August 26, 2019"Please press the enter key fr the icon you would like to hear more about. Currently, the associated text is not being read automatically. Please use insert key and arrow down to get to the text."
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New president welcomes faculty, staff to 2019-2020 academic year

Every new academic year carries the promise of progress. This year brings that and more to SF State with the addition of the University’s fourteenth president, Lynn Mahoney. The first woman to hold the position in a permanent capacity, President Mahoney voiced her commitment to student success in an address at SF State’s 2019 University Opening Convocation, the official opening of the new academic year.

“We are an engine of educational equity and social change. We educate America’s new majorities and in doing so provide upward mobility for our students and their families, and transform our communities, and our region,” Mahoney said at the event, held in McKenna Theatre Thursday, Aug. 22.

In her first public address to University staff and faculty, Mahoney highlighted a number of recent achievements at SF State, such as a $14.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to enhance diversity in the biomedical sciences and the opening of the Associated Students refrigerated food pantry in the Cesar Chavez Student Center. Major projects on Mahoney’s agenda for the coming year include working toward completion of an academic master plan, a roadmap for the University’s academic future; working with the University Foundation to secure additional support for the University; and implementing the findings and recommendations from last year’s Campus Climate Survey. Mahoney said that in the coming year she’ll visit departments and offices across campus to learn how she can continue to make SF State a great place to learn and work.

The University welcomed more than 35 new faculty members and 10 new athletics coaches at the event, which featured addresses by other campus leaders, including the deans of SF State’s six academic colleges, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Jennifer Summit and Director of Athletics Stephanie Shrieve-Hawkins.

Five employees pose for the camera against gray backdrops

Employees honored for teaching, service, professional achievement

SF State faculty and staff members were honored for their exceptional contributions to the University at the final plenary meeting of the Academic Senate on May 14, 2019. Four faculty members received the Distinguished Faculty Award, which has been given each year since 2007 to recognize excellence in teaching, service and professional achievement. In addition, one staff member was given the inaugural Distinguished Staff Award for Excellence in Service, which recognizes contributions to the campus community by a staff member. Each of the award recipients — who were recognized again at the 2019 University Opening Convocation Thursday, Aug. 29 — received a $4,000 stipend.

This year’s winners were:

  • Professor of Psychology Christopher Moffatt: Excellence in Teaching Award (Tenured Faculty)
  • Lecturer of History Mark Sigmon: Excellence in Teaching Award (Lecturer)
  • Professor of Biology Zheng-Hui He: Excellence in Professional Achievement Award
  • Professor of Audiology Marcia Raggio: Excellence in Service Award (Tenured Faculty)
  • Dylan Mooney, College of Health & Social Sciences Information Technology Help Desk Manager and Computer Lab Manager: Excellence in Service (Staff)

Learn more about honorees and the awards at the SF State News site.

Group of people in a room listening to live music

History of SF State told through photos 

From its first Commencement in June 1901 through the Third World Liberation Front student strikes of 1968 right up to today, SF State boasts a rich history of innovative teaching, community engagement, student activism and much more. As an homage to SF State’s heritage, the University Archives, Associated Students and Academic Technology teamed up for a project that tells the University’s timeless stories through vintage photos (such as the one of a dance in the Gator "Swamp," left).

Called the Photographic Timeline Collection, this project highlights images of student life and activities at SF State throughout its history. A few photos from the collection were posted online last week in honor of World Photography Day. Take a look at the SF State News site.

Lim-Tepper named interim chief of staff to the President

Noriko Lim-Tepper has been appointed interim chief of staff to the President. Currently the University’s director of Government & Community Relations, Lim-Tepper will assume her new duties effective Tuesday, Sept. 3. She will serve in the post until a national search is conducted for a permanent chief of staff to the President.

Lim-Tepper came to SF State in 2016 as associate director of Government & Community Relations. She was instrumental in securing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi as the 2019 Commencement speaker and has led federal and state advocacy efforts that have resulted in a robust allocation for the University.

Before coming to SF State, Lim-Tepper was a senior field representative for State Assemblyman Phil Ting. She also worked as an aide for former Assemblyman Tom Ammiano and former State Senator Carole Migden and held positions with aircraft leasing firm BBAM and management consulting company Fahrenheit 212. She earned two degrees from the University of San Francisco: a B.A. in Political Science and an M.A. in International and Multicultural Education.

“I am honored to serve as the interim chief of staff for President Mahoney, and I look forward to working with campus leaders to advance San Francisco State University’s mission and priorities,” Lim-Tepper said.

Reisweber appointed director of Student Activities & Events

Student Affairs & Enrollment Management (SAEM) and the Division of Student Life (DSL) are pleased to officially announce that Mia Reisweber has been chosen as the director of Student Activities & Events (SA&E), effective Aug. 15. Reisweber had been serving as the interim associate director of SA&E since September 2018.

As director of Student Activities & Events, Reisweber is responsible for supporting campus efforts towards Graduation Initiative 2025 through the design and implementation of strong educational, social and leadership development-oriented co-curricular programs and activities that enhance student learning and success. In this leadership capacity, Reisweber serves as a visible presence, role model and facilitator on campus to student leaders and groups and supports the development and maintenance of student-driven clubs and organizations. Through the promotion of student and organizational excellence and best practices grounded in student development theory, Reisweber will focus on building student leadership capacity and a vibrant, inclusive student body.

Before coming to SF State, Reisweber helped establish a New Student Programs Office at Texas A&M University-Central Texas. She has been in higher education for nearly 10 years, having started her career in academics before transitioning to student affairs when completing her doctoral studies. Reisweber has a B.A. in Writing from Marist College in New York, an M.A. in Teaching from Bard College in New York and a Ph.D. from Saint Louis University in Missouri.

Human Resources AVP campus open forums this week

The campus community is invited to attend forums to hear from the finalists for the position of associate vice president of Human Resources. All campus employees are encouraged to attend.

  • Candidate:  Wendy Lee
    Date: Monday, Aug. 26
    Time: 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
    Location: LIB 121
  • Candidate: Kamala Green
    Date: Thursday, Aug. 29
    Time: 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
    Location: Seven Hills Conference Center
  • Candidate: Ingrid Williams
    Date: Friday, Aug. 30
    Time: 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
    Location: Seven Hills Conference Center

Further details about the candidates can be found on the Administration & Finance website.

New Facilities Services website and email address

Facilities Services is pleased to announce the release of the department’s new website. Please update your bookmarks to Built on the Drupal 8 platform, the new website provides information on each department within Facilities Services, including helpful guidance on service requests (work orders), a dedicated site for notifications and outages and useful FAQs. Visit the new website to learn more about Facilities Services.

Facilities Services is also launching a new email address,, effective immediately. The department will phase out previous department email addresses ( and in coming weeks. Emails will be automatically routed to the new address during this transition.

Proposals for Summer 2020 study abroad programs due

Faculty interested in organizing a faculty-led study abroad (FLSA) program during the 2020 summer break are advised to submit a written proposal to the Center for Global Engagement at the College of Extended Learning (CEL) before Oct. 1.

FLSA programs encourage stronger international ties at SF State by providing students a chance to study abroad on short-term programs taught by SF State faculty during the summer, winter, fall or spring breaks while earning SF State course credit. By leading a group of students overseas and teaching a course relevant to the host country, faculty expand their knowledge, gain international teaching experience and reconnect or establish ties with overseas colleagues while helping to build a more international SF State curriculum. FLSA programs also allow students to experience study abroad with other Gators while earning credit through programs by SF State instructors.

For more information, visit CEL’s FLSA website or contact Ge-Yao Liu, associate director of the Center for Global Engagement at CEL at ext. 7-4226, ext. 8-7385 or at

CEL lands innovation grant

The College of Extended Learning (CEL) is pleased to announce that it was awarded a $50,000 Innovation Grant from the CSU Commission on the Extended University for a Paralegal Studies (PLS) Certificate Revision. Associate Dean Angie Lipschuetz spearheaded this successful endeavor. The grant will allow CEL to update the PLS certificate by converting five required and three elective courses to an online format. It will also facilitate the creation of a faculty committee, chaired by Lipschuetz, who will complete a full review to inform future program and curriculum revisions. These enhancements will allow CEL to provide much broader access to working professionals who wish to start or further their paralegal career.

Campuswide collaboration with Microsoft Teams

Information Technology Services (ITS) offers Microsoft Teams, a tool set that facilitates collaborative work such as individual and group chat, audio chat, video chat and screen sharing with anyone in the campus community. Key features are demonstrated in a three-minute “Welcome to Microsoft Teams” video. View a short interactive demo at

Learn more at the ITS’s Microsoft Teams service page at There you will find instructions on downloading the application on all your devices and logging in to Teams via the web as well as helpful links to online videos and training. Teams is available to faculty, staff and students. ITS recommends installing Teams on your computer or scheduling your IT support group to provide installation.

Want to improve your students’ learning experience?

Upon request, a colleague from the Center for Equity and Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CEETL) will visit your class and facilitate a Small Group Instructional Feedback (SGIF) session. An SGIF session is a non-evaluative mid-course check-in process for gathering information from students about their learning experience in a course. The process is anonymous and designed to foster personal reflection and supportive communication among students, their classmates and the instructor so that learning objectives and outcomes can be met successfully.

Among benefits of an SGIF session:

  • Increased supportive communication among students, their classmates and the instructor with respect to their contributions to the teaching and learning process
  • Concrete suggestions for instructors and students that can improve the learning experience
  • Increased student motivation, since students see the instructor’s interest in teaching and understand they share responsibility for the outcome of the course
  • Raised awareness of student concerns in non-evaluative setting, with time to implement changes before Student Evaluations of Teaching Effectiveness (SETEs) are administered.

The SGIF session is generally between the fifth and tenth week of the semester. It is recommended that you schedule your SGIF early and include its date and time in your syllabus. Even if you haven’t scheduled it yet, it would be a good idea to include it in your syllabus and emphasize the importance of mid-term feedback to your students. Instructors may request an SGIF by completing the online SGIF request form. Please provide CEETL with at least two weeks advance notice and every effort will be made to accommodate your request based on scheduling availability.

Visit Frequently Asked Questions on the CEETL website to learn more.

Become a Safe Zone ally

The SF State Safe Zone Ally program is looking for staff, faculty and administrators to become safe zone allies for the campus LGBTQ+ community. The Safe Zone Ally program’s mission is to foster a safe campus environment by building a support network for people of all gender and sexual identities. Safe Zone allies are active and visible volunteers who are open to talking to members of the LGBTQ+ community in a safe and supportive environment. To become a Safe Zone ally, volunteers must attend one of the training sessions that are offered throughout the year. The next training will be on Friday, Nov. 1, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. A light lunch will be provided. For further details or to RSVP for the training, contact Rick Nizzardini at or ext. 5-4415. (You must pre-register in order to participate.) For more information about the Safe Zone Ally program visit []

2019-2020 Fit Plus program

The Department of Kinesiology’s Fit Plus program would like to welcome all faculty and staff to the 2019-2020 school year. The department is excited to again help you with your wellness and fitness needs. Along with staple classes, the department has introduced new programs such as Personal Fit and Open Basketball. Their class schedule will be available this week, and classes will start Sept. 3. Registration will be available online at, or you can come to Gym 101.  

LGBTQ Faculty/Staff & Allies Welcome Coffee Hour, Sept. 4

The campus community is invited to welcome new and returning members of SF State’s community of LGBTQ faculty and staff and allies at a coffee hour Wednesday, Sept. 4. Sponsored by the College of Health & Social Sciences, the coffee hour will be held on the fifth floor patio of the ADM building from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. RSVP online. Questions? Contact Michael Broder at

Equitable Teaching Series: Student Centered Design in iLearn, Sept. 10 & 13

CEETL’s Equitable Teaching Series explores foundational teaching approaches that foster equity and inclusivity in support of student success. The next workshop in the series will be “Student Centered Design in iLearn.” Faculty can attend either on Tuesday, Sept. 10, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in LIB 242 or on Friday, Sept. 13, from noon to 1 p.m. via Zoom. In this workshop you will:

  • Explore three lenses of student-centered design (belonging, empathy and authenticity) and iLearn’s relevant tools and features, illustrated by examples from SF State courses with these lenses in action
  • Reflect on your in-class student-centered practices and how these might be carried over to iLearn

Register with Qualtrics for the Sept. 10 workshop in LIB 242.

Register with Qualtrics for the Sept. 13 workshop via ZOOM.

SF State alumni luncheon, Sept. 17

The SF State Alumni Association invites alumni to a special luncheon on Tuesday, Sept 17, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the ADM fifth floor patio. The luncheon will be an opportunity to hear what’s new on campus while mingling with fellow Gators. RSVP online before 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 6. 

Vasey on mapping West Coast wetlands

Mike Vasey, associate director of science engagement at the Estuary and Ocean Science Center and director of the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, was quoted in the Marin Independent Journal about a new study that maps the history of West Coast wetlands. According to Vasey, understanding how wetlands have grown and shrunk in the past could be key to preparing for shifts ahead due to climate change. “The information is super helpful from a perspective of seeing where we were and where we are,” he said. “And now we really need to evaluate how we adapt to these changes that are likely to take place.”

Extreme response to tea intrigues Matsumoto

Professor of Psychology David Matsumoto was quoted in a New York Times article about the array of emotions displayed by a woman trying kombucha for the first time. A video of the woman — showing her disgust with the fermented tea turning to interest turning to confused ambivalence — went viral this summer. An expert on usually hard-to-spot, seconds-long “microexpressions,” Matsumoto said the video was exceptional, because the woman’s swiftly changing thoughts were so easy to read on her face. “In reality, this stuff goes on all the time, but you’re watching the person’s mind process in real time, which is really cool,” he said.

Leonard talks rock

A recent Public Radio International (PRI) segment about Woodstock included interviews with founding members of nostalgia-rock band Sha-Na-Na — one of whom is Professor of Humanities George Leonard. Leonard helped launch the band — among breakout performers at the legendary 1969 music festival — while a graduate student at Columbia University. Listen to the PRI piece online or read an account of the group’s founding on Leonard’s website.

Journal acceptance for Chattopadhyay

An article by Sudip Chattopadhyay, professor of Economics and past senior adviser with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, was recently accepted by the peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal Nursing Economics. His article, “The Economic Cost and Impacts of the Scope of Practice Restrictions on Nurse Practitioners,” represents the first interdisciplinary research at the University focused on the fields of economics and nursing.