September 24, 2018

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SFSU Commencement

118th Commencement set for May 28

SF State’s 118th Commencement has been scheduled for Tuesday, May 28, 2019, at AT&T Park. The ceremony will be held at the downtown ballpark for the fifth consecutive year, and more than 30,000 graduates, family members and friends are expected to attend.

About 8,400 students received their undergraduate and graduate degrees during the May 2018 ceremony, when featured speaker, humanitarian and alumna Ramona Tascoe, M.D., urged them to actively care, participate and commit their lives to a cause. Other speakers included Arianna Vargas, the undergraduate speaker, and Angela Torres, the graduate speaker.

Information about the ceremony will be updated throughout the fall semester as additional information becomes available at

Michael Arcega sitting on one of his benches

Professor’s art a permanent fixture in Chinatown

In traditional Chinese arts and crafts, clouds are a symbol of luck and rejuvenation. They’ve certainly proved lucky for San Francisco State University Assistant Professor of Art Michael Arcega: Clouds inspired his designs for seven benches that were recently installed as part of a community beautification effort in Chinatown.

The colorful benches — part of a series Arcega titled “Auspicious Clouds | Heavy Fog” — can be found along Broadway near Columbus Avenue. The designs were picked to be part of the Broadway Chinatown Streetscape Improvement Project, a collaboration between the Chinatown Community Development Center, San Francisco City Planning, the Department of Public Works, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and the San Francisco Arts Commission. The fourth and final phase of the project, which included Arcega’s benches, focused on creating a safer and more pleasant experience for pedestrians featuring new paving, streetlights, trees and seating. The benches were installed along the Chinatown–North Beach corridor in August.

Go here to learn more about Arcega and his art.

Roger Elrod

New director of Student Health Services named

Following a competitive national search, Roger Elrod has been named the new director of Student Health Services (SHS). Elrod comes to SF State after more than 23 years’ experience supporting student success at institutions of higher education. Since 2002, he has served as the director of Student Health & Wellness at another sister campus, San Jose State University (SJSU). Additionally, while at SJSU, he served for 21 months as interim associate vice president for both Student Services and Campus Life. His first day on campus was Aug. 27.

The Division of Student Affairs extends warm thanks to Teresa Rebeiro for her leadership of SHS since September of 2016. During Rebeiro’s tenure as interim medical director, she contributed to another successful site visit and reaccreditation of the SHS; the repair, waterproofing and re-landscaping of the Student Health Center atrium; countless staff and provider searches; restoration of no-cost STI testing for all students; migration of the Student Health Information Management System to a HIPAA-compliant hosted environment; and implementation of student success-centered services. Effective August 27, she returned to her role as associate director in SHS.

SF State engineering programs receive ABET accreditation

For the first time since the establishment of SF State’s computer engineering program in 2004, all four of the School of Engineering’s undergraduate degree programs have been accredited by the Accreditation Board of Engineering & Technology (ABET). The accreditation this August makes the School of Engineering the only ABET-accredited, four-year engineering school in San Francisco.

“This is a seal of approval for our degree programs,” said Associate Director of the School of Engineering Ed Cheng, who led the accreditation effort. “It’s an indication of how we’ve grown and matured as a school and will also pave the way for more growth in the future.”

ABET is a nonprofit organization that evaluates the quality of engineering degree programs, ensuring that the programs are successfully preparing students for the workforce. Programs must meet certain criteria and rigorously track the success of their students and alumni to earn and maintain accreditation. An ABET accreditation carries weight with both potential students and employers as a mark of a program’s quality.

Three of SF State’s engineering programs — in mechanical, civil and electrical engineering — have been accredited in the past, but the newer computer engineering program received its first accreditation in this year’s assessment. This recognition is valid retroactively: Any SF State computer engineering student who graduated after Oct. 1, 2016, can say their degree comes from an ABET-accredited program.

University names director of annual giving

Brittany Yantos has been named director of annual giving, a newly reconfigured position within the Office of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving, within Advancement. Yantos joins SF State from her post as associate director of annual giving at National Louis University (NLU) in Chicago. Prior to NLU, Yantos worked in Annual Giving at the University of Chicago. She is an Ohio native and graduated from the University of Dayton, and recently completed an M.S. in written communication at NLU. Yantos will lead the reinvigoration and redesign of the University’s comprehensive annual giving program including the design, creation and execution of mail, email and social media campaigns in support of the SF State Fund and other annual giving opportunities in concert with Alumni Relations programs and initiatives.

Search begins for College of Ethnic Studies dean

Academic Affairs is conducting a search for the Dean of the College of Ethnic Studies. The position is to be filled by August 2019.

In April 2018, Academic Senate revised search committee policy S18-180. Please see the list of search committee members selected based on adherence to the policy. A detailed committee roster including the committee chair, complete position descriptions and application procedures will be available on the Academic Affairs website at as information becomes available.   

The search committee members include the following:

  • Lexi Adsit, Master Students in Ethnic Studies, Graduate Student Representative
  • Maggie Beers, Executive Director, Academic Technology              
  • Robert Keith Collins, Chair, American Indian Studies
  • Jeff Cookston, Professor, Psychology
  • Brigitte Davila, Lecturer, Latina/Latino Studies        
  • Jason Ferreira, Chair, Race and Resistance Studies (Co-Chair)     
  • Ifetayo Flannery, Assistant Professor, Africana Studies
  • Cynthia Grutzik, Dean, Graduate College of Education       
  • Katynka Martinez, Chair, Latina/Latino Studies
  • Dorothy Ross, Dean’s Office Assistant, Staff Representative                                                          
  • Jace Yokoyama-Teh, Race and Resistance Studies, Undergraduate Student Representative
  • Grace Yoo, Professor, Asian American Studies (Co – Chair)

Discontinuance proposals announced

Per Academic Senate Policy S12-177, the Educational Policies Committee (EPC) is required to inform the campus community of the following discontinuance proposals two weeks before Senate action. Any party interested in filing a response should send an email to Discontinuance has been proposed for:

  • Bachelor of Arts in English: Concentration in Individual Major
  • Bachelor of Arts in History: Honors Concentration
  • Bachelor of Arts in Technical and Professional Writing

Institutional Research director candidates to visit campus

Two candidates for the position of director of Institutional Research will be on campus these week. The first candidate will make a presentation today at 2 p.m. in ADM 157. The second will make a presentation on Tuesday, Sept. 25, at 2 p.m. in ADM 153L.

The director of Institutional Research position is a leadership role for institutional research whose functions are to provide information which supports institutional planning, policy formation, decision making and improvement. The position also oversees the data support for the student success and graduation initiatives, academic program review, accreditation processes, strategic planning and other strategic initiatives.

Fit Plus offering a free one-day trial for new members

As the Fall 2018 semester gets underway, Fit Plus, the health and wellness program for faculty and staff, has also begun. Fit Plus offers a variety of fitness classes for all fitness levels, including yoga, Pilates, strength training, Zumba and many more. Come during lunch, de-stress and have fun with your colleagues! A free one-day trial is available for new members to explore Fit Plus classes and facilities.

On Sept. 27, Fit Plus will hold its first mini health fair in the Library Faculty Commons from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Come explore different health practices through local alternative practitioners, including a holistic nutritionist, yoga life coach and sports doctor. Light snacks will be provided.

More information about Fit Plus, including a class schedule and contact information, can be found at

NIH human subject training certificates no longer accepted

SF State’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) will no longer accept National Institutes of Health (NIH) training certificates in human subject research as of Sept. 26 because the NIH is retiring its online trainings. The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs requires current (i.e., not expired) training certificates for all human subjects research protocols and for IRB approvals. For all new IRB submissions, complete the CITI human subjects trainings course at

For those who have taken the NIH trainings in the past, please update your certificates related to the ethical conduct of research training through CITI by August 1, 2019.

More information is available on the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs website.

SF State Women's Coalition lunch meeting, Oct. 3 

The next SF State Women's Coalition meeting will be held Wednesday, Oct. 3, in BUS 202 from noon to 1 p.m., with a workshop on anti-bullying by Assistant Professor of Management Verónica Rabelo and Communication Studies Lecturer Paloma Mathern. The workshop will cover effective conflict resolution, addressing abrasive behavior at work or in the classroom, standing up for yourself in the face of bullying and resources at SF State. The meeting is open to all faculty and staff. Bring your lunch if you like, meet colleagues and connect.

To get on the SFSU Women distribution list, please email

Open Enrollment 2019 open through Oct. 5

Open Enrollment is the annual opportunity for you to review your benefit plan elections to ensure they continue to meet your needs. Remember to update your benefits, if needed, and submit documentation prior to the closing date: Oct. 5. Any additions, changes or deletions you make will become effective Jan. 1, 2019. More information is available online.

Applications being accepted for Call to Service grants

The Institute for Civic and Community Engagement (ICCE) has announced the 2019 Call to Service grants for activities taking place during calendar year 2019 (Jan. 1–Dec. 15, 2019). Call to Service grants support SF State faculty and staff in providing service learning, community and civic engagement opportunities to students and in disseminating service learning knowledge, research and findings. Applicants may submit up to two proposals (though the proposals must be for two different categories). The deadline for proposals for all categories is Friday, Nov. 30, by 5 p.m.

Visit for more information and the online proposal submission form.

Reminder: new ergonomic self-assessment available soon

On Oct. 1, Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) will begin implementation of a new ergonomic self-assessment software tool, Work Safety Plus. Employees will be asked to take a quick online self-assessment of their workstations. The self-assessment is designed to assist with adjustments to make workstations more ergonomically friendly. Follow-up assessment will be provided to employees who are still experiencing workstation discomfort. To access the self-assessment tool, request a link by emailing or visiting the ERM Ergonomics homepage.

September is Educational Opportunity Program Month

In 2003, both houses of the California State Legislature passed a resolution praising the accomplishments of the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) in the CSU, UC and community college systems and declaring September EOP Month. Today the EOP, which works to boost enrollment and retention of students from historically underserved backgrounds, is still going strong at SF State. To learn more, visit

Reminder: SF State Benefits Fair, Sept. 25

Get health, dental and vision information and meet our on-campus partners dedicated to your wellness at the 2018 Benefits Fair, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Jack Adams Hall, Tuesday, Sept. 25. Participants who fill out an online survey beforehand will be eligible to win a prize. Visit, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “SF State Benefits Survey Raffle” to take part.

Silver Lining Lecture Series launch, Sept. 28

SF State and the San Francisco Department of Aging & Adult Services (DAAS) will hold the inaugural event in the new Silver Lining Lecture Series on Friday, Sept. 28, from noon to 4 p.m. in LIB 121. Built around the theme “Aging, Health and Wellness in San Francisco,” the event will kick off with an address by SF State Gerontology Advisory Council President Tom Berry. California State Senator Scott Wiener, chair of the Senate Human Services Committee, will offer a keynote speech. Information on the event’s other speakers and guest facilitators is available online.

Public Administration Program information session, Oct. 2

The Public Administration Program will host an information session for prospective students who are SF State employees. To be held Tuesday, Oct. 2, from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. in LIB 222, the session is designed for employees who are considering graduate school and are interested in the fee waiver benefit.

The goal of the Public Administration Program is to prepare people for responsible positions in the public sector. This includes positions in government but also in nonprofit organizations such as community development corporations, nonprofit social service agencies, planning and consulting organizations and activities of private firms in public affairs and public policy areas.

University Budget Committee meeting, Oct. 9

The University Budget Committee (UBC) will meet Tuesday, Oct. 9, from 10 a.m. to noon in ADM 560. The UBC is charged with providing the University president with advice and recommendations related to budget policy, planning and review. Meetings are open to the public, and there will be a 10-minute open forum period for interested members of the campus community to speak on budget and funding.

New paper for Reifschneider

Assistant Professor of Anthropology Meredith Reifschneider has published a new paper in the journal World Archaeology. The paper explores the effects of Danish colonial health care policy on enslaved people in St. Croix, Danish West Indies. Drawing on previous archaeological research on institutions and African Diaspora healthcare systems, the study examines how enslaved nurses negotiated the effects of top-down colonial medicine within the context of a plantation hospital at Estate Cane Garden. Archaeological findings indicate that nurses drew from a range of local plant and animal resources to provide care for their patients.

New book for Ásta

A new book by Department of Philosophy Professor Ásta, “Categories We Live By: The Construction of Sex, Gender, Race, and Other Social Categories,” was published in August by Oxford University Press. There will be a book launch at Alley Cat Books (3036 24th Street, San Francisco) on Friday, Oct. 12, from 7 to 9 p.m., with a short reading at 8 p.m. All are welcome.

New position for Carabez

Rebecca Carabez, associate professor of community/public health in the School of Nursing, has been appointed a commissioner for the San Mateo County Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Commission. The commission advises the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors as to the promotion of programs that foster the well-being and civic participation of LGBTQ individuals in the county. It provides outreach and support to at-risk and underserved LGBTQ populations within the county, including youth, communities of color, non-English speakers, older adults and immigrants and promotes transgender inclusion among private and public entities, including access to health care and to gendered spaces such as bathrooms and shelters.

New ink for Lee

Political Science Lecturer David Lee was quoted in a Diverse Issues in Higher Education article on the possible end of affirmative action and how it could affect the Asian American community. If Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed, the resulting rightward shift of the court’s rulings could quickly lead to rulings that strike down affirmative action programs. “I’ve seen first-hand how affirmative action has benefited the Asian American community, so I’m very concerned that a Kavanaugh Supreme Court with [John] Roberts as the chief justice will swing the court to the right,” said Lee. “I’m very concerned that [the court] will dismantle affirmative action.” Read the full article here.