February 12, 2018

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University tackles public teacher shortfall

California has a serious teacher shortage in its public schools, and with the state’s population becoming increasingly ethnically diverse, there is an urgent need for more teachers who represent that diversity. The Graduate College of Education is addressing these challenges head-on. With a grant from the California State University chancellor's office the college is reaching out to high school students in underrepresented groups in the Bay Area as part of its Building Bridges for Educator Equity program.

"We want students of color — African Americans, Asian Pacific Islanders, Latinos — to be able to see teachers like them in front of them. I want people who are out as LGBT in front of students so students can see themselves in that teacher, and people with disabilities who are open about it, so that students with disabilities can see themselves in that teacher,” said Robert Williams, associate dean of San Francisco State University's Graduate College of Education.

Learn more about other University initiatives that address the teacher shortfall. .


Andrew J. Polsky

Next provost candidate coming to campus

Andrew J. Polsky will be the second of four candidates for provost and vice president for Academic Affairs to come to SF State for public forums. Polsky is the Ruth and Harold Newman Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences at Hunter College of the City University of New York (CUNY) and a professor of political science at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, CUNY. He will attend an open forum Friday, Feb. 23. An 11 a.m. to noon forum will be open to faculty members, while a 3 to 4 p.m. forum will include students, the general campus and community stakeholders. Both forums will be held at the Nob Hill room of the Seven Hills Conference Center. Polsky will open with a 15- to 20-minute presentation, which will be followed by discussion and questions.

Polsky joined the Hunter College faculty in 1984, twice serving as chair of the Political Science Department before becoming dean in 2013. A scholar of American political development, he has written and edited several books on the subject and served as editor of the journal Polity from 2005 to 2010. An in-depth profile of Polsky is available online.

The other candidates will be on campus Feb. 26 and 27.

Click here to learn more.


Cigarette butt

Campaign seeks tobacco awareness advocates

Health Promotion and Wellness is looking for volunteers to support efforts to educate the campus community about the Office of the Chancellor's Executive Order 1108, which calls for smoke- and tobacco-free campuses throughout the CSU system. Through the 30 People 30 Day Campaign, faculty, staff, administrators or students can attend a training to learn how to be active bystanders and speak to tobacco, nicotine and cannabis users on campus and refer them to resources for support if they are interested.

Participants must attend one training and complete a minimum of two hours of campus rounds to receive a 30 People 30 Day Campaign certificate. The 30 People 30 Day Campaign will start Wednesday, Feb. 14, and end with a campus-wide event celebrating National Kick Butts Day on Wednesday, March 14, in Malcom X Plaza from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you are interested in participating or would like to offer extra credit to your students for taking part, contact Health Educator (Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drugs) Emily Hops, Health Educator (Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drugs).

30 People 30 Day trainings will be held:

  • Monday, Feb. 19, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., LIB 121
  • Tuesday, Feb. 20, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., LIB 244
  • Monday, Feb. 26, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., LIB 121
  • Friday, March 2, noon to 1 p.m., LIB 244
  • Monday, March 5, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., LIB 121
  • Friday, March 9, noon to 1 p.m., LIB 244
  • Monday, March 12, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., LIB 244

Retirement Association offers faculty travel grants

The San Francisco State University Retirement Association (SFSURA) encourages faculty to apply for its 2018 travel grant awards. The awards are for travel between May 1 of this year and May 1, 2019. Grants will have a maximum value of $500. SFSURA expects to fund up to five grants, and recipients will be notified by May 1. Professional development is the major grant criterion, with preference given to participation/presentation at a conference or workshop, attendance at an institute or other activities that can demonstrate value to students and others in the SF State community. Faculty appointed .4 or more and FERPs are eligible. MPP personnel and adjunct faculty are not eligible.

The application form and travel grants policy are available on the Retirement Assosciation website. The deadline is April 1. Submit applications via email to:


Associate vice president for CPDC candidate campus visits

The search committee has announced dates for the campus visits of candidates for associate vice president of Capital, Planning, Design and Construction (CPDC). The candidates will make a 15- to 20-minute presentation, which will be followed by discussion and questions. There will be three candidates, with one open forum for each, all in LIB 244:

  • Ashraf Fouad, Feb. 14, 2 to 3 p.m.
  • Chris Hornbeck, Feb. 28, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
  • Barry Jodatian, March 1, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

The associate vice president of CPDC provides leadership in ensuring that the aesthetic character and quality of campus development reflects campus aspirations and best practices in planning, urban design, architecture and landscape development; oversees all physical planning, development, design and construction; and coordinates implementation of the University's five-year Capital Outlay Program. For more information on the role CPDC plays in furthering SF State's mission, visit the CPDC website.


CEETL launches Open Classrooms Initiative

The Center for Equity and Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CEETL) invites everyone teaching this semester to open a classroom to one to three faculty colleagues during the week of April 2-6. The "Open Classrooms: Teaching as a Specta(c)tor Sport" initiative is designed to provide an opportunity for faculty members to share their teaching in a celebratory way.

Click here to learn more or sign up to participate.


CEL, PACE team up for nonprofit management sessions

Got a passion for social justice or the arts? Join other aspiring activists and arts managers by registering for the Nonprofit Management Information Sessions through the College of Extended Learning (CEL). The sessions will be held online Friday, Feb. 16, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and at the Downtown Campus on Thursday, Feb. 22, from 6 to 7 p.m. RSVP online.

Developed in partnership with Public Affairs and Civic Engagement (PACE), this program offers a wide variety of individual classes that you can build into a certificate. Learn about all aspects of running a nonprofit, from fundraising to creating the best board of directors to implement your vision. It's just one of many College of Extended Learning programs that expand the reach of the University’s mission.


Spotlight students in the Year in Review video

Want to show off SF State students representing your academic department? Academic Technology videographers want to capture your students in action for the annual Year in Review video, a moving and inspiring moment that holds the undivided attention of some 40,000 attendees expected to fill AT&T Park for Commencement. In preparation, Academic Technology is seeking opportunities to capture footage of students engaged in scholarship, research, community service and other activities that make up the SF State student experience. Send ideas and suggestions for upcoming opportunities to film students in action to iteach@sfsu.edu. Someone from the video team will follow up to make arrangements.


Faculty award for excellence in service learning

Each year, the Institute for Civic & Community Engagement (ICCE) recognizes SF State faculty who have conducted exceptional engagement with the community through service learning as a teaching method. One award of $1,000 will be granted to an eligible faculty member. Funds will be transferred to the faculty member's department and can be used for the purchase of equipment and supplies. Colleagues, department chairs and/or college deans may nominate faculty for this award. Nominations must be submitted online by March 1.


Children's Campus preschool slot open

Children's Campus has a full-time opening for a 4-year-old in its preschool classroom. Children's Campus prioritizes SF State faculty and staff members, and faculty and staff receive discounted tuition. If you are interested in enrolling a child, call ext. 5-4011 or email Rosie Schoen at rosebud@sfsu.edu.


Tax help available

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA) is a free tax preparation service provided for taxpayers with earnings under $54,000. VITA is open Tuesday through Friday, 12:30 to 6:30 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Need tax help? You can drop in or make an appointment by calling ext. 8-1079 or sending email to vitacoord.sfsubap@gmail.com.


Academic Senate report

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

  • The senate heard a report from Ann Sherman, vice president - Administration and Finance, and Jeny Patino, executive director - Housing, Dining & Conference Services, on housing data and strategies to provide accessible and cost-effective housing for the campus community.
  • Christine Miller, chair of the Academic Senate of California State University (ASCSU), reported on the efforts of the ASCSU, with particular attention given to the passage of a resolution on Associated Students' Project Rebound.
  • The senate unanimously passed the recommendation from the Curriculum Review and Approval Committee on proposed changes to the M.S. in interdisciplinary marine and estuarine sciences.
  • The senate unanimously passed the recommendation from the Curriculum Review and Approval Committee on a proposed minor in computing applications.
  • The senate discussed the recommendation from the Academic Policies Committee on proposed revision to the withdrawal from courses policy.

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


Coffee with a Cop, Feb. 15

The campus community is invited to join officers from the University Police Department for a "Coffee with a Cop" event Thursday, Feb. 15. Cafe 101 will provide the coffee from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Cesar Chavez Student Union's plaza level. Come for the java, stay to meet the officers who help keep campus safe.


First-Year Experience Initiative open house, Feb. 28

The campus community is invited to attend a First-Year Experience Initiative open house from 2 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 28. Participants will learn about the recommendations from the 2016-2017 Foundations of Excellence (FoE) First-Year self-study, hear updates on the First-Year Experience Initiative, meet key partners from the First-Year Experience committees and have the opportunity to share their own experiences and offer feedback. The open house will be held in LIB 286. Light snacks and refreshments will be available.


"CSL 101" workshop, March 2

ICCE wants to help you learn about Community Service Learning (CSL) and how to integrate this high-impact practice into your courses. ICCE's "CSL 101" workshop will cover the nuts and bolts of creating a new CSL course or turning a current one into a CSL-related class. There will be a brief introduction to ICCE and CSL, information on how CSL contributes to student success and an overview of resources available to faculty and lecturers to support their teaching, research and service opportunities. Light refreshments will be served. Register online now. Space is limited. For more information, contact ICCE Faculty Director Nina Roberts at nroberts@sfsu.edu or ext. 8-6473.

Kakar urges calm on stock dip

Following a stock market plunge that erased the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s gains for the year, Assistant Professor of Economics Venoo Kakar spoke with KRON4 News about how to interpret the event. "The main thing here is not to panic," she explained, emphasizing that the economy looks strong and that this was simply a "normal bull market correction."


Cohen talks Bowl branding

Lecturer of Marketing Neil Cohen talked with Los Angeles radio station KNX-AM about this year's Super Bowl ads from a branding and marketing perspective. The verdict? Dodge's controversial MLK-quoting ad was a dud, and Tide's creative series was a winner. Cohen also discussed the high cost and production value of the ads and how companies get more value out of ads by letting people access them online afterwards.


Owens Viani gives a hoot

Strategic Marketing and Communications News Writer Lisa Owens Viani will be inducted into the World Owl Hall of Fame at the 2018 International Festival of Owls in Houston, Minnesota. Owens Viani is being honored for her work to educate the public about the dangers of rat poison to birds of prey. Thanks to her advocacy through the nonprofit Raptors are the Solution (RATS), 28 California cities have passed anti-rodenticide regulations.


A Jassen of all trades

Assistant Professor of Music, renowned violinist and pilot Jassen Todorov was featured in Yahoo News for his aerial photography over Iceland. The striking shots, which depict glacial rivers flowing through volcanic silt, come from flyovers in 2015 and 2016. As Todorov puts it, "They look more like abstract art than actual rivers."


Ryan discusses LGBT youth

Family Acceptance Project Director Caitlin Ryan spoke with the NPR station WHYY about the negative impacts of families rejecting children because of their sexual and gender identities. LGBT youth who experience rejection from their families, she explained, are more likely to be depressed, to use drugs and to be homeless.


BECA faculty members snag video awards

Assistant Professor of Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts Oscar Guerra received two awards from the Broadcast Education Association. His film "Open Chest Simulation" won an Award of Excellence in the Educational or Instructional category. His video "Estacion de mi Gente: Tito Fuentes," produced with Lecturer of Broadcast Communication Arts Antonio Ayala and alumnus Paul Hodges, won a Best of Competition award in the Short Form Sports Video category.