May 6, 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."
Leslie E. Wong and Phyllis Wong in front of a cherry blossom tree

President Wong profiled in ‘Diverse: Issues in Higher Education’  

The latest issue of the news magazine “Diverse: Issues in Higher Education” features a cover story about SF State President Les Wong. The lengthy article explores Wong’s life, career and outlook as he prepares to retire this summer. Especially meaningful to him, Wong says, has been the bond he’s felt with SF State students who, like him, are the first in their families to go to college.

“There is definitely a special connection, because we have so much in common,” Wong said. “This is one of the joys of this job.”

The full article can be read online here.

Pens, pencils and markers in a wire mesh pen holder on a desk with a keyboard

Spring Clean Up 2019 launches June 3

Now’s the time to clear out unwanted office junk and hazardous materials at no cost to your department. Use the following waste-specific guide for preparing or dropping off your unwanted items. Please ensure that items you would like disposed of are clearly marked “SPRING CLEAN UP.”

There are three categories for materials that may be collected as part of Spring Clean Up 2019:

(1) Unwanted Item Collection

You can submit a service request for non-electronic waste and nonhazardous waste items from June 3 through June 8. Enter "SPRING CLEAN UP 2019" in the description field of the service request and list all items needing disposal. Please note: Individual items cannot exceed 100 pounds, and no campus key/keycards or confidential documents should be included.

(2) Electronic Waste Drop-Off

Before dropping off items, review the University’s e-waste policy online. Drop-off e-waste items at the Fine Arts Garage between 10 a.m. and noon Wednesday, June 5, and between 10 a.m. and noon Wednesday, June 12.

(3) Hazardous Waste Collection

Email your hazardous materials collection request to Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) at between June 3 and June 8. Put “SPRING CLEAN-UP/ HAZMAT ITEMS 2019” in the subject field of your email. Also include the contact name, email address, phone number, the best time to call, an inventory of hazmat items to be collected and the location of hazmat items. Label hazmat items “EHS PICK-UP.” Items will be picked up throughout the summer.

More information is available here. Questions? Contact EHS at or ext. 8-2565.

A large honeycomb covered in bees, held by a beekeeper whose face is blocked.

International pollinator study first of its kind 

Professor of Biology Gretchen LeBuhn was recently part of an ambitious international study that pulled together knowledge about how pollinators are perceived and used by people all over the world — including, importantly, by indigenous peoples — to better understand how the important group of wildlife can be conserved.

“This is the first time that an intergovernmental panel has made a concerted effort to use indigenous and local knowledge, and I think it sets a new standard for science and for inclusion,” said LeBuhn.

The study, published in the prestigious journal Nature Sustainability on March 11, originated from a 2016 assessment of the world’s biodiversity organized through the United Nations, called the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services (or IPBES). Pulling together information from both academic and non-academic sources across 60 countries, the study highlights the cultural relationships and unique knowledge that different cultures have about their local pollinators.

For LeBuhn, that meant everything from calling tribal leaders to surveying corporate branding for pollinator representation. There’s reason to pay attention to symbols like these. “Maybe it’s one more tool in our arsenal that helps us recognize what biodiversity we want to preserve,” she explained.

Read more here

University to close Confucius Institute

The John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 specifies that Department of Defense (DoD) funds cannot be used to support a Chinese language program at an institution of higher education that hosts a Confucius Institute.

While the University submitted a waiver request to the DoD earlier this year requesting an exemption from the Act, the DoD recently determined that no waivers would be granted. SF State relies on federal funding to operate its Chinese Flagship Program. Because of the DoD determination, SF State is unable to operate both the Confucius Institute and the Chinese Flagship Program, and will close the Confucius Institute.

Since 2005, the Confucius Institute has served SF State students, faculty and staff and supported the University’s academic mission; taught Chinese language and culture to K-12 teachers and students in Northern California schools; and promoted international education, all of which reflect positively upon its value and impact on quality education for a diverse student population and community. In keeping with our mission, we will continue to fund these efforts as alternate funding opportunities are explored.   

SF State will continue to support its students and campus community. The University remains strongly committed to international education and creating opportunities for students and the wider community to broaden their horizons through international study.

Volunteers sought for scholarship reading days 

The SF State Alumni Association is hosting scholarship reading days to identify recipients for 14 scholarships with awards ranging from $1,000 to over $8,000. Will you help decide how to allocate nearly $200,000 in awards to 100 student winners for the Fall 2019 semester? By reading and scoring applications, you can directly impact the future of SF State students.

No prior experience is necessary. Readers will be asked to follow the scoring rubric and rate essays and references on form, content and overall expression. To show its gratitude, the Alumni Association will thank each volunteer with a 10% discount on an upcoming alumni event and 25% off a regularly priced membership.

An in-person scholarship reading day will be held Thursday, May 23, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the J. Paul Leonard Library. Light refreshments and boxed meals will be available. Please register by May 22. Prefer to volunteer electronically? Online reading days will be held through June 7. For more information, contact the Office of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving at or ext. 8-2217.

Library to expand accessible technology services 

In partnership with the Library, the Disability Programs and Resource Center is increasing availability of assistive technology throughout the computer lab spaces, creating a more universally designed and inclusive environment. As a result, the Accessible Technology Commons (ATC), as a separate, stand-alone center, will close permanently on May 23 at 7 p.m. Students with disabilities can now access assistive technology on any of the available computer stations in the Research Commons, Study Commons or Digital Media Studio/MakerSpace. For more information about available assistive technology, ATC closure and related resources, visit

Safety Champion of the Month announced

Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) has selected Associate Professor of Chemistry Marc Anderson for its Make Safety Happen — Safety Champion of the Month Award. The award includes a prize of two free movie theater passes. Anderson is receiving the award for assisting EHS in characterizing a bucket of unknown solid chemical using nuclear magnetic resonance. Without his help, the chemical would have been disposed of as a very costly unknown instead of a much cheaper solid toxic material. Anderson is also a member of the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry safety committee working with EHS to develop rules for the safe procurement of hazardous materials.

Send your suggestions for making our campus safer to and you may be a future winner.

Bay Area Bike Challenge team seeks members

Get some exercise and help SF State compete against other Bay Area organizations by joining the Bay Area Bike Challenge. Sign up online and list SF State as your organization. Log your bike miles during May and enjoy the ride!

Friends of the Library looking for used books and more

If you are planning for some spring cleaning, SF State’s Friends of the Library volunteers would greatly appreciate donations of used books, CDs, vinyl records or DVDs. Your items will be offered for sale in the Library’s used book and media sale room to help raise funds for book acquisitions, technology updates and more. You can bring your donations to the Library sale room, located on the first floor behind Peet’s Coffee, or to the drop bin on the first floor of the Administration building. You can also arrange a pickup by contacting Barbara Loomis or Rob Strong.

Academic Senate agenda

The Academic Senate will meet Tuesday 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. The agenda will include:

  • Resolution Commending and Honoring Anita Silvers, in Memoriam

Old Business

  • Proposed Minor in Critical Mixed Race Studies; second reading
  • Proposed Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology: Integrative Teaching Education Program in Physical Education; second reading
  • Proposed Bachelor of Arts in Race and Resistance Studies; second reading
  • Proposed Revision to F18-255, Requirements for Baccalaureate Degrees, Majors, Concentrations, Minors and Certificates; second reading
  • Proposed Revision of S18-196, Withdrawal from Courses; first reading

New Business

  • Proposed Change of Name from Master of Arts in Psychology: Concentration in Social Psychology to Master of Arts in Psychology: Concentration in Social, Personality and Affective Science Psychology; consent item
  • Proposed Revision of the Minor in Education; consent item
  • Proposed Revisions of the Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management; consent item
  • Proposed Revision of the Minor in Information Systems; consent item
  • Proposed Resolution in Support of Campus Climate Change: Greater Inclusivity, Transparency and Access to Campus Climate Survey Results; first reading


  • Nathan Jones, Associated Students President: Report on the Activities of Associated Students During the 2018-19 Academic Year

A complete agenda and support documents for the meeting can be found online.

Stat CORR presentation: comparative studies of vocal signals, May 6

Stat CORR will host a presentation on comparative studies of vocal signals and auditory processing on Monday, May 6, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Faculty Commons (LIB 286). Assistant Professor of Biology Alejandro Velez Melendez will talk about some of his previous and future comparative studies of vocal signals and auditory processing in frogs and songbirds. Lunch will be served. To RSVP or for additional information, contact Richard Harvey at ext. 8-3478 or

Ceremony for study abroad students, May 10

The Office of International Programs will recognize SF State students studying abroad at a ceremony from 2 to 5 p.m. Friday, May 10, in the Student Life Event Center (Annex).

This is the final sendoff for students who will be participating in the California State University International Program or an SF State exchange program this summer and fall. The campus community is invited to come and honor its overseas ambassadors.

Farm to Fork, May 13

Join the Vista Room, Sodexo and the Office of Sustainability for a new-format Farm to Fork lunch Monday, May 13. This locally sourced, sustainable lunch will raise awareness and funds for SF State’s basic needs programs. Vegan and vegetarian burritos will be available for $2 each, and donations will be accepted for SF State basic needs initiatives. Donate or purchase tickets at Tickets will also be available at the event.

QLT Hybrid Teaching Workshop, June 5

You’re invited to join Academic Technology’s teaching and learning team for its June QLT Hybrid Teaching Workshop. This workshop will support faculty in redesigning their courses from traditional modes of instruction to hybrid learning. The workshop will be presented in a unique hybrid format: Faculty will participate in both synchronous and asynchronous online activities that directly prepare them for group work in the face-to-face session. This will allow faculty to experience hybrid learning from the student perspective.

Because everyone’s iLearn to-do list is unique, faculty interested in learning specific how-to’s for iLearn tools should email for a one-on-one consult.

It is strongly recommended that faculty participate in all three sessions, as one session builds on the next. Sessions include:

  • A synchronous session via Zoom: Wednesday, June 5, from 1 to 2 p.m.
  • An asynchronous session via iLearn: one to two hours of work anytime between June 5 and June 11
  • A face-to-face session: Wednesday, June 12, between 1 and 4 p.m. in LIB 222

Space is limited. Please register for all three parts here.

QLT online teaching lab, June 10

The Academic Technology teaching and learning team will launch an online teaching lab June 10. Faculty and staff will have the opportunity to choose their own learning experiences from a modular selection of small topics. Everything is optional, and it’s up to you to decide how and when you would like to engage. The lab is fully online, with both synchronous and asynchronous online activities, so participants are able to experience online learning from the student perspective.

The lab focuses on best practices in online teaching while exploring numerous tools. Those interested in specific how-to’s for individual iLearn tools should email for a one-on-one consult.

The QLT Online Teaching Lab offers two choices for professional development and engagement:

  • A facilitated three-week learning experience with a faculty learning community and timely feedback on your work: June 10 through June 27
  • Open access to lab resources to explore at your own pace, without facilitation; feedback upon request

Both options include membership in an ongoing professional learning network (in-person and online) with special topics released monthly during the 2019-2020 academic year. Sign up for your preferred learning experience here.

In Memoriam: Saul Steier

A memorial service and celebration of life for Associate Professor of Humanities Saul Steier will be held at the Seven Hills Conference Center from 4 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 11. Steier was a chair of the Humanities Department and a longtime member of the Academic Senate. Please contact Cynthia Ward  if you would like to attend or contribute memories of Professor Steier.

Monday, May 6

Recital: Voice students 1:10 p.m. in Knuth Hall, Creative Arts building

Film screening: “Redemption Trail”: 4 p.m. in FA 101

Tuesday, May 7

Theatre of the Oppressed Performances, Racial Discrimination and Suicide on College Campus: 10 a.m. in HUM 587

Equitable Teaching Series: Reflective Teaching Practice: noon in LIB 242

Lecture: Not in My Family: German Memory and Responsibility after the Holocaust: 3:30 p.m. in HUM 587

Wednesday, May 8

Recital: Chamber music ensembles: 1:10 p.m. in Knuth Hall, Creative Arts building

Concert: Chamber music ensembles: 7:30 p.m. in Knuth Hall, Creative Arts building

Thursday, May 9

Workshop: Beyond Compliance: Making Museums Accessible for People with Disabilities: 1 p.m. in the Global Museum (FA 203)

Fulbright Information Workshop: 1 p.m. in LIB 244

Tim Z. Hernandez, reading and in conversation with Marguerite Muñoz and René Juarez-Vazquez: 1 p.m. in the Poetry Center (HUM 512)

Theatre: “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell: 6 p.m. in the Lab (CA 104)

Runway 2019: Kaleidoscope: 6:30 p.m. in the SF State Student Life Center at Annex 1

Poetry: Tim Z. Hernandez, Marguerite Muñoz and René Juarez-Vazquez: 7 p.m. at Alley Cat Bookshop, 3036 24th Street, San Francisco

Friday, May 10

Presentation: Extending Minority Stress Theory to Advance the Study of Health Disparities Faced by Sexual Minority Populations: 10:30 a.m. in the Seven Hills Conference Center

Theatre: “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell: 6 p.m. in the Lab (CA 104)

Theatre: “Dreamgirls”: 7 p.m. in the McKenna Theatre, Creative Arts building

Saturday, May 11

Theatre: “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell: 6 p.m. in the Lab (CA 104)

Theatre: “Dreamgirls”: 7 p.m. in the McKenna Theatre, Creative Arts building

Sunday, May 12

Theatre: “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell: 2 p.m. in the Lab (CA 104)

Concert: Morrison Artists Series: JACK Quartet: 3 p.m. in the McKenna Theatre, Creative Arts building

LeBuhn featured in PBS doc, Bay Nature

The Great Sunflower Project, a pollinator-focused citizen science initiative directed by Professor of Biology Gretchen LeBuhn that has over 100,00 members, was featured on PBS last week as part of the three-part documentary series “American Spring Live.” Along with the program, LeBuhn also published an educational curriculum to get elementary school students involved in citizen science. The program is viewable at

LeBuhn also spoke with Bay Nature about a recent pollinator survey she completed and how it compares to international reports of mass die-off of insects. “I feel anxious about it,” LeBuhn said. “But I’m a data person. I feel like there’s enough data to say clearly there are things declining in some parts of the world.”

Dollinger takes on anti-Semitism

Professor of Jewish Studies Marc Dollinger was quoted in a widely reprinted Jewish Telegraphic Agency article about politics and anti-Semitism in the wake of last week’s synagogue shooting in San Diego. Dollinger pointed out that both the left and the right have anti-Semitic extremists. “Both of them are coming after Jews — that’s where they conflate and where we see them together,” Dollinger said. “The threat from white nationalism is a much greater threat to American Jews than the left in that the shooters in Pittsburgh [last October] and Poway [last week] are coming from the right. That said, let’s get rid of both of them.”

McBride talks Capra, Welles, Lubitsch

School of Cinema Professor Joseph McBride was a guest on the Midnight Writer News podcast April 25. McBride discussed his newest book, “Frankly: Unmasking Frank Capra,” as well as his role in the Orson Welles film “The Other Side of the Wind.” Listen to the podcast here. McBride also introduced the film “The Oyster Princess” at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival last Thursday. The 1919 German film was directed by Ernst Lubitsch, the subject of another recent McBride book.

Lukas receives 2019 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature

Assistant Professor of Creative Writing Michael David Lukas was featured in an article in J. Weekly for receiving the 2019 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature for his novel “The Last Watchman of Old Cairo.” “What an honor to be chosen for this prize, and to have my name listed alongside such an amazing group of writers,” Lukas said. Lukas’ novel also won the 2018 National Jewish Book Award in fiction in January.