September 9, 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."
'We the People' in old script style, beginning of consitution

Constitution Day returns Sept. 16 & 17

As part of a nationwide celebration commemorating the 232nd anniversary of the U.S. Constitution, SF State will host Rights and Wrongs: A Constitution and Citizenship Day Conference Sept. 16 and 17 in the J. Paul Leonard Library and the Cesar Chavez Student Center. This free event provides opportunities to reflect critically on the past, present and future of constitutional rights, freedoms, citizenship, democracy, equality and justice. Keynote speakers: 

  • UC Berkeley Chancellor’s Professor of Law Bertrall Ross will speak on the topic “Fixing Our Distorted Democracy” from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 16, in Jack Adams Hall.
  • Arizona State University Professor of Social Transformation K. Tsianina Lomawaima will speak on the topic “More than Mascots! Less than Citizens? American Indians and the False Promises of U.S. Citizenship” from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17, in Jack Adams Hall.

See the full schedule on the Department of History website.

Two researchers wearing red goggles looking at a system of metal lab equipment

SF State researchers use lasers, gold to test super-thin materials

As technologies become more compact — with the room-sized computers of the past shrinking to smartphones as just one example — you eventually reach a limit. In a new study, SF State scientists push against that limit, probing the properties of a futuristic material made up of just a single layer of molecules. The team used lasers, vaporized gold and even employed some strategic sticky tape to gain a better understanding of the material, which may one day allow for extreme miniaturization of technologies like lasers and LED lights.

Assistant Professor of Physics & Astronomy AKM Newaz started digging into the material molybdenum disulfide (or MoS2 for short) in 2016. He was intrigued by its ability to be created a single molecule thick — nearly 100,000 times thinner than a human hair. It’s also a semiconductor, a class of materials that play a crucial role in computers because of their ability to alter electric currents.

The same trait that gives MoS2 its interesting properties also makes it difficult to work with. To test the material in the way it would actually be used in next-generation technologies it needs to be sandwiched between metals, but the typical process for doing so involves placing it on a gold surface that has hills and valleys that would bend the material out of shape. Newaz and his lab members got around that by evaporating gold onto a flat surface with super-hot temperatures, sticking a flat sheet of silicon wafer on the condensed molten metal and then peeling it off. The resulting, far smoother gold surface allowed the scientists to mount the MoS2 on it using sticky tape while keeping its properties intact. The next step was passing an instrument with a tiny metal tip paired with a laser over the material to map out its physical peaks and valleys. That led to more surprising discoveries about the material’s properties that could impact how it’s used in the future.

The team published the results of their work in the journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. Read more about their findings on the SF State News site.

Jeff Duncan-Andrade

CSU launches online publication touting systemwide accomplishments

The inaugural issue of CSUniverse, an online publication highlighting the accomplishments of CSU faculty, staff and alumni, is now available online. The first issue includes a video that begins with SF State Associate Professor of Raza Studies and ELSIT Jeff Duncan-Andrade discussing the importance of providing opportunities to students from communities with fewer resources. In addition, School of Cinema Professor Joseph McBride gets a shout-out in the Books section, and alumna Rachelle Chaturabul (B.A., ’19) is spotlighted in a roundup of recent CSU graduates. Read the full issue.

Bon appetit — the Vista Room is back!

The Vista Room, SF State’s on-campus fine-dining restaurant and food service learning laboratory, has ended its summer hiatus and reopened its doors. The new fall menu includes shrimp and pineapple skewers, curried rice noodles, sesame ginger chicken salad and much more. Make your reservations online.

Discontinuance proposals announced

Per Academic Senate Policy S12-177, the Educational Policies Committee (EPC) is required to inform the campus community of the following discontinuance proposals two weeks before Senate action. Discontinuance has been proposed for:

  • Master of Science in Biology: Concentration in Marine Biology
  • Master of Science in Biology: Concentration in Microbiology

Any party interested in filing a response should send an email to Claude Bartholomew at

Join the M.O.V.E Initiative at Mashouf Wellness Center

Mashouf Wellness Center is continuing its faculty and staff M.O.V.E Initiative this semester. The goal of the initiative is to create a healthier campus community by encouraging faculty and staff to “Motivate. Others. Via. Exercise.” The first 100 faculty and staff members to purchase a fall semester membership or join via payroll deduction will receive a punch card that can be turned in for free giveaways once completed. In order to complete your punch card, you must visit the Mashouf Wellness Center 10 times this semester. Punch cards are available at the front desk. Find more information on the Campus Recreation website.

Academic Senate Report

The Academic Senate met on Tuesday, Sept. 3, in the Seven Hills Conference Center. At the meeting:

  • The Senate approved a new policy on a Student Grievance code with one amendment.
  • The Senate approved a revision of #S19-242, the policy on Student Grievance Procedures, with one amendment.
  • The Senate heard in first reading a proposed revision of the bylaws of the SF State Academic Senate to modify the charge of the Strategic Issues Committee.
  • President Lynn Mahoney welcomed the 2019-2020 Senate.

The full agenda, meeting materials and minutes can be found on the senate website.

STS Fellowship Program application deadline Sept. 17

The SF State 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. Applications are welcomed from across the 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. The application for the STS Fellowship Program is available online. The deadline for applications is Sept. 17.

For more information please email co-directors Martha Kenney and Laura Mamo. The STS Fellows Program is housed at the Health Equity Institute (HEI) and sponsored by the College of Liberal & Creative Arts, the College of Science & Engineering, the College of Health & Social Sciences and HEI.

ICCE Internship & Service-Learning Fair, Sept. 18

The Institute for Civic & Community Engagement (ICCE) invites all to the fall 2019 Internship & Service-Learning Fair on Wednesday, Sept. 18. The fair will be held on the Quad from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be 55 organizations from the Bay Area showcasing their work and offering opportunities for individuals to get involved. Organizations will have paid or unpaid internships as well as service-learning and volunteer opportunities. Those interested in learning about social justice issues, civic engagement and ways to give back to the community are encouraged to attend. Find information on the ICCE website.

University Budget Committee meeting, Sept. 19

The University Budget Committee (UBC) will meet on Thursday, Sept. 19, from 9 to 11 a.m. in ADM 560. The UBC is charged with providing the University president with advice and recommendations related to budget policy, planning and review. Meetings are open to the public, and there will be a 10-minute open forum period for interested members of the campus community to speak on budget and funding. More information is available on the Administration & Finance website.

Lesson Planning for Student Success, Sept. 27

CEETL’s Equitable Teaching Series explores foundational teaching approaches that foster equity and inclusivity in support of student success. Faculty can attend the latest workshop in the series, Lesson Planning for Student Success, two ways: on Tuesday, Sept.  24, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in LIB 242 or on Friday, Sept. 27, from noon to 1 p.m. via Zoom. In this workshop you will:

  • Explore lesson planning approaches that support student success
  • Identify the three stages of backward design
  • Create a lesson plan using a backward design template

Register for the Sept. 24 workshop in LIB 242.

Register for the Sept. 27 workshop via ZOOM

UndocuAlly Training, Oct. 2

All staff and faculty are invited to participate in an UndocuAlly Training Wednesday, Oct. 2. This training is designed to guide the SF State community in learning how to support the undocumented student population. Participants will receive an overview of immigration history, recent legislation, ways to support undocumented students and resources available to current and prospective undocumented students. Register online.

College of Ethnic Studies 50th Anniversary Commemoration Week, Oct. 7-12

The College of Ethnic Studies invites the campus community to its 50th Anniversary Commemoration Week Oct. 7-12. The college is hosting a series of events, including interactive presentations, panel discussions, exhibits, readings and opportunities for intergenerational dialogue among college founders, students, faculty, staff and community colleagues. The commemoration week is a partnership with Associated Students and the CSU Council on Ethnic Studies, a consortium of over 200 faculty members from the 23 campuses of the CSU. The anniversary commemoration week will conclude with a gala dinner the evening of Saturday, Oct. 12. The college’s extended family of 1968 strikers, alumni, supporters and friends spanning 50 years is invited to gather, share fine food and drink, listen to live music and celebrate this momentous date together. For more information go to

New book for Paulson

Professor of English Language and Literature Julie Paulson’s new book “Theater of the Word: Selfhood in the English Morality Play” was recently published by University of Notre Dame Press. The book takes a close look at morality plays and the impact medieval religious rule had on theatrical performances.

Postel talks equality

Professor of History Charles Postel recently appeared on Free Speech TV to discuss the rise of wealth inequality in the U.S. as addressed in his new book “Equality: An American Dilemma 1866 – 1896” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). The book also made the San Francisco Chronicle’s Labor Day reading list. Postel will make a promotional appearance at BookShop West Portal in San Francisco on Thursday, Sept. 26, at 7 p.m.

Pahnke advocates for farmers

Assistant Professor of International Relations Anthony Pahnke is vice president of the advocacy group Family Farm Defenders. In early August he wrote an opinion article that was published in North Carolina’s Fayetteville Observer about the impact of Trump administration policies on farming in the U.S. Another article he co-wrote — this one an opinion piece advocating for a farmers bill of rights — has been featured in a number of publications over the past few weeks, including the Napa Valley Register, the Chicago Tribune and the Montana Standard.

Caldararo on resistance to BART in Marin

Lecturer of Anthropology Niccolo Caldararo, a former Fairfax city council member, was quoted in an SFGate article about resistance to plans to build a Bay Area Rapid Transit line through Marin County in the 1960s. According to the article, many felt that such a line would lead to “rampant population growth and unregulated development” in open spaces like the Marin Headlands. Caldararo feels differently. “Can you imagine how easy it would have been to get to San Francisco? The idea that it would have spurred growth is a red herring. It would have been controlled,” he said. “Marin really missed out on something tremendous.”

Veri’s book crosses the goal line

The book “Gridiron Gourmet: Gender and Food at the Football Tailgate” by Associate Professor of Kinesiology Maria J. Veri and Cal State East Bay Professor of Kinesiology Rita Liberti has just been published by University of Arkansas Press. “Gridiron Gourmet” examines tailgating as shown in television, film, advertising and cookbooks, taking a close look at how and why the gendered performances on the football field are often matched by the intensity of the masculine displays in front of grills, smokers and deep fryers. Veri and Liberti’s research for the book, which took them to football stadiums across the country, was the subject of an SF State News article last year.