September 3, 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."
Aerial photo of students on a field dressed in purple T-shirts

University welcomes more than 8,600 new students

What does it mean to be a Gator? New Associate Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students Danny Glassmann summed it up during his opening address to parents and first-year students at the University’s second annual pinning ceremony Aug. 20.

“Being a purple Gator means you’re resilient, it means that you have courage, it means that you stand up for your convictions and it means that you make a difference,” Glassman said.

This academic year, SF State welcomed more than 3,700 new first-year students eager to accept that challenge. An additional 3,773 transfer students and 1,168 graduate students now call themselves Gators, as well.

At last week’s pinning ceremony, the entering class received a unique SF State pin ­— a symbol of their academic journey, says First Year Experience Manager Chris Trudell. Families also received a pin of their own, part of a strategic move to involve parents and other supporters more closely in their child’s college experience.

“Parents, we are true partners in this endeavor,” Glassmann said during his address. “It truly takes a village to help each student graduate. We just graduated over 8,000 students last spring and we want your student to do the same in a few years. You’re a partner, and we need your help.”

These efforts mean a lot to someone like Tung Trinh, who felt a range of emotions as he dropped off his daughter, the first of his children to leave home for college. “I’m excited she wants to spread her wings, but I’m also nervous and a little sad,” he said. “She wants her own path, and that’s great. I want that for her, too.”

Stephen Chen

Chen named director of Counseling & Psychology Services (CAPS)

Following a competitive national search, Stephen Chen was appointed the new director of Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) effective June 3. Chen comes to SF State after more than 10 years supporting student mental health and well-being at San Jose State University (SJSU). A licensed psychologist with a doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, he earned tenure and promotion as a counselor faculty at SJSU, where he also served nearly three years as the associate director for CAPS. Chen has a successful track record in developing and implementing groups, administrating pre-doctoral and post-doc training programs and deploying electronic mental health records.

The Division of Student Affairs extends warm thanks to Yolanda Gamboa for serving as interim assistant director for Clinical Services throughout the director search and extends appreciation to the entire CAPS faculty and staff team for their patience and continued dedicated service to SF State students. For more information, visit the CAPS website.

Adam Burke

Burke wins Faculty Innovation and Leadership Award

Professor of Holistic Health Studies (HHS) and Director of SF State’s Institute for Holistic Health Studies Adam Burke is one of 19 CSU faculty members chosen to receive a 2019-2020 CSU Faculty Innovation and Leadership Award. The awards recognize faculty leaders who have implemented innovative practices in teaching, course design or support programs that significantly improve student outcomes. Award recipients have expertise in a wide range of disciplines from science education to public health to speech language pathology.

“These outstanding faculty consistently engage students with innovative practices and foster stimulating and equitable learning environments that support these students on their path to graduation,” said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White. “Their commitment to deepen and enrich learning by putting students at the center of all they do is fundamental to the mission of the CSU and is helping to transform higher education nationwide.”

Burke is considered a pioneer in integrative health and wellness education. He is recognized for developing the HHS program, a one-of-a-kind curriculum focusing on students’ health and well-being to support their success in college and beyond. Burke implements self-care practices in HHS’s 20-course curriculum to improve students’ academic and personal self-efficacy, support college persistence and graduation, and promote long-term success as contributing members of their communities.

Academic Senate Agenda

The Academic Senate will meet Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019 from 2 to 3 p.m. in the Nob Hill Room of the Seven Hills Conference Center for their first meeting of the academic year. Visitors are welcome. 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 a proposed revision to charge of the Strategic Issues Committee in the by-laws of the Senate and remarks from President Mahoney.

Review documents for Senate plenary

Excess vacation reminder

Human Resources would like to remind University employees of their excess vacation options. There are maximum credit accrual provisions established by the CSU and collective bargaining agreements. Accumulations in excess of the established limits, as of Jan. 1 each year, shall be forfeited if leave credits are not used by Dec. 31, 2019.

You can check your balance by logging into SF State Gateway. Visit the Employee Services web page, then click from CS and HR Self Service to My Benefits to Leave Balance. Additional information about leave accrual information is also available on the HR website.

If it appears that you will accrue excess leave, please work with your supervisor to plan time off that will not disrupt University operations, particularly during the month of December and at semester’s end. Note that you may donate up to 40 hours of leave (depending on collective bargaining agreements) in a fiscal year to the Catastrophic Leave Donation Program.

If you have further questions, contact Absence Management Coordinator Suki Zhen at 8-2691 or

Open Enrollment 2020 is coming

Open Enrollment is an opportunity for you to review your current benefit plans’ elections to ensure they continue to meet your needs and those of your family. This year it will run from Sept. 9 through Oct. 4. You can change your benefits, update your beneficiaries and check your mailing address. Plan additions, changes or deletions will become effective Jan. 1, 2020. For more information, check out the 2020 Open Enrollment page.

Payroll deductions now available for the Mashouf Wellness Center

Campus Recreation is excited to announce that the Mashouf Wellness Center is now offering payroll deductions to SF State faculty and staff. For $46 per month faculty and staff can have full access to the Mashouf Wellness Center. For more details please visit the Campus Recreation website and read the payroll deductions agreement form. SF State faculty and staff must sign up in person between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or by appointment at the front desk. For questions or to schedule an appointment, contact Ryan Samuels at

University lauded for water conservation

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education listed SF State as a top performer in the area of water conservation in its 2019 Sustainable Campus Index. The index highlights the most sustainable colleges and universities across the country. In this year’s rankings, SF State, Colorado College and the University Connecticut tied for first in water conservation and reuse. The full Sustainable Campus Index is available online.

Department of Recreation, Parks & Tourism hosts conference

The 19th annual Building Excellence in Sustainable Tourism Education Network (BEST EN) Think Tank was held in San Francisco June 30 through July 3, with the SF State Department of Recreation, Parks & Tourism (RPT) as host. Think Tank XIX showcased San Francisco and its extensive sustainability practices, putting a spotlight on SF State with an international audience. The event drew delegates from 17 countries representing 21 academic institutions and governmental and non-governmental organizations as well as the tourism industry.

The event kicked off with a welcome reception at the California Academy of Sciences, where College of Health & Social Sciences Associate Dean John Elia greeted the delegates. The following three days were highlighted by keynotes bridging the gap between industry professionals and academic research as well as research presentations and interactive workshops exploring the conference theme, “Creating Sustainable Tourist Experiences.”

Retention, tenure and promotion workshops this month

The office of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development invites tenured and tenure-track faculty to participate in one of the following fall workshops to help prepare for this year’s retention, tenure and promotion reviews. Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development Todd Roehrman will lead the retention workshops. Roehrman and David Walsh, chair of the University Tenure and Promotion Committee (UTPC), will co-lead the tenure and promotion workshops. Faculty who will be reviewed in the next several years are encouraged to attend.

  • Second Year Review: Thursday, Sept. 5, 10:30 a.m. – noon in LIB 244
  • Any Retention Review Year: Friday, Sept. 6, online via Zoom
  • Tenure and/or Promotion: Wednesday, Sept. 11, 12:30 – 2 p.m. in LIB 244
  • Tenure and/or Promotion: Tuesday, Sept. 17, 12:30 – 2 p.m., location TBD

For more information, please visit the Faculty Affairs and Professional Development website.

Video for Online Learning and Teaching (VOLT) Workshop, Sept. 17

Join Academic Technology for a Video for Online Learning and Teaching (VOLT) workshop on Tuesday, Sept. 17, from 10 a.m. to noon in LIB 222. In this workshop you will:

  • Learn how to use video to enrich your teaching practices.
  • Create a video demo using University-supported software like CourseStream, Zoom and Camtasia.
  • Learn best practices for assembling your own recording space and making higher-quality videos.

Please register online to reserve your space. If you have questions, contact the Teaching and Learning Team at For more information about this event, please go to the Center for Equity and Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CEETL) website.

New Beginnings: Facilitating Academic Transitions, Sept. 19

CEETL’s Happy Hour Workshop series focuses on sharing faculty members’ pedagogical expertise. The latest interactive workshop in the series — New Beginnings: Facilitating Academic Transitions — will be held in LIB 242 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 19. The workshop will be facilitated by the CEETL leadership team, in various stages of personal and professional transition: Amy Kilgard, Wei Ming Dariotis, Maggie Beers and Teggin Summers.

In this workshop, you will:

  • Reflect upon the personal and professional transitions experienced in academic life.
  • Explore the stages of transition we must pass through to embrace new beginnings.
  • Identify practices and processes to support yourself, your students and colleagues during life’s transitions.

Come raise a glass with CEETL! (CEETL will provide light snacks and beer, wine and sparkling water.) Please register online to reserve your space.

Questions? Contact the CEETL team at

SF State Benefits Fair, Sept. 25

It’s that time of year again: Human Resources would like to cordially invite you to this year’s Benefits Fair on Wednesday, Sept. 25, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Jack Adams Hall, located on the third floor of the Cesar Chavez Student Center.

The SF State Benefits Fair is an informational open house and provides an opportunity for faculty and staff to meet with representatives from the various plans and programs offered at SF State. A wide range of health-care groups, investment groups and wellness companies are expected to attend. Fair attendees will be eligible to win door prizes from participating vendors.

Yarbrough critiques anti-homelessness measures

A recent study of anti-homelessness legislation by Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Studies Dilara Yarbrough inspired a lengthy article on the website The study found that measures intended to restrict behaviors associated with homelessness, such as panhandling, merely perpetuate poverty and inequality. “They give people tickets for sleeping or existing or lodging or whatever in public space,” Yarbrough said in the article. “The average ticket for an anti-homeless citation we found is $150. Do homeless people have $150? No, they don’t. And so these citations just add up and create a cycle of debt. This can result sometimes in [the] suspension of a driver’s license.” Read the full article here.

Sears research cited in SFPD apology coverage

A New York Daily News article about a recent apology to LGBTQ citizens from the San Francisco Police Department cited the work of Associate Professor of Sociology and Sexuality Studies Clare Sears. San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott apologized to the LGBTQ community for historic abuse at a public forum in August. The Daily News article quoted Sears from an article on the SF State News site in which she discussed her book “Arresting Dress: Cross-Dressing, Law, and Fascination in Nineteenth-Century San Francisco.” Cross-dressing laws “made anybody who didn’t quite fit into the narrow definitions of what a man or woman should look like have to be vigilant,” Sears said. Read the full Daily News article here.

Oliphant’s Burning Man brainstorm

As weary revelers return home from this year’s Burning Man in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, an SF State News article looks back on Professor of Geography & Environment Andrew Oliphant’s unique experience at the counter-culture festival in 2013. A micrometeorologist, Oliphant studies interactions between the surface and the atmosphere, including in cities, where sprawling buildings and unnatural materials influence local weather patterns. Ideally, someone who wanted to understand a city’s impact on its surroundings would wait for the city to be built and compare the urban environment with its pristine past. Most scientists, of course, don’t have that kind of time — but Burning Man’s “Black Rock City” is erected in just three days each year. So Oliphant packed up his equipment and headed to Nevada along with some students and collaborators. A week before the event’s kickoff, the team went to the site of the city-to-be and set up towers to measure how wind speed, temperature and exchanges of gases changed over time. Some of their findings — which shine light on how cities impact local weather patterns —were later published in the journal Urban Climate. Read the full SF State News article here.

Cushing concerned as hot summer nights get hotter

Assistant Professor of Health Education Lara Cushing commented on the disappearance of cool summer nights in a Mother Nature Network article. Scientists have found that warm summer nights are becoming more common, with the relief provided by cool nighttime air becoming less reliable. Cushing finds that to be cause for concern, especially for people who aren’t used to relentless heat. “A hundred and five degrees in San Francisco is going to have a bigger impact probably than 105 degrees in Houston, Texas, where everybody has air conditioning and people are accustomed to dealing with high temperatures,” Cushing said.