March 11, 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."
Snubbed Cigarette

Help Gators kick the habit

Do you know or love someone who has struggled with quitting tobacco, nicotine or cannabis products? Join the 30 People 30 Day Campaign, a group of volunteer faculty, staff and administrators advocating for cleaner air on campus over a 30-day period (Feb. 18 through March 20). The group will be holding trainings on how to refer people who are using tobacco, nicotine or cannabis products on campus or on sidewalks to resources for support. Those who participated last year reported that many members of the SF State community who use these products have tried quitting before but didn’t know about the resources for support available on campus.

Join the campaign by registering here.

SFSU at pride

Pride Parade planning underway

SF State always manages to send a large, enthusiastic contingent to the city’s annual Pride Parade. Interested in marching in this year’s parade, scheduled for June 29 and 30? Fill out a Qualtrics survey to join a listserv for the SF State parade group. You’ll receive updates on pre-parade planning and meetings. Questions? Contact Ryan Samuels at ext. 5-2871 or Jamal Mazyck at ext. 8-2004.

Tree rings

Study offers clearer view of the past from tree rings

To see where the Earth’s climate is headed, we have to see where it’s been — and a new SF State study could offer a clearer picture. The study outlines a way to improve estimates of historical temperature and rainfall from tree rings. The results could help answer one of the biggest questions facing climate scientists today.

“There’s a big question here, which is: How warm will it get?” said Assistant Professor of Earth & Climate Sciences Alexander Stine, the sole author of the study. “One way to get at this problem is to build a long record of temperatures in the Earth’s past.”

The rings of a tree document how quickly that tree grew. In the hands of a skilled scientist that can be translated into information about the environment in which the tree grew. Such records are useful because they stretch back thousands of years — far older than any direct measurements made by humans — and because trees are usually abundant where people live. 

But when a tree’s growth is threatened by other factors like poor soil quality, the record it holds of climate start to become messier. The new technique applies a simple principle for picking the trees that hold the most pristine record of climate from each moment in history: simply selecting those that were growing the best. Testing that assumption on a worldwide database of tree-ring measurements includes studies by over 300 researchers around the world, Stine showed that he could get more precise measurements of past temperature and precipitation than current methods.

Learn more here.

Spring 2019 Academic Senate election

The nomination period for the 2019 Academic Senate elections is now open. All SF State faculty and staff members are invited to make their voices heard and nominate themselves or their colleagues for these important positions.

To learn more about the open positions and the nominations process, please take a moment to review the information below. If you would like to submit a nomination for yourself or someone else, please do so by April 2 to ensure inclusion on the ballot.

Important dates for the Spring 2018 Academic Senate election

  • Nomination period: March 11-April 2
  • Voting Period: April 8-April 19

Nomination process:

All-University Seats

College/Unit-specific Seats

Committee Information:

Any questions can be directed to the Office of the Academic Senate at ext. 8-1264 or

CEL awards Gen faculty honor

The College of Extended Learning (CEL) has named PACE Associate Professor Sheldon Gen its 2019 CEL Distinguished Faculty. Gen was awarded this honor for his outstanding support of CEL’s international customized training programs over the last decade. Interim CEL Dean Alex Hwu noted that Gen’s flexibility, dedication and willingness to teach on a wide array of subjects have served participants extremely well and helped raise the profile of SF State. Gen has led sessions for senior government officials, university faculty and administrators, teachers, judges and more. Clients have routinely noted that Gen’s sessions are engaging, enlightening and highly informative on a wide range of topics, such as K-12 and higher education policy and the role of the federal government. To celebrate this award, Interim Dean Hwu will host a lunch in Gen’s honor. Congratulations, Professor!

Staff Travel Grants

The San Francisco State Retirement Association (SFSURA) is still accepting applications for its 2019 staff travel grant awards until April 1. The grants will have a maximum value of $500 and are for travel between May 1 of this year and May 1, 2020. Criteria and the application form are available at The application must be signed and emailed to all members of the committee:

New Hybrid Teaching Workshop

The new Hybrid Teaching Workshop supports faculty in redesigning their courses from traditional modes of instruction to hybrid learning. This workshop is unique in that it is a hybrid format. Faculty participate in both synchronous and asynchronous online activities that directly prepare them for group work in the face-to-face session. It is purposefully organized in a hybrid format so faculty can experience learning in the mode they will be teaching.

By filling out the form below you are registering for all of the following sessions:

  • Synchronous session via Zoom: Wednesday, April 10, 1 to 2 p.m.
  • Asynchronous session via iLearn: one to two hours of work anytime between April 10 and April 17
  • Face-to-face session: Wednesday, April 17, 1 to 4 p.m.

Click here to register for all three sessions.

Questions? Contact the AT Teaching & Learning Team at

“Wisdom of Tibet” talk, March 12

Columbia University Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies Robert Thurman will be on campus Tuesday, March 12, to give a presentation titled “Inner Revolution, Collective Transformation: Wisdom of Tibet for Challenging Times.” Described by TIME Magazine as a “larger-than-life scholar-activist,” Thurman has written more than 20 books about Tibet, Buddhism, art and politics. Assistant Professor of Health Education Jennifer Daubenmier will introduce Thurman and facilitate a conversation with him and those in attendance. Sponsored by SF State’s Institute of Holistic Health Studies, the talk will be held from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. in HUM 587. 

Phi Beta Kappa visiting scholar public lecture, April 9

SF State’s Phi Beta Kappa Omicron chapter invites the campus community to hear Paula Stephan speak on the topic “Are the Foreign Born a Strength for Science?” A professor of economics at Georgia State University and research associate for the National Bureau of Economic Research, Stephan will discuss the role that the foreign-born play in the U.S. and other countries. The talk will be held Tuesday, April 9, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in HSS 130. Questions? Contact Phi Beta Kappa Omicron of California Chapter President Masahiko Minami or Treasurer Lisa Takeyama.

CSU Northern California Hospitality & Tourism Career Expo 2019, March 14

CSU students and alumni are invited to attend the sixth annual CSU Northern California Hospitality & Tourism Career Expo at SF State’s Annex 1 on North State Drive this Thursday. Admission is free to CSU and California Community College students and alumni. Recruiters from multiple segments of the industry will be on hand to discuss future opportunities for employment and internships. Register online if interested in attending.

First Aid/CPR/AED certification, April 16

The Environment, Health, and Safety department provides periodic first aid/CPR/automated external defibrillator (AED) training. The next class will be April 16 in LIB 121. Please contact Jeff Madigan at ext. 8-1419 or for the schedule and to sign up.

Entrepreneurship Symposium 2019, April 26

The College of Business will host the second annual Entrepreneurship Symposium Friday, April 26. To be held at the Downtown Campus, the symposium is designed for budding entrepreneurs and early-stage startup founders seeking to develop stronger entrepreneurial skills and build their network. This year’s keynote speaker will be Kate Sofis, the co-founder and CEO of SFMade, an internationally recognized public-private partnership launched in 2010 that has helped catalyze a resurgence in Bay Area manufacturing. Like last year, an Innovation Pitch Competition for students with new business ideas will be part of the symposium. Details can be found at

In Memoriam: Gail Whitaker

Gail Whitaker, former dean of the College of Extended Learning and AVP of Academic Affairs under then-Provost John Gemello, passed away last week after a lengthy illness. Whitaker is survived by her spouse of 40 years, Jan Andreasen. 

Monday, March 11

Master Class: Morrison Artists Series: Musicians from Marlboro: 3 p.m. in Knuth Hall, Creative Arts building

Tuesday, March 12

Conversation with Dr. Robert Thurman on Wisdom of Tibet for Challenging Times: 12:30 p.m. in HUM 587

Lecture: Uprooting, Criminality and Machination: Jews and Nazis in Martin Heidegger’s Black Notebooks: 3:30 p.m. HUM 415

After Work Board Games with Colleagues: 5 p.m. in LIB 242

Lecture: Memory Objects: Researching, Teaching and Curating Material Culture in the Global Jewish Diaspora: 5:30 p.m. in the Global Museum (Fine Arts 203)

Visiting artist lecture: Leah Rosenberg: 6 p.m. in Fine Arts 286

Theatre: Fringe Festival: 7 p.m. in the Lab (Creative Arts 104)

Wednesday, March 13

Recital/workshop: Ami Molinelli and Duo Violao Brasil: A History of Choro: 1:10 p.m. Knuth Hall, Creative Arts building

Theatre: Fringe Festival: 7 p.m. in the Lab (Creative Arts 104)

Thursday, March 14

David Shire master class for musical theatre and performance: 10 a.m. in the Studio (Creative Arts 102)

LGBTQ Faculty/Staff and Allies Lunch: noon in LIB 121

Dockworker Power: Race and Activism in South Africa and the Bay Area: 12:30 p.m. in LIB 460

David Shire master class for composition: 1 p.m. in Fine Arts 348

Poetry: Maryam Ivette Parhizkar, reading and in conversation with Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle: 7 p.m. in the Poetry Center (HUM 512)

Theatre: Fringe Festival: 7 p.m. in the Lab (Creative Arts 104)

Friday, March 15

David Shire master class for musical theatre, composition, libretto and score: 10 a.m. in the Lab (Creative Arts 104)

David Shire in conversation: 1 p.m. in Knuth Hall, Creative Arts building

Poetry reading: Maryam Ivette Parhizkar and Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle: 7 p.m. at University Press Books, 2430 Bancroft Avenue, Berkeley

David Shire in conversation live: 7:30 p.m. in Knuth Hall, Creative Arts building

Saturday, March 16

Film: “The Owl’s Legacy”: 4:30 p.m. at the Roxie Theater, 3117 16th Street, San Francisco

A class that isn’t by the book

Assistant Professor of Humanities David Peña-Guzman was featured in an EdSurge article about his innovative class “The Reading Experiment: The Power of the Book.” The class meets each Friday for a five-hour session of uninterrupted reading — which Peña-Guzman enforces by collecting the students’ cell phones. “I’m by no means a luddite who thinks tech should be kept outside society or the academy,” Peña-Guzman said. “But I do have concerns about making sure it’s us who are determining what place tech has in our lives, rather than some external force, and that’s tricky.” Read the full article here.

Bagley: Don’t skip skipping rope

Assistant Professor of Kinesiology James Bagley commented on the health benefits of jumping rope in a recent Runner’s World article. “Jumping rope can be a great warmup and an effective cross-training workout for runners,” Bagley said. “It’s been shown to increase your metabolic rate 10 to 12 times above resting, depending on your cadence, similar to jogging at six to seven miles per hour.” Click here to jump over to the full article.

Wagner keeps up with the Kardashians

Professor of Journalism Venise Wagner was quoted in a New York Times article delving into reactions to some high-profile celebrity relationship news. The article focuses on an interview in which actress Jada Pinkett-Smith encouraged Jordyn Woods, a close friend of the media-mogul Kardashian family and a recurring character in their reality television shows, to tell her side of the story after Woods’ alleged romantic involvement with Khloé Kardashian’s ex-boyfriend. “It sounds like Jada Pinkett-Smith is really trying to establish new rules on how to handle the situation,” Wagner said. “African-American women are making more public their support of black women and #MeToo is definitely a part of that.”

It happened on the BBC

Professor of Cinema Joseph McBride was among the film experts interviewed about the classic screwball comedy “It Happened One Night” on a March 2 episode of the BBC Radio show “And the Academy Award Goes To….” Directed by Frank Capra, the movie was a sleeper hit that swept the major Oscar categories in 1935. Among McBride’s many film-related books is “Frank Capra: The Catastrophe of Success,” published by the University Press of Mississippi. You can listen to the program in its entirety online.