February 24, 2020

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Student wearing lab coat and gloves pipetting samples behind a glass partition

University receives $10.5M grant from Genentech Foundation

SF State has announced a historic grant from the Genentech Foundation of $10.5 million over the next five years, building upon a program in the University’s College of Science & Engineering that has demonstrated tremendous success in supporting students as they prepare for careers in the life sciences. The grant is the largest ever awarded by the Genentech Foundation and also counts among the largest received by the University.

“This is a landmark grant for both the Genentech Foundation and San Francisco State, and we appreciate their generosity in investing in our students,” said President Lynn Mahoney. “The grant demonstrates recognition of SF State’s outstanding track record in preparing our students to become productive members and leaders of the Bay Area workforce of the future.”

The Genentech Foundation has funded scholarships for master’s students in the College of Science & Engineering for more than 10 years. In that time, 46 of the 50 student participants entered Ph.D. programs, including many top-tier research universities like Stanford University, Harvard University and the University of California, San Francisco. Based on that proven history of success, the Genentech Foundation grant will now expand those programs, allowing SF State to provide financial resources, academic counseling and mentoring services to more students — most of whom are from underrepresented groups.

“San Francisco State University has a talented and diverse faculty and student body as well as a long history of creating programs that help these students succeed,” said Carla Boragno, Genentech Foundation board chair and senior vice president and global head of Engineering and Facilities, Pharma Technical Operations. “We are very proud to expand our partnership with San Francisco State to impact even more students earlier in their academic journey.”


Person holding the laces of running shoes

Case study suggests gut bacteria boosts athletic performance

What’s the secret to getting the most out of your workout? Some would say an energetic music playlist and plenty of water. But a recent SF State case study suggests a different answer: the bacteria living in your gut.

Assistant Professor of Kinesiology Jimmy Bagley conducted a case study to understand how the human microbiome — the ecosystem of living things such as bacteria found in and on the body — correlates to exercise and health. For his study, Bagley monitored the bacteria levels in a world-class ultramarathoner’s gut before and after the runner competed in the Western States Endurance Run (WSER), a 100-mile race in Northern California.

To prepare for the WSER, the athlete ran about 10 to 13 hours every week before the race. Along the way, he also ran in two shorter preparatory races and attended training camps. Gut microbiome analyses were performed four times: 21 weeks before the race, two weeks before the race, two hours after the race and 10 days after. To gather the needed data, the runner self-collected stool samples using a commercially available kit.

The runner’s participation in the 100-mile race resulted in the most rapid and distinct shift in the gut microbiome ever reported after a single session of physical activity. The findings suggest that the runner’s gut microbiome was reacting to the extreme conditions of the race to protect him.

“We are just scratching the surface of understanding how important our microbiome is to human health,” Bagley said.

The study was published in the journal Physiological Reports. Coauthors include SF State graduate student Ryan Durk and Georgia Southern University Assistant Professor of Kinesiology Gregory Grosicki.


Kim Schwartz

Kim Schwartz named latest Safety Champion of the Month 

This month’s Environmental, Health and Safety Make Safety Happen – Safety Champion of the Month Award of a pair of movie tickets goes to Director of the School of Theatre and Dance Kim Schwartz. Schwartz has been the guiding force behind the Theatre and Dance Safety Committee and its ongoing safety program. This well-deserved award recognizes several years of safety leadership and significant contributions to the Theatre and Dance safety program, including the development of a Theatre and Dance Safety Manual.


CEL dean candidate presentation

The campus community is invited to attend a Wednesday, Feb. 26, presentation by a third candidate selected to interview for the position of College of Extended Learning dean. Candidate Khusro Kidwai, founding director and managing partner of Tarragona Associates, will deliver his presentation from 2:45 to 4 p.m. in LIB 244. Time will be allotted for questions and answers, and the presentation will be followed by a light reception. Information on all candidates is available on the Academic Affairs and Office of the Provost website.


VP of University Advancement campus forums

The Search Committee for the vice president of University Advancement is inviting three candidate finalists to visit SF State and meet with campus stakeholders. You can read about the position as posted on the VP Advancement Search page.

Cancelled: Candidate #1

  • Tuesday, Feb. 25, 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. in LIB 121
  • Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2 to 2:45 p.m. at the Seven Hills Conference Center (with real-time captioning) 

Meaghan Hogan

  • Wednesday, Feb. 26, 3 to 3:45 p.m. at the Seven Hills Conference Center (with real-time captioning)
  • Thursday, Feb. 27, 1:30 to 2:15 p.m. in LIB 121

Jeff Jackanicz

  • Friday, Feb. 28, 1:30 to 2:15 p.m. in LIB 121
  • Monday, March 2, 3 to 3:45 p.m. at the Seven Hills Conference Center (with real-time captioning) 

Real-time captioning will be provided at the forums as noted. To request any additional reasonable accommodations for the forums, please contact Nancy Ganner at ganner@sfsu.edu

Forums are 45 minutes each, with a 15-minute candidate presentation and 30 minutes for discussion and questions. Participants will have the opportunity to submit their feedback to the search committee. The search committee would like to thank everyone for participating in the search process.


Time to register for SF State Kids Camp 

Registration for SF State Kids camp is now open. Spots fill up fast, so make sure you secure a place for your camper soon. Based in the Mashouf Wellness Center, the program will offer recreation, field trips and learning activities for campers ages 5 to 11 years old. From June 8 through July 31, each week will have its own theme as well as a field trip and special event to match. The program takes place 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday with options for early care and after care. Learn more at campusrec.sfsu.edu/summer-camp. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to the student managers at crdcamp@mail.sfsu.edu.


Academic Senate report

The SF State Academic Senate met on Tuesday, Feb. 18, in the Seven Hills Conference Center. A summary of the meeting follows. The senate:

  • Approved unanimously a revision to #F98-204, Policy and Guidelines for Offering Existing SFSU Degrees via the College of Extended Learning.
  • Approved unanimously the proposal for a Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Business.
  • Heard in first reading (1) a proposal for a Certificate in Pre-Master of Business Administration (MBA) Foundation; (2) three proposed resolutions (on the implementation of the City of San Francisco parking tax, calling for a task force on faculty workload equity and opposing proposed regulatory changes to Title IX); and (3) proposed changes to the by-laws of the Academic Senate.
  • Adopted by general consent a revision to the Minor in Sociology and a resolution changing the name of the College of Business to the Lam Family College of Business in senate policies and procedures.

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


Journalism of the Future: Industry and Academy Roundtable, Feb. 25 

The School of Theatre and Dance’s Fabula(b) Theatre + New Media lab will host a roundtable discussion of journalism of the future from noon to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25, in LIB 121. Presented in partnership with the School of Theatre and Dance, the School of Design, the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability and the CSU Entertainment Alliance, the discussion will explore how newsrooms use new technology, if tech will replace print publications, if virtual reality and augmented reality create empathy, definitions of fake news, how technology improves accessibility and how to get a technology job in journalism. Roundtable participants will include Washington post reporter Reed Albergotti, KQED producer Ericka Cruz Guevarra, Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund Director of Communications Lawrence Carter-Long, Assistant Professor of Theatre Studies Elizabeth Bradley Hunter and Assistant Professor of Journalism Joshua Davis.


“Prince Among Slaves” screening, Feb. 26

The Division of Equity & Community Inclusion will host a screening of the documentary “Prince Among Slaves” from noon to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26, in SSB 304. Refreshments will be provided. “Prince Among Slaves” details the true story of the African Muslim Prince Abdul-Rahman, who was captured in 1788 from the West African Islamic Confederation of Futa Jallon, located in what is now Guinea. Abdul-Rahman was transported to America and sold into slavery on a plantation in Mississippi where he toiled in the fields for 40 years. In 1828 he was released from slavery and became the most famous African in America. For event information or to request accommodations, please send a message to zarina@sfsu.edu


RFSA general meeting, elections, Feb. 26

The Raza Faculty and Staff Association (RFSA) invites the campus community to its first brown bag lunch meeting from noon to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26, in LIB 121. Please RSVP online for the meeting.

RFSA will be holding elections for half of the RFSA board. The positions that are up for election, with terms ending in December of 2021, are (1) co-chair for staff, (2) recorder, (3) events director and (4) archivist. If you would like to nominate yourself for a position on the ballot, please send an email to rfsa@sfsu.edu with your full name and contact information, including your job title and department. Please indicate whether you’re an active dues-paying member or if you need to renew your membership prior to the election. RFSA encourages candidates to be present at the meeting (or to participate via Zoom if working at the Downtown Campus or Romberg Tiburon Campus).

This semester, RFSA will hold monthly brown bag lunches. If you’re interested in leading a brown bag discussion, email your topics and ideas to rfsa@sfsu.edu. Please hold the following dates for the brown bag lunches:

  • Monday, March 16, noon to 1 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 9, noon to 1 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 7, noon to 1 p.m.

Allopathic and holistic cancer treatment talk, March 2

Elior Kinarthy will visit campus to discuss allopathic and holistic treatments for cancer from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Monday, March 2, in HSS 213. Part of a lecture series sponsored by the Institute for Holistic Health Studies in the Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism, the talk will cover both Kinarthy’s research and personal experience of cancer treatments. Kinarthy is a retired professor of psychology and parapsychology from California and author of “The Psychology of Investing.”


DVAN Celebrations, March 3 

The campus community is invited to a celebration of DVAN@SFSU from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, March 3, in the Cesar Chavez Student Center’s Jack Adams Hall. DVAN@SFSU is a new project from the College of Ethnic Studies curated by DVAN (Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network) Director and Professor of Asian American Studies Isabelle Pelaud. The March 3 event will feature several special guests, including Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and DVAN co-founder Viet Thanh Nguyen, writers Lan Duong, Aimee Phan, Julie Thi Underhill, and Thi Bui, author of the graphic novel “The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir.” There will be a reading by author Danny Nguyen, and Lecturer of Asian American Studies Philip Nguyen will serve as emcee.

This event is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and co-sponsored by DVAN, the Poetry Center, Vietnamese Students Association, the Asian American Studies Department, the College of Ethnic Studies and Asian American and Pacific Islander Retention and Education (ASPIRE). Additional event details can be found on the Poetry Center web page. For more information, please contact Isabelle Pelaud or Philip Nguyen.


ITS outreach trainings in March

Information Technology Services (ITS) will offer four outreach training sessions for March. Two are new: IT Resources and Intermediate Excel. Seating is limited, so please register using the links below. Plan on attending one or several of the following:

Qualtrics: 1 to 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 3, in ADM 201
Register via Qualtrics.

Microsoft Teams: 3 to 4 p.m. Thursday, March 19, in ADM 201
Register via Qualtrics.

IT Resources: 3 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 24, in ADM 201
Whether you are new to campus or have been here a while, you may not know all of the IT Resources available to you throughout SF State. This session will provide a wealth of knowledge.
Register via Qualtrics.

Intermediate Excel: 10 to 11 a.m. Thursday, March 26, in ADM 103
Learn about working with data sets, helpful formulas, customizing the status bar and pivot tables. Note: This training is not for those new to Excel. Before this session, you should know how to enter and format text; how to format cells; how to navigate sheets; the difference between cell, row, column, sheet and workbook; and basic formulas and functions such as addition, subtraction, average, COUNT, MIN and MAX.
Register via Qualtrics.


Developing Your Teaching ePortfolio, March 12

Join the Center for Equity and Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CEETL) from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Thursday, March 12, in LIB 222 to learn best practices and basic strategies to start building your teaching portfolio. CEETL will explore ways to showcase your teaching experience, philosophy, accomplishments and potential. Whether you are a teaching assistant (TA), new to teaching or have years of experience, this workshop will enable you to organize and develop your best teaching portfolio. After the completion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the purposes of a teaching portfolio
  • Identify the components of a teaching portfolio
  • Identify sources of evidence and data for inclusion in a teaching portfolio
  • Write a draft of reflective and summary statements for their teaching portfolio

If you’re working on a First Year Pedagogies for Inclusive Excellence (FY PIE) Certificate, which requires you to build a teaching portfolio, this workshop will help. More information about earning a FY PIE Certificate is available on the CEETL websiteRegister for the workshop via Qualtrics.

This workshop is part of CEETL’s Equitable Teaching Series, which explores foundational teaching approaches that foster equity and inclusivity in support of student success. While funds are available, CEETL is able to pay lecturing faculty $50 per participant for each face-to-face and/or synchronous online Equitable Teaching Series (ETS) workshop they complete. For lecturing faculty attending an ETS workshop, please be sure to register, complete the sign-in sheet and fill out the necessary paperwork to receive funding.


Investiture ceremony, March 18

The investiture ceremony for the University’s 14th president, Lynn Mahoney will be held Wednesday, March 18, in the McKenna Theatre. Doors open at 2:30 p.m., and the ceremony begins at 3 p.m. A reception will follow. There will also be a student celebration preceding the ceremony from noon to 2 p.m. at Malcom X Plaza. 

Chakrabarti helps remember “Forgotten Empress”

Assistant Professor of Theatre Studies Sukanya Chakrabarti will be a cast member and narrator when the play “The Forgotten Empress” is produced in San Jose and San Francisco in the coming weeks. A dance-drama based on the history and life of Mughal Empress Noor Jahan, “The Forgotten Empress” will be performed at San Jose State’s Hammer Theatre Center Feb. 28 and Feb. 29 as well as San Francsico’s Z Space March 5 and March 6. Learn more at nooranidance.com/the-forgotten-empress.


Pahnke is sour on proposed dairy purchase

Assistant Professor of International Relations Anthony Pahnke recently wrote an op-ed for Wisconsin State Farmer about who should purchase the food and beverage company Dean Foods, the largest dairy company in the U.S. The company recently filed for bankruptcy, and Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), the country’s largest dairy cooperative, is looking to purchase it. Pahnke — who is also vice president of the advocacy group Family Farm Defenders — thinks the federal government should step in and purchase the company instead. “Dean Food’s bankruptcy could be an opportunity, not for DFA, but for our nation’s food system. The government has the chance to lead a real, positive change that stands to benefit farmers, consumers and rural America,” he wrote. Read the full article here online.


Sabey’s “Rare Bird” takes flight

“Rare Bird,” a composition by Assistant Professor of Music Benjamin Sabey, was performed by the experimental music group Ensemble Phase on Dec. 15, 2019, in South Korea. The group performed the piece for its world premiere during a visit to campus as part of the Morrison Artists Series in November.


Ryan on confidence in LGBTQ youth

Director of SF State’s Family Acceptance Project Caitlin Ryan was quoted in a public radio story about LGBTQ people coming out at earlier ages. “Young people are seeing themselves in more positive ways in the media, in popular culture, in their community with other people who are coming out,” Ryan said. “Really for the first time in history … we now see positive images of LGBTQ people.” Read or listen to the full story on the website of Chicago public radio station WBEZ.


Modirzadeh gets jazzy

Professor of Music and saxophonist Hafez Modirzadeh performed with jazz pianist Vijay Iyer on Jan. 23 at 945 ArtSpace in San Francisco. The concert was presented by the organization Asian Improv aRts, which supports artistic works that represent the Asian American experience.


New exhibition for McFarland

An exhibition by Assistant Professor of Art Sean McFarland, “4.5 billion years a lifetime,” is on display at the Casemore Kirkeby gallery in San Francisco through March 28. The exhibition explores the idea of hyperobjects — phenomena so massive they’re difficult to fully grasp — through large-scale cyanotypes, handmade silver gelatin prints and video work. Learn more on the Casemore Kirkeby website.