January 29, 2018

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Mary Beth Love

HSS chair receives CSU honor

Professor and Department of Health Education Chair Mary Beth Love will receive the Wang Family Excellence Award for Outstanding Faculty Innovator for Student Success on Tuesday, Jan. 30. The award will be presented by California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White in recognition of Love's work co-founding and developing the groundbreaking Metro Academies College Success Program. The program, which redesigned the first two years of college to help underserved freshmen develop the tools they need to succeed in college, has led to a sharp improvement in retention and graduation rates of disadvantaged students.

Click here to read more.

Colorful flowers

Study cracks plant mystery

A study co-authored by Assistant Professor Kevin Simonin explains why everything's been coming up roses for eons. Somewhere between 120 and 150 million years ago, flowering plants started taking over the world, leading to the dazzling diversity of flowers we have today. According to Simonin and his collaborator, Adam Roddy at Yale University, flowering plants went through a major genome downsizing as they evolved. Smaller genomes means the option to make smaller cells. With those smaller building blocks, flowering plants can construct more complicated networks of veins and more pores in their leaves to draw in the carbon dioxide they need to make food.

Click here to read more.

Langston Hughes

SF State salutes Langston Hughes with jazz

The Poetry Center is celebrating poet Langston Hughes on the date of his birth with an evening of original music and poetry. Saxophonist and poet Lewis Jordan will perform with his Lewis Jordan Trio, and there will be readings of Hughes' groundbreaking poetry. The event -- free and open to the campus community -- will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 1, at the Poetry Center (HUM 512).

Click here to read more.

Mohammad Kowsar

In memoriam: Mohammad Kowsar

It is with tremendous sadness that the School of Theatre & Dance learned of esteemed Professor Mohammad Kowsar's untimely passing on Sunday, Jan. 14. A vibrant force whose passion for theatre and teaching was infectious, Kowsar earned a B.A. in theatre arts from SF State in 1966 and joined the faculty in 1988.

"He was a dynamic presence on the faculty in the School of Theatre & Dance, in the classroom, the theatres and in the community," said Todd F. Roehrman, director of the School of Theatre & Dance. "His drive and exuberance inspired generations of students. His encyclopedic knowledge of dramatic literature, academic rigor and artistic vitality was in abundance in everything he touched, from his inspiring lectures to his thoughtful, heartfelt and stirring productions."

A memorial celebrating Kowsar's life, scholarship and achievements will be held in the Creative Arts Building's Little Theatre on Sunday, Feb. 4, at 2 p.m. A reception will follow. Please visit the Facebook page to R.S.V.P.

Schedule an iLearn Gradebook set-up session

Do you find the iLearn Gradebook confusing? Do your students ever complain about how iLearn is calculating their grades? Schedule an appointment with Academic Technology's instructional designers to set-up your iLearn Gradebook. Because every instructor's grading method is unique, Academic Technology recommends a one-on-one consultation with its staff to personalize your Gradebook set-up.

Request an iLearn Gradebook set-up session online.

Call for proposals: First Year Experience lecture series

As part of the campus-wide work to increase first year experience programming, faculty members are invited to submit proposals for a campus-wide lecture to first year students. First year students will be invited to attend and engage on content that introduces them to place in particular the city of San Francisco and/or SF State. Faculty will present a 15-minute lecture to an audience of first year students during the evenings or weekends in March or April. Lectures can be done at SF State or in San Francisco. Lectures should expand first year students' experience at SF State, build positive student-to-faculty relations and build affinity to the connections between their education, identities and the greater community. All first year students are invited to attend. Refreshments would be served.

The deadline to submit a lecture proposal is Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. Faculty selected will receive a $200 honorarium for their lecture. Register online if interested. You may also email First Year Experience Faculty Director Grace Yoo for more information.

Alcohol Clearance Request Form update

Faculty or staff wishing to hold events at which alcohol will be served are required to submit the University's Alcohol Clearance Request Form for approval by Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) and the University Police Department. The form has recently been updated. Any requests to serve alcohol at faculty or staff events should now be initiated by submitting the completed form directly to ERM for review and initial approval. ERM will then forward the form to the University Police Department for final approval. Requests for approval of the serving of alcohol at faculty and staff events now must be submitted no less than two weeks prior to any event.

The request form is now supplemented with informational tips to assist event hosts and servers better understand their responsibilities when serving alcohol at events. Also included with the updated request form is an Alcohol Incident Reporting form that will assist the host/server in capturing all relevant information related to any alcohol-related incidents. The new Alcohol Clearance Request Form will be required for all events occurring on or after Feb. 1, 2018. It can be downloaded from the ERM website.

Provost candidate campus visit dates announced

The Provost Search Committee has announced dates for the initial campus visits of candidates for provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. There will be two open forums each day:

  • 11 a.m. to noon for faculty
  • 3 to 4 p.m. for students, the general campus and community stakeholders

The dates on which the candidates will visit are:

  • Monday, Feb. 12
  • Friday, Feb. 23
  • Monday, Feb. 26
  • Tuesday, Feb. 27

All public visits will be held at the Nob Hill room in the Seven Hills Conference Center. The candidates will make a 15- to 20-minute presentation, which will be followed by discussion and questions. The candidates' profiles will be available at the venue for review.

Weekly faculty writing group

Professor of Biology Leticia Marquez-Magana and Dr. Alicia Fernandez, a professor of clinical medicine at UCSF, are excited to announce the start of a weekly faculty writing group this semester. The first meeting will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 31, from noon to 2 p.m. in the Soul Lab (Science Building, room 395). Participants are encouraged to bring lunch to enjoy while they write. Coffee and tea will be provided. Both Marquez-Magana and Fernandez will serve as hosts and have made themselves available for writing consultation, as well. Please contact Marissa Harris with any questions.

Black History Month kickoff, Feb. 1

On Thursday, Feb . 1, Project Rebound and the Black Unity Center will hold a Black History Month kickoff event from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in Jack Adams Hall. The event will feature a talk by Africana Studies Professor Emeritus Wade Nobles titled "Students and the Production of African-Centered Knowledge." All are invited.

Mbongi Talk with Darius Bost, Feb. 6

Mbongi Talks, the lunchtime discussion series sponsored by the Black Unity Center and the Department of Africana Studies, will present a lecture by Assistant Professor of Sexuality Studies Darius Bost on Tuesday, Feb. 6, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in LIB 121. Bost will speak on the topic "Black/Queer Optimism in the Early Era of AIDS." The lecture will be free and open to all.

“Chasing Coral” screening and “Ask a Scientist!,” Feb. 8

The Estuary & Ocean Science (EOS) Center at the Romberg Tiburon Campus will host a screening of the documentary "Chasing Coral" at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 8. The film follows efforts to document the phenomenon called "coral bleaching" -- a sign of mass coral death -- that has been accelerating around the world. The evening will also include an "Ask a Scientist!" session with Frances Wilkerson, a biological oceanographer who runs a phytoplankton ecology laboratory based at the EOS Center. Tickets for the event, which will be held at the Romberg Tiburon Campus' Bay Conference Center, are $9 and are available for purchase online.

Free Morrison Artists Series concert, Feb. 9

The Zephyros Winds ensemble will perform a free concert at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9, in the Creative Arts Building's McKenna Theatre. Works by Ligeti, Irving Fine and Mozart will be performed. The ensemble made its New York debut at the 2004 Mostly Mozart Festival and has since appeared at the nation's most prestigious concert venues, including the Library of Congress, Wolf Trap, Carnegie's Weill Hall, Dumbarton Oaks and Lincoln Center's Great Performers Series.

Professor Richard Festinger, artistic director of the Morrison Artists Series, will deliver a pre-concert talk at 7 p.m. in McKenna Theatre. Zephyros Winds will lead a master class with students from 2:10 to 4 p.m., Friday, Feb. 9, in Knuth Hall. The events are part of the Morrison Artists Series, the longest-running chamber music series in San Francisco and a program of SF State's Morrison Chamber Music Center.

Reserve your free seats online or call the SF State Box Office at ext. 8-2467.

Salute to Dean Monteiro, Feb. 11

The College of Ethnic Studies invites the campus community to attend a special celebration honoring the tenure of Dean Kenneth Monteiro and launching the college's 50th anniversary commemorations. The event will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 11, at the West Bay Conference Center, 1290 Fillmore Street. RVSP online. Questions? Contact the College of Ethnic Studies 50th anniversary office. The event is being funded by the University Corporation.

Ryan joins national LGTBQ advisory council

Caitlin Ryan, director of SF State's Family Acceptance Project, has joined the Biden Foundation's team as a member of the Advisory Council for Advancing LGBTQ Equality. The Biden Foundation's advisory councils comprise respected leaders, policy experts and advocates at the forefront of their fields. "Through this partnership and collaboration, we're making great strides toward a future where all Americans are equal in dignity and opportunity," Ryan said.

Baack on the job(s)

College of Business Management Professor Sally Baack was interviewed live on KCBS News Radio on Wednesday, Jan. 17, about the implications of the new corporate tax break for Apple and its employees and the announcement of 20,000 new jobs in the next five years.

Living with panic attacks

An essay about the impact of having panic disorder by English Language & Literature Lecturer Gila Lyons appeared in the Opinion section of the New York Times this week. "Panic disorder has defined and limited my life since I was a child," Lyons wrote. "Some years I am powerful and capable, teaching, enjoying electrifying relationships and travel. Other years I'm utterly felled, conscribed to my bed with shards of relationships, career and my health around me." Read the rest of Lyons' essay online.

Global climate change, local problems

Professor of Biology Katharyn Boyer spoke with the Marin Independent Journal about a tidal marsh restoration project underway in Richardson Bay. Boyer told the newspaper that the shoreline needs to be protected from erosion caused by climate change. "This is a result of increased carbon dioxide in our atmosphere," she said. "We are having melting of glaciers, we're having increased thermal expansion of water, it's causing waters to rise."