September 4, 2018

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Zhaoshu Jiang

Zhaoshuo Jiang lands CSU honor

Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering Zhaoshuo Jiang is one of the winners of the CSU’s new Faculty Innovation and Leadership Award. Launched this year, the award recognizes faculty members at CSU universities who contribute to student success through innovative teaching practices, course design and redesign and other support programs. The honor comes with a $15,000 award to support Jiang’s continued novel educational efforts.

Jiang will be honored along with 25 other awardees at the third annual Graduation Initiative 2025 Symposium in San Diego for his contribution to student success. To learn about the innovations and collaborations that won him the award, click here.

Students in labcoats holding a science tube

University launches biotech MBA

The College of Business has launched its first MBA for biotech professionals in partnership with the City of South San Francisco. Classes began last week in South San Francisco’s City Hall. A major hub for the biotech industry, with companies like Genentech, JLABS and Amgen calling it home, the city approached San Francisco State in January 2017 about creating a program to support the professional development of emerging leaders in the field.

“By bringing our outstanding curriculum to one of the nation’s biotech centers, we will train the future leaders and innovative thinkers of this transformative industry,” said SF State President Leslie E. Wong

Before creating the MBA program, University and city officials conducted focus groups and consulted with members of the California Life Sciences Association, an industry organization with members in leadership positions in major biotech companies. The resulting program offers graduate-level courses such as leadership and organizational change that are typical of most MBA curricula, but features modifications specifically tailored to the biotech industry. According to SF State Marketing Professor Sanjit Sengupta, who serves as faculty director of the University’s graduate business programs, the ideal applicants include scientists involved in clinical research at large or small biotech companies.

“Our target candidates are scientists who aspire to leadership roles where they could be supervising teams of researchers,” Sengupta said.


Cinema Students with a Camera

School of Cinema named one of the nation’s best

For the fifth year in a row, The Hollywood Reporter’s annual list of the nation’s premier film programs included SF State. The film industry trade publication ranked the University 21st on its 2018 “Top 25 American Film Schools” list. SF State was 22nd on last year’s list.

“What's attracting more applicants isn't just the school's broad curriculum covering everything from theory to production but also its San Francisco-y attitude about filmmaking and creativity,” the Hollywood Reporter write-up said. To see the listing in its entirety, click here.

New associate deans announced 

SF State has three new associate deans: Associate Dean of Academic Programs and Learning Ronald Marzke; Associate Dean, Faculty Affairs and Professional Development Todd Roehrman; and Interim Associate Dean of the College of Business Denise Kleinrichert.

Ron Marzke joined SF State in 2000 as a member of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, where he has taught courses ranging from introductory physics for non-majors to graduate courses in Big Bang cosmology. He is an observational astronomer who leads research programs at major observatories around the world (and, in the case of the Hubble Space Telescope, in orbit). He served the Department of Physics and Astronomy as associate chair from 2011 to 2016 and chair from 2016 to 2018.

Todd Roehrman has been at SF State for over 20 years in a variety of teaching and leadership roles, including professor, director of the School of Theatre and Dance, interim director of the School of Design, Academic Senate member, chair of the Faculty Affairs Committee and associate dean in the College of Liberal and Creative Arts. He will be overseeing the implementation of faculty-related policies and practices and will be promoting all aspects of faculty professional development.

Denise Kleinrichert, professor of management/ethics and director of the Center for Ethical and Sustainable Business (CESB), has been with the College of Business since Fall 2007. She has focused her academic teaching and research career in the areas of business ethics and compliance, corporate social responsibility, sustainability and social entrepreneurs. She teaches undergraduate and MBA seminar courses and has chaired CESB’s annual Business Ethics Week as well as five Summer High School Student Sustainability Camps. She is also founder of the Ethics & Compliance Workshop series.

I-9 employment verification process

As of Monday, Aug. 27, the I-9 verification process is taking place at the Student Services Building OneStop, Window 2, during the following hours: 9 to 10 a.m. and 2 to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to noon Fridays. Questions? Send a message to the office of the Dean of Students.

Over-the-counter medicine at SHS

Did you know that staff and faculty can purchase reasonably priced over-the-counter products and medications at the Student Health Services Pharmacy? Check out a list of current products and prices online. All you need is your ID number! Charges will go on your account and payment can be made at a later date at the Bursar's office.

Cycle September team gearing up

During Cycle September, organizations around the world will be competing to see who can get the most employees riding bikes. SF State will be taking part — and you can, too! Sign up online to join this free, fun, friendly competition. It doesn’t matter if you ride every day or you haven’t been on a bicycle in years — everyone is invited, and you only have to ride a bike for 10 minutes to help the SF State team. Register in 30 seconds at

Academic Senate meeting, Sept. 4

The Academic Senate will meet today from 2 to 5 p.m. in the Nob Hill Room of the Seven Hills Conference Center. An open-floor period from 2 to 2:10 p.m. will provide an informal opportunity to raise questions or make comments to Senate officers or University administrators. Please arrive promptly at 2 p.m. The agenda will include:

  • Election of at-large member to the Senate Executive Committee
  • Senate Standing Committee Assignments (consent item)
  • A visit from Vice President of Student Affairs & Enrollment Management Luoluo Hong for Title IX/Discrimination, Harassment & Retaliation (DHR) training for the Academic Senate

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

Upcoming webinars on iLearn and Zoom

Academic Technology and the Center for Equity and Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CEETL) are offering a series of webinars that introduce faculty members to iLearn and the Zoom web conferencing software.

iLearn Quickstart Webinar

Tuesday, Sept. 4, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
Get started with campus technologies and iLearn basics to make teaching and learning more interactive inside and outside the classroom. Register here.

Zoom Webinars

Thursday, Sept. 6, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., and Friday, September 14, noon – 1 p.m.
Experience hands-on time using Zoom’s online video conferencing to foster communication and collaboration with students, guest speakers, colleagues and more. Register here for the Sept. 6 webinar or here for Sept. 14.

Visit Academic Technology’s events page to learn more about upcoming events. For more information, email or call ext. 5-5550. Visit  for more information about Zoom Web Conferencing. 

Retention, tenure and promotion workshops, Sept. 12 – Oct. 3

The Office of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development invites you to participate in one of the following workshops to help prepare for retention, tenure and promotion. The workshops will be conducted by Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development Todd Roehrman and David Walsh, chair of the University Tenure and Promotions Committee.

Faculty members who are planning to be reviewed in the next several years are encouraged to attend. The workshops have been organized according to different phases of faculty professional development, but topics covered in each workshop will be similar, so feel free to attend the workshop that best fits your schedule.

Faculty in their first and second year retention review
Wednesday, Sept. 12, 10:30 a.m. - noon in LIB 244

Faculty preparing for promotion to full professor
Thursday, Sept. 13, 2 -3:30 p.m., location TBD

Faculty preparing for tenure and/or promotion to associate professor
Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2 - 3:30 p.m. in ADM 460

Faculty in their third, fourth, fifth year retention review
Wednesday, Oct. 3, 10:30 a.m. - noon via Zoom

RSVP online for your preferred session by clicking here.

Holistic Health Lecture Series, Sept. 10 – Dec. 10

The Institute for Holistic Health Studies and the Department of Health Education are sponsoring a Holistic Health Lecture Series open to all members of the University community. All three lectures scheduled for the fall semester will be given in SCI 101 from 7 to 8:15 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 10: Vision and Health for Life Through Self-Healing
Meir Schneider healed himself of congenital blindness and developed an original holistic approach to health. Come learn how you can improve your vision and how a holistic perspective may provide solutions for a variety of physical and visual disorders.

Monday, Oct. 15: Healing from Paralysis
Madhu Anziani used his knowledge of sound, energy (chi)​ and the healing power of the voice to completely recover from a traumatic injury that should have kept him wheelchair-bound for life. He’ll share the techniques he used to heal and transform himself. 

Monday, Dec. 10: Posture, Body Presence and Peace
The Alexander Technique is a time-honored method to improve posture, breath and movement. Alexander students learn how to use the mind to stop tension habits, gaining more freedom and control in life. At this lecture, certified Alexander teacher Elyse Shafarman will demonstrate how the technique can help with lower back pain, knee osteoarthritis and performance anxiety.

STS hub inaugural gathering, Sept. 13

The Science and Technology Studies (STS) hub is a dedicated space for the interdisciplinary study of science, technology and society. Meetings are held twice a semester to advance STS-related research through a works-in-progress format. Faculty, students and staff working in this area are invited to come for a welcome meeting to learn more and to discuss best dates and times for participation. The hub is co-convened by Department of Health Education Professor Laura Mamo and Women & Gender Studies Assistant Professor Martha Kenney and is supported by the staff and faculty at the Health Equity Institute.

This semester’s inaugural gathering will be held Thursday, Sept. 13, from noon to 1 p.m. at the Health Equity Institute Conference Room (HSS 361) in person or via ZOOM. Please bring your lunch. Send an RSVP to to receive the Zoom link or indicate that you plan to attend in person. (You’re also welcome if you forget to RSVP!)

Animal rights, human wrongs

Humanities and Liberal Studies Assistant Professor David M. Peña-Guzmán is one of the co-authors of “Chimpanzee Rights: The Philosophers’ Brief” (Routledge), which comes out Sept. 10. In the book, philosophers wrestle with the ethical and legal questions raised by keeping chimpanzees in captivity.

Tsuruta talks voting, wins applause

Professor of Africana Studies Dorothy Tsuruta was invited to participate as a speaker at the Interdisciplinary Social Sciences Conference in Granada, Spain this summer. On July 27, she presented her paper “Black American Womanists: We Voted for Her Not Him,” in which she discussed the historical struggle of black Americans for the vote and why black Americans take voting seriously and did so in the last presidential election, with 96 percent of African American women voting for Hillary Clinton. Tsuruta was recommended to be a main plenary speaker at the 2019 international conference, to be held in Mexico City next July.

A high price to low morals?

Professor of Management John Sullivan discussed new challenges faced by recruiters for large technology companies in a recent BuzzFeed article. According to Sullivan, concerns about the ethics of products and practices at major companies , such as selling facial recognition software that could play a role in ICE’s separation of immigrant families , might make it harder for them to attract the highly skilled, in-demand tech workers they need. “Recruiters don’t really track it, so they don’t have a data sheet saying, ‘We’re losing people because of this,’” said Sullivan. “They haven’t made the connection, but it’s certainly real.”

A president without precedent

Professor Emeritus Robert Smith discussed American foreign policy under President Donald Trump in a lengthy Tehran Times Q&A. Smith weighed in on a number of international issues, including Trump’s harsh criticism of NATO and many of America’s traditional allies. “Trump is a neophyte on the world stage who is used to blustering and bullying, so this is part of his personality in relationship to politics,” Smith said. “Yet it is difficult to understand his chilly relationship with say Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau or Germany’s Merkel compared to his rather effusive tone toward the leaders of Russia and North Korea. Perhaps he is trying to structure a new world order, but it could be that he does not know what he is doing or saying.”