August 12, 2019

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A diverse group of people standing in front of a tree

SF State, UCSF receive $14.8 million to tackle discrimination in science

SF State and the University of California, San Francisco have received a grant of $14.8 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue a program aimed at enhancing diversity in the biomedical sciences for an additional five years.

The initiative, SF BUILD (Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity), was created in 2014 as one of 10 NIH-funded BUILD programs across the country. Each tests a different approach for enhancing the diversity of biomedical science. SF BUILD stands out for its aim to pivot away from attempts to fix any perceived “deficits” of underrepresented students — the skills or training that they supposedly lack — and instead change the university environment to be more welcoming.

“We’re focusing on the ways we can make a change institutionally and the ways we can work with our faculty to change the lens of what can help our students from underrepresented groups succeed in science,” explained SF BUILD Assistant Director Audrey Parangan-Smith.

To achieve that, SF BUILD organizes and supports programs that reach every level of the University. Through one, faculty and staff train university instructors on how to avoid language that’s been shown to impact the performance of students from underrepresented groups. Through another, professors meet to discuss research on teaching so they can better serve their students. SF BUILD also supports a two-year student research training program and other mentorship programs as well as teams of researchers studying health disparities.

Read more about the efforts of SF State’s SF BUILD faculty, staff and student team members (pictured above).


Anucha Poh Maga standing in behind a motor scooter

Largest gift in University history expands research opportunities to undergrads

SF State junior Anucha Poh Maga has a great idea that could change the world: a conversion kit that would allow anyone with a motorcycle to easily transform it into a hybrid vehicle. The design student is developing a prototype that would work with the world’s most mass-produced motorbike, the Honda Super Cub.

“We’re seeing a projected shortage in fossil fuels, so this would be a stop-gap measure between fossil fuels and fully electric vehicles,” said Maga (pictured, left).

That might seem like an ambitious vision, but Maga’s project is getting a turbocharge from an exciting new fuel source of its own: $3,000 from the recently launched Marcus Undergraduate Research Fellowship. The fellowship — for undergraduates in San Francisco State’s College of Liberal & Creative Arts — was made possible by the George and Judy Marcus Funds for Excellence in the Liberal Arts, which was established with a $25 million gift from alums George and Judy Marcus in November. A panel of faculty experts chose Maga and nine other fellows for the inaugural awards, with projects including a documentary on transgender representation in film and an ethnographic study of the veteran experience at SF State.

“The projects are a real reflection of the social justice values of San Francisco State,” said Associate Dean of the College of Liberal & Creative Arts Troi Carleton, who oversees the grant program with faculty coordinators Joshua Singer, associate professor of Design, and Anastasia Smirnova, assistant professor of English.

The fellowship is only a part of the student research opportunities made possible by the George and Judy Marcus Funds for Excellence. Five students were also chosen for the Marcus Undergraduate Assistantship grants, which kicks off this fall. Students will assist faculty members with research on topics ranging from presidential agenda-setting to the differences between teasing and bullying.


Three members of ITS Management receive an award at the Cal State Tech Conference

ITS receives award at Cal State Tech Conference 

Information Technology Services (ITS) was presented with an award for Organizational Growth, Change & Leadership from the Chancellor’s Office at a Cal State Tech Conference held in San Diego July 30-Aug. 1. ITS received the award for showing value by consolidating various IT units on the campus to include Fiscal Affairs IT, Housing, Dining & Conference Services IT, Human Resources IT and Student Affairs & Enrollment Management IT this past year. On hand for the presentation of the award were (pictured left to right) Chancellor’s Office CIO Patrick Perry, ITS PMO Manager Michelle Anolin, ITS AVP & CIO Nish Malik, ITS Director of Service Management Scott Nemes and CSU Fullerton AVP for Information Technology/Infrastructure Services Berhanu Tadesse.

Malik would like to thank the whole ITS team as well as the many other University colleagues who offered unprecedented support for these challenging and transformative consolidations.


University Opening Convocation to launch academic year 

You are cordially invited to attend the 2019 SF State University Opening Convocation at the McKenna Theatre on Thursday, Aug. 22, from 8:30 a.m. to noon. The Office of the President and the SF State Academic Senate invite all campus employees to attend this event. Join your SF State colleagues for a celebration of the start of a new academic year. Learn more about campus resources as you catch up with colleagues during the opening reception and campus resource fair and meet the University’s new president, Lynn Mahoney. At the convocation you’ll hear from President Mahoney and others about the challenges and opportunities in the coming year and welcome our new faculty, staff and administrators to campus.

There will be a reception and a campus resource fair from 8:30 a.m. to 9:50 a.m. in CA 152, 153 and 154. Refreshments will be served as you browse the 50 resource tables throughout the three rooms. The first 400 participants will receive an SF State tote bag. The convocation will begin at 10 a.m. in McKenna Theatre. The convocation will be livestreamed for those who cannot attend in person.

Staff and faculty are asked to consider bringing a regular-size personal hygiene item (a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant or soap, for example) to donate to the SF State Basic Needs Initiative.

For more information about the event please visit the Academic Senate’s convocation webpage.


Interested in becoming a faculty expert? 

From the discovery of new planets to the effects of climate change, SF State has a wide variety of scholars who are the most distinguished in their fields. Members of the news media often turn to the University for faculty experts who can provide context for breaking news or offer insights on a variety of topics.

To better help journalists, Strategic Marketing and Communications created the Faculty Experts program, a directory of SF State faculty members who are willing to share their valuable knowledge with reporters. Joining Faculty Experts is beneficial because it can help:

  • Establish you as an authoritative and credible voice in your field
  • Shed light on issues and topics you are passionate about
  • Promote the academic excellence of the University

If you are interested in joining Faculty Experts, please submit this form. You may also sign up and get your headshot photo taken for the program before the University Opening Convocation, which will be held at the McKenna Theatre on Thursday, Aug. 22. If interested, please drop by CA 155 from 8:30 a.m. to 9:50 a.m. that day.

For any questions, please contact Kent Bravo at kentbravo@sfsu.edu.


HR AVP search campus visits

Finalists for the position of associate vice president of Human Resources will be invited to campus for interviews tentatively scheduled for the week of Aug. 26. The visits will include public forums for the campus community to meet the candidates. Exact times and locations of the forums will be posted on the Administration & Finance website.


New HR client services center

Human Resources (HR) is pleased to announce a significant enhancement to support your communications with the department and your requests for its assistance. In January 2019 ITS inaugurated the use of ServiceNow, a client services platform. ITS uses ServiceNow to receive requests for technology and network assistance and to track and respond to those requests. In the past three months, HR has been working to implement an HR Client Services Center (part of the ITS ServiceNow platform) and the new client center is now available. Three new enhancements are designed to provide more responsive service to you as an HR client:

  • You can now submit requests directly to the following HR programs and services: benefits, leaves, payroll, employment, professional development and training, classification and compensation, and HR compliance training.  
  • If you bring in a document to HR, send an email or call the department, a team member of HR’s Client Services Center will process your document or email/phone requests and messages through the HR Client Services Center with appropriate routing.
  • You will also receive electronic verification of your request(s) through the HR Client Services Center and be able to track your request(s) through the portal.

To use the new HR Client Services Center, select it from the Human Resources website by clicking HR Client Service Center. You can also access the HR Client Services Center when logged into the Gateway. Please note that by the end of 2019 HR will phase out the existing legacy service request channel for assistance email, hrwww@sfsu.edu. Online training for the HR Client Services Center will be offered which will provide guidance as to how to create and track a service request.


University Budget Committee seeks staff committee member

The University Budget Committee (UBC) is charged with providing the University President with advice and recommendations related to budget policy, planning and review. Committee members represent campus leadership, faculty, staff and student government. The current committee charter calls for a represented staff member to serve on the committee. All staff are welcome to self-nominate or nominate a peer. The deadline for nominations is Friday, Aug. 16. For a nomination form, please contact Nancy Ganner at ganner@sfsu.edu or ext. 5-7305.


Move-In and GatorFest! ambassador sign-up

Fall Move-In and GatorFest! are just around the corner. Please sign up to work as a welcome home ambassador during the week of August 18-26 when our students return to campus. RSVP to be an ambassador using the Qualtrics sign-up form.


EHS Make Safety Happen – Safety Champion of the Month

This month’s Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) Make Safety Happen – Safety Champion of the Month Award goes to Matthew Silverman, a lecturer in the Clinical Laboratory Sciences Program in the College of Health & Social Sciences. Silverman serves as the safety coordinator for the program, is a member of the BioSafety Committee and recently volunteered to be the backup building emergency response coordinator for the Science Building. He received a prize of two movie passes for being named Safety Champion of the Month. Congratulations!


SF State Scholars Program expansion

The Division of Graduate Studies is pleased to announce the expansion of the SF State Scholars program. The SF State Scholars program is a “blended” bachelor’s and master’s degree program that provides undergraduate students an accelerated pathway to a graduate degree.

Students in this program pursue a bachelor’s and master’s degree simultaneously. This program allows students to earn graduate credit while in their junior and/or senior year, reducing the number of semesters required for completion of a master’s degree. The program offers students additional career prospects, intellectual growth and the opportunity to deepen skills and research competencies. In addition, scholar students will receive a unique form of mentorship that is not often expected at a large urban university.

2019-2020 SF State Scholar Programs:

  • Accountancy: B.S. in Business Administration: Concentration in Accounting + M.S. in Accountancy
  • Philosophy: B.A. in Philosophy + M.A. in Philosophy
  • International Relation: B.A. in International Relations + M.A. in International Relations
  • Ethnic Studies:
    • B.A. in Africana Studies + M.A. in Ethnic Studies
    • B.A. in Latina/Latino Studies + M.A. in Ethnic Studies
    • B.A. in Asian American Studies + M.A. in Ethnic Studies
  • Kinesiology: B.S. Concentration in Exercise and Movement Sciences + M.S. in Kinesiology
  • Engineering B.S. in Civil Engineering + M.S. Concentration in Structural/Earthquakes (new)
  • Psychology: B.A. in Psychology + M.A. Concentration in Developmental Psychology (new)
  • Design:
    • B.S. in Visual Communication Design + M.A. in Design (new)
    • B.S. in Industrial Design: Concentration in Product Design and Development + M.A. in Design (new)
  • Women & Gender Studies: B.A. + M.A. in Women & Gender Studies (new)
  • Theater Arts: B.A. + M.A. in Theater Arts (new)

For more information about the SF State Scholars program please visit the Division of Graduate Studies’ Special Degree Programs page.


School Supplies Drive at the Mashouf Wellness Center

As we prepare for the Fall semester, we recognize how crucial it is that our students have the materials they need to succeed. This is why the Wellness team at Campus Recreation is hosting a School Supplies Drive at the Mashouf Wellness Center. Collection runs from July 29 to Aug. 29. Donations may be placed in the donation bin at the front desk next to Clean Bites.

The following are accepted:

  • Pens, pencils and highlighters
  • Notebooks, binders and folders
  • Scantrons and green books
  • Clickers, calculators and flash drives
  • Index cards
  • Anything else you think students might need!

Questions or concerns? Please contact crdwell@mail.sfsu.edu


Chemical inventory management software available 

Chemical inventories are a critical component of regulatory compliance in university laboratories. Managing your chemicals well will ensure that you don't duplicate chemical purchases or possess expired chemicals. Inventories can also be used across departments, enabling labs to share chemicals rather than purchase new ones. These best practices help reduce waste and save money.

The Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) department is excited to report that SF State has access to the Risk & Safety Solutions (RSS) “CHEMICALS” module, provided by the CSU Office of the Chancellor. This powerful management tool uses a QR-coding system to add chemicals to an inventory quickly and easily. RSS “CHEMICALS” includes a library of chemicals that are referenced to pre-populate chemical details such as hazards. The module is available as an app for phone, tablet and desktop.

Training on “CHEMICALS” is available via webinars, video and in-person training. Check the EHS website for scheduled trainings.


CSU Learn webinar workshop, Aug. 14

The Office of Professional and Organizational Development invites staff and managers to a facilitated leadership training using the CSU Learn learning management system. The training will be held in LIB 222 on Wednesday, Aug 14., from 10 to 11:45 a.m. in LIB 222 and will involve a viewing of "Building a Leadership Development Plan" intermixed with instruction, discussion and activities. The purpose of this training is to facilitate the exchange of ideas, perspectives and information as it relates to the professional and personal development of employees. RSVP via Qualtrics.


STS Fellowship Program and Information Session, Aug. 29

SF State’s Science, Technology, and Society (STS) Hub is pleased to announce the inaugural year of the STS Fellowship Program. The STS Fellowship program offers University faculty who are working at the intersection of science and social justice the opportunity to join a community of engaged scholars for 2019-2020. Over the course of the year, STS Hub Fellows will share scholarship, develop research projects, engage in new collaborations, mentor advanced graduate students, host events and speakers, and participate in shaping the future of the STS Hub.

The Hub welcomes applications from across SF State colleges from faculty (TT and lecturers) with active research projects that critically engage with issues of science, technology, medicine, engineering, public health, the environment and society. Accepted fellows for the 2019-2020 cohort will receive a stipend of $1,000 to participate in the STS Hub. All faculty are invited to a Launch Party and Information Session on Thursday, Aug. 29, from 3 to 4 p.m. in the Health Equity Institute Conference Room (HSS 361).

If you are interested in the STS Fellowship Program or participating in other STS Hub activities, please attend or email co-directors Martha Kenney and Laura Mamo to join the Hub mailing list.

The STS Fellows Program is housed at the Health Equity Institute (HEI) and sponsored by the College of Liberal and Creative Arts, the College of Science and Engineering, the College of Health and Social Sciences and HEI.


Women's Emerging Leadership Forum 2019, Oct. 11

The Lam Family College of Business is pleased to announce its sixth annual Women’s Emerging Leadership Forum. This year's topic is “Women Leaders in Innovation.” This annual event is a lively and engaging forum designed to help women achieve their full potential in the workplace by bringing together a diverse group of successful and aspiring leaders to exchange fresh ideas and hard-earned insights, to learn and avoid common pitfalls on the path to career advancement, and to identify ways to enhance your leadership skills while making meaningful connections and expanding your professional network. More information is available on the Lam Family College of Business Executive Education webpage.

Kirkeberg honored for fundraising achievement

In his decades at SF State, Professor Emeritus of Geography & Environment Max Kirkeberg was renowned for his walking tours of San Francisco. But earlier this month, he received recognition for a different achievement on foot: raising more than $1 million for AIDS charities over 23 years of leading a team in the AIDS Walk San Francisco. Since 1987, the city’s annual 10K AIDS Walk has raised over $90 million for care, prevention and advocacy around HIV/AIDS. Kirkeberg has been leading a team consisting of colleagues from San Francisco State’s Geography & Environment Department and his church, St. Francis Lutheran in San Francisco, since 1996. “Apparently, I don’t have the gene that makes me embarrassed at asking for help. I just asked everybody,” Kirkeberg said. “It occurred very early on that a huge percentage of the geography department — faculty, staff and students — were walking as part of our team.” Learn more about Kirkeberg and his tireless fundraising efforts.


International mindfulness for Purser’s book

Professor of Management Ronald Purser’s new book “McMindfulness: How Mindfulness Became the New Capitalist Spirituality” continues to receive international media attention since its publication July 9. The book has inspired numerous articles in a variety of outlets, including The Nation, BBC Radio Ulster, and the Irish Times.


Stillman on climate change survival

Professor of Biology Jonathon Stillman was quoted in a BBC article about animals that will survive climate change. He discussed the potential for some marine species to survive due to their habitats in deep sea hydrothermal vent ecosystems. “They are pretty much uncoupled from the surface of our planet, and I doubt that climate change will impact them in the least,” he said. “Humanity didn’t even know they existed until 1977. Their energy comes from the core of our Earth rather than from the Sun, and their already extreme habitat is unlikely to be altered by changes happening at the ocean surface.”


Pinderhuges’ Roots of Success program

Roots of Success, an environmental literacy and work readiness program created by Professor of Urban Studies and Planning Raquel Pinderhuges, is being used by some prisons to prepare inmates for life in the green economy upon release. A recent Oregon Business article spotlighted the success one prison in the state is having with the program.


Collins presents at seminars

Associate Professor of American Indian Studies Robert Keith Collins traveled to New Zealand and New York for invited presentations last month. On July 1 he presented “The Relevance of Person-Center Ethnography to the Study of Blackness and Indigeneity in the U.S.: Prospects for the Pacific” at New Zealand’s University of Auckland. Collins was also invited by Brian P. Jones, associate director of education for the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, to present a Mellon Seminar in New York on “The Salience of the African Diaspora in Native Studies” on July 10.


Wilson publishes “The Social Media Journalist Handbook”

Associate Professor Yumi Wilson recently released a new book, “The Social Media Journalist Handbook.” Published by Taylor and Francis, “The Social Media Journalist Handbook” teaches readers how to be a real-world social media journalist, tracing the evolution of the field to its current-day practice. This book establishes social media journalism as the latest and one of the most effective ways to practice journalism in the 21st century. It features insights from top recruiters, editors and senior producers working in the field as well as exercises that aid readers in developing the practical skills necessary to work successfully with social media.