruitful years. In 1992 she established a summer study abroad program in St. Petersburg, and for 10 summers accompanied her students to Russia.

After retiring from SF State as a professor emerita, she donned a sarafan (a Russian folk dress) to help bring the old Russian settlement at Fort Ross alive for visitors. She was also a deft and inventive cook, and her holiday receptions, cooking lessons and impromptu aperitifs were keenly anticipated.

She is survived by her husband of 45 years, Peter Schwalbenberg, son Alex, daughter Maria, five grandsons and a great grandson.

Monday, Dec. 10

Recital: voice students: 1:10 p.m. in Knuth Hall, Creative Arts building

Tuesday, Dec. 11

Concert: SF State Jazz Choir: 7:30 p.m. in Knuth Hall, Creative Arts building

Wednesday, Dec. 12

LGBTQ Faculty/Staff and Allies Holiday Celebration: noon in Classroom 105, Mashouf Wellness Center

Recital: Chamber music ensembles: 1:10 p.m. in Knuth Hall, Creative Arts building

Future State 2035 — Public Forum on the Campus Master Plan: 5 p.m. in the Presidio Room of the Towers Conference Center

Comedy: “SFSU Live”: 5:30 p.m. in the Casablanca Room (CA 158)

The Best of Czechoslovak Cinema: “The Country Teacher”: 6:30 p.m. in the Coppola Theatre, Fine Arts building

Theatre: “Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles”: 7 p.m. in the Little Theatre, Creative Arts building

Concert: San Francisco State Orchestra and student music ensembles: 7:30 p.m. in Knuth Hall, Creative Arts building

Thursday, Dec. 13

Women’s basketball: 5:30 p.m. in the Main Gym

Paralegal Studies online information session: 6:30 p.m., online

Theatre: “Medea”: 7 p.m. in the Little Theatre, Creative Arts building

Men’s basketball: 7:30 p.m. in the Main Gym

Opera Scenes Workshop: “Rebel with a Cause”: 7:30 p.m. in Knuth Hall, Creative Arts building

Friday, Dec. 14

Computer Music Class Concert: 1:10 p.m. in Knuth Hall, Creative Arts building

Theatre: “Mojada: A Medea in Los Angles”: 7 p.m. in the Little Theatre, Creative Arts building

Saturday, Dec. 15

Gospel Gators Fall Concert: 6 p.m. in the Student Event Center (Annex 1)

Lee talks “model minorities”

Associate Professor of Asian American Studies Jonathan Lee spoke on the subject “Asian Americans as ‘Model Minorities’: History, Development and Implications” at a meeting of Cisco Systems’ Connected Asian Affinity Network in San Francisco Dec. 6. Lee’s $3,000 honorarium was donated to the West County Mandarin School PTA.

Lukas shares thoughts on Hanukkah

An opinion piece by Assistant Professor of Creative Writing Michael David Lukas, “The Hypocrisy of Hanukah,” recently appeared in The New York Times. The essay examines Lukas’ mixed feelings about the holiday, which he calls “an eight-night-long celebration of religious fundamentalism and violence.” “According to most modern scholars — and a few rabbis I called on to help me out — the story of Hanukkah is based on a historical conflict between the Maccabees and the Hellenized Jews, the former being religious zealots who lived in the hills of Judea and practiced an ancient form of guerrilla warfare, the latter being mostly city-dwelling assimilationists who ate pork, didn’t circumcise their male children and made the occasional sacrificial offering to pagan gods,” he writes. “Some of the details are up for debate, depending on which texts you consult. But everyone agrees that the Maccabees won out in the end and imposed their version of Judaism on the formerly Hellenized Jews. So Hanukkah, in essence, commemorates the triumph of fundamentalism over cosmopolitanism.” You can read the whole essay here.

Gross takes stock of Crisco

Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies Rachel Gross was quoted in an NPR story about the surprising connection between Hanukkah and Crisco. The article examines how the makers of Crisco learned to cater to Jewish immigrants, a natural audience for a vegetable-based cooking product with no dairy or meat ingredients that would conflict with traditional dietary restrictions. “They're trying to figure out how to be American and Jewish,” Gross said of the immigrants. For many, part of being American meant using American products — and frying their Hanukkah latkes in Crisco. The full article is available here.

Eliason featured in NIH video

Department of Health Education Professor Mickey Eliason was featured in a video by the All of Us Research Program, a National Institutes of Health effort to gather health data from as broad a sampling of the populace as possible. The video focuses on overcoming health care obstacles faced by the LGBTQI community. “The lack of data has been a major problem for a number of years,” Eliason says in the video. “It’s really only been in the last 10 years or so that the big health systems, the surveys that go out to people nationwide, have included any questions about sexual orientation. Only have a handful have any questions about gender identity.” The video can be watched on YouTube here.

Podcast appearance for Rabelo

Assistant Professor of Management Veronica Rabelo was recently interviewed for a Harvard Business School podcast called “Women at Work.” Titled “Sisterhood is Power,” the episode focused on how race and gender affect workplace relationships. “Sisterhood doesn’t mean we’re the same. It doesn’t mean our struggles are the same. It doesn’t even mean that we have to like each other,” Rabelo said. “But it is about viewing our struggles as interconnected and this willingness to learn from each other’s experiences and not throw each other under the bus.” You can hear the episode in its entirety here.

New role for Kumar

Associate Professor of Marketing Minu Kumar has been selected to be the next vice president of academics for the Product Development and Management Association (PDMA). PDMA’s members include product development and management practitioners, academics and service providers in a variety of industries and knowledge areas, including innovation strategy, portfolio management, new product processes, product design and market research. It is the largest global organization of product development managers, with close to 30,000 members. Kumar will be responsible for all of PDMA’s academic initiatives, including its Doctoral Consortium, Dissertation Proposal Competition and Research Forum.