May 21, 2018

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Emeritus Luncheon

Emeritus/emerita faculty recognized

This year’s new emeritus and emerita faculty members were honored at a luncheon in the Vista Room on Thursday, May 10. Hosted by Provost Jennifer Summit, the event included opening remarks by President Les Wong and certificate presentations by representatives of the University’s colleges, the Library, the Division of Student Affairs and Athletics.

“It’s you they remember when students leave SF State,” Summit told the honorees. “And when they stop remembering your name, they’ll remember what you changed in them.” Forty faculty members who have completed 10 or more years of service to the University were made emeritus/emerita faculty.

A full list of the honorees is available here.

Students at Commencement

Student Commencement speakers named

Two students — Angela Torres, who will receive a graduate degree in education, and Arianna Vargas, who will receive undergraduate degrees in both Latina/Latino studies and health education — will be the featured student speakers at this Thursday’s Commencement ceremony. Each honoree has uniquely impacted society through career and public service.

Vargas is a vocal advocate for youth, focusing on the rights and needs of underrepresented youth of color and issues of public health in underserved communities. Her many achievements add up to a pattern of leadership and advocacy for progressive change and community empowerment that reflects the core values of the College of Ethnic Studies. 

As she graduates with her master’s degree in education, Torres jokes that she has spent 19 years here — first getting her undergraduate degree, then earning a teaching credential and now her master’s degree — with breaks in between to teach high school math for 10 years. In her ongoing work for the San Francisco Unified School District, Torres has helped reform the teaching and learning of mathematics.

Torres credits SF State with affording her a first look at social justice and the ways specific systems perpetuate inequities for some races and cultures. Through her work, she wants to ensure that underrepresented minorities have the opportunity to be successful.

Read more about SF State’s 117th Commencement.

staff member working out

Toning up as the campus quiets down

With summer on the way, both Fit Plus and the Mashouf Wellness Center are introducing programs aimed at helping staff and faculty get fit.

A Department of Kinesiology wellness program, Fit Plus will start a new set of fitness classes exclusively for faculty and staff members on Monday, June 4. For more information on options and registration, go to or send an email to

Beginning today, the Mashouf Wellness Center is offering staff and faculty members a special price of $99 for a summer membership running through August 26. To learn more, visit or send an email to

CampusMemo summer schedule

Today’s edition of CampusMemo will be the last of the spring semester. During the summer, CampusMemo will be published twice: on June 18 and July 16. Regular weekly publication will resume on Aug. 13.

Spring Cleanup on the way

Facilities Services invites departments to clear out unwanted junk during its 2018 Spring Cleanup. Large and bulky items, electronic waste and hazardous waste can all be dealt with free of charge. Full details and directions for submitting a service request are available online here.

Online Directory update

On Friday, May 11, Information Technology Services (ITS) updated the SF State Online Directory that is accessed here. This change automatically populated the field for an employee’s phone number with their SF State-issued number. Prior to the change, employees self-reported their phone number and were required to manually update the number if it changed. Users are no longer able to manually update the number or hide it on the SF State Gateway Profile page. Missing or incorrect phone numbers cause problems if an employee needs to be reached, especially in an emergency.

Faculty invited to develop first-year seminars

Are you a faculty member who’s thought about turning your passion into a first-year experience that connects with students and with issues in your discipline? If so, consider working with your colleagues to develop a first-year seminar.

In fall 2019, SF State will offer first-year seminars to new first-year students. First-year seminars will meet the Area E General Education requirement and are intended to be small courses with written assignments centered on the development of students’ voices. Through a first-year lens, students will be introduced to concepts related to lifelong learning and self-development, including identity, social justice and well-being. Assignments will culminate in a digital or print portfolio.

Tenured and tenure-track faculty are invited to participate in a summer and fall 2018 learning community focused on development of a first-year seminar course. Through this learning community, faculty will work with colleagues across campus and reflect on the first-year experience at SF State while creating innovative “dream courses” that meet the Area E General Education requirement. Faculty will receive $1,000 for their participation.

Interested? Fill out the application form online.

CEL's San Francisco Discover Program returns

The College of Extended Learning (CEL) will roll out its second San Francisco Discover Program this summer, with students attending from around the world. San Francisco Discover is an English language and culture program that uses San Francisco as its classroom. The four-week program combines language study at the Downtown Campus with excursions throughout the city. Students will learn how San Francisco emerged as a global center of entrepreneurship and innovation as they practice their English skills.

In addition to San Francisco Discover, the English for Academic Preparation program will run for the 57th year this summer. This program enrolls hundreds of international students each year and prepares them for admission to SF State and other universities by advancing their proficiency in English and acclimatizing them to campus life in the United States. Visit the SF Discover and English for Academic Preparation webpage for more information about these CEL programs.

Mashouf hosts SF State Kids Camp

SF State Kids Camp is a summer camp program for kindergarten- to fifth-grade children. Based in the Mashouf Wellness Center, the program will offer recreation, field trips and learning activities from June 11 through July 27, with each week having its own theme. You can learn more online here or by attending a parent orientation event Thursday, June 7. For details, email or call Andrew Hoffer, Kids Camp coordinator, at ext. 5-2874

Reminder: the Sailing and Paddling Program is back

SF State’s summer Sailing and Paddling Program sets sail Monday, June 11. Intended for kids ages 8 to 15, the program offers opportunities to master sailing, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding.

  • Dates: weekdays June 11 through July 27
  • Times: morning paddling 9 a.m. to noon, afternoon sailing 1 to 4 p.m.

Camps are basic, intro-level classes, but all skill levels are welcome. For more information, send an email to

Academic Senate report and agenda

The Academic Senate met Tuesday, May 8, in the Nob Hill Room of the Seven Hills Conference Center. Among the meeting highlights:

The senate approved:

  • Senator Sally Passion, associate professor of biology, informed the Senate of an upcoming event from the Department of Biology: the Personalized Medicine Meeting, May 31.
  • A resolution in recognition of Guido Krickx, dean of the College of Extended Learning, was read into the record.
  • A resolution in recognition of Linda Oubré, dean of the College of Business, was read into the record, and Oubré addressed the Senate.
  • A resolution in recognition of Kenneth Monteiro, former dean of the College of Ethnic Studies, was read into the record, and Monteiro addressed the Senate.
  • The 2018 Distinguished Faculty Awards were presented.

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

Estate planning seminar brown bag lunch, June 5

Please bring your lunch on Tuesday, June 5, from noon to 1 p.m. to hear local West Portal estate planning attorneys Deidre Von Rock and Nora Aponte-Woodring discuss the importance of having a will or living trust to provide for and protect your family and loved ones. Learn how the new tax laws will affect your plan and what steps to take to make sure everything you already have is up to date. All staff and faculty are welcome. The event will be hosted by University Development in ADM 153L. Space is limited, so RSVP to Director of Planned Giving Steve Kelton at or ext. 5-3546.

SF State Women's Coalition lunch meeting, June 6

The next SF State Women's Coalition meeting will be held Wednesday, June 6 in LIB 121 from noon to 1 p.m. Bring your lunch if you like, meet new colleagues, network, connect and empower our community.

Summit contemplates contemplation

Provost Jennifer Summit is the co-author of a new book from the University of Chicago Press. “Action versus Contemplation: Why an Ancient Debate Still Matters,” co-written with Stanford Professor of English Blakey Vermeule, explores whether it’s better to contemplate the world (as Aristotle argued) or to actively engage with it.

Roberts opens up about open spaces

Nina Roberts, professor of Recreation, Parks, & Tourism, presented a plenary session at the annual Bay Area Open Space Council on May 10. Her keynote talk followed the morning welcome by former Director of the National Park Service Jon Jarvis. Roberts presented her work titled "Beyond barriers: Challenges and opportunities for parks and open space" in which she shared strategies for engaging communities as well as suggestions for recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce.

McBride's new book has star power

"How Did Lubitsch Do It?" by Professor of Cinema Joseph McBride received a prestigious starred review from Publishers Weekly. The review called the book (which examines the career of director Ernst Lubitsch) McBride's "best book yet" and "a nuanced, thorough look at an important artist and his art."

No summer (or fall) break for Davis

Assistant Professor of Theatre & Dance/ Musical Theatre Mark Allan Davis has a busy summer ahead. As a CSU International Programs selectee from SF State, he will attend the International Faculty Partnership Seminar at the University of Ghana in Legon in June along with 22 other CSU faculty. He’ll also travel to Tennessee to direct productions of “Raisin,” the rarely produced musical adaptation of Lorraine Hansberry’s theatrical masterpiece “A Raisin in the Sun,” and “Mahalia,” a musical biography of gospel legend Mahalia Jackson, for which he is also dramaturg. These productions are presented by Memphis’ Hattiloo Theatre, a premier black-owned and operated theatre company. In the fall, besides nurturing the talents of the students in the School of Theatre & Dance here at SF State, Davis will be choreographing the play “Church” by Young Jean Lee at the Crowded Fire Theatre and then directing and adapting “Cinderella” as part of African-American Shakespeare Company’s holiday presentations. And as if he weren’t busy enough: Look out for his Mbongi Talk in October 2018.

Kakar critiques Airbnb

An SF State study that found that Latino and Asian Airbnb hosts in San Francisco priced their rentals significantly lower than Caucasian hosts recently inspired a segment on the NPR program “Marketplace.” SF State Assistant Professor of Economics Venoo Kakar, one of the authors of the study, was interviewed for the show. “If you look at it, peer-to-peer e-commerce has experienced a shift from the online marketplace being anonymous to it becoming characterized by personalization of buyers and sellers online,” Kakar said. “This personalization includes by review, personal pictures and profiles and other biographical information that is intended to reduce the perceived purchaser’s risk or to facilitate trust in the sellers. This entire phenomenon has made the marketplace very susceptible to traditional market failures, including potential racial discrimination.”

French toast for Kuchins

Noah Kuchins, assistant director for study abroad in the Office of International Programs, was awarded Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques (Order of Academic Palms) by the French Consulate in San Francisco on May 9. This is a national order of France given for major contributions to French national education and culture. Kuchins was awarded this honor for his work to promote international exchange programs between France and the U.S. SF State currently exchanges students with over 20 institutions in France, including Institut d'études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po), a distinguished French institution that counts among its alumnae seven of the last eight French presidents, and the Paris University System, including the famous Sorbonne University. Kuchins has dedicated his professional career to promoting and administering accessible and affordable student abroad programs for the diverse population of SF State students. He is a proud SF State alum and former study abroad student to France. This fall, SF State will send over 300 students on study abroad programs, including 43 students to France.

Owens Viani on why the coast isn’t toast

Strategic Marketing and Communications News Writer Lisa Owens Viani is one of the authors of the paper “Cherishing the Coast: California Goes Long,” which was recently published in the Golden Gate University Environmental Law Journal. The paper looks at the California Coastal Conservancy (a state agency that tries to protect coastal areas while enhancing access to them) and its proactive approach to coastal zone management.