January 27, 2020

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Otters floating on their backs

Research shows potential for a sea otter resurgence 

San Francisco Bay has seen a resurgence in marine mammal species, and new research by a team including SF State scientists suggests that there might be room for one more. Sea otters, the study shows, would find widespread food and habitat in the Bay — and could perhaps spread to other estuaries, too. The team published its results in the open-access journal PeerJ.

After being hunted to the brink of extinction for their fur, California’s southern sea otters were down to a single population of 50 in the early 20th century. That number has since risen to around 3,000, but the animal’s recovery has largely been limited to only a single kind of habitat.

“This little remnant population that was left after the fur hunting [ended] grew up in the kelp forests and has expanded in the kelp forest,” explained study co-author Katharyn Boyer, a professor of biology at SF State’s Estuary and Ocean Science (EOS) Center. (SF State Professor of Geography & Environment Ellen Hines and master’s student Jane Rudebusch were also among the co-authors of the study.)

Before their decline, the otters’ range was much larger and included shallow, calm coastal wetlands like those along San Francisco Bay. A modern reintroduction effort in one such area on Monterey Bay called Elkhorn Slough has shown that otters are able to thrive there, too. The team performed an exhaustive survey of the habitat and food sources available in San Francisco Bay and found plenty of both. 

That’s good news for otters. And Boyer sees another important implication in the work: “It gives us yet another reason to care about estuaries, because they can provide these kinds of habitats,” she said.


A male and female working together on paper assignments

New tutoring center coming this spring

The Division of Undergraduate Education and Academic Planning on Feb. 10 will launch a new University-wide Tutoring and Academic Support Center that supports the academic success of all SF State students. The formation of the center comes after a multi-year, campus-wide review of tutoring at the University. The Tutoring and Academic Support Center, to be located in LIB 220, will offer weekly tutoring appointments, drop-in sessions and a variety of workshops. The Learning Assistance Center and the Campus Academic Resource Program closed at the end of December 2019. Faculty and staff interested in connecting with tutoring can email tutoring@sfsu.edu or stop by LIB 220 starting Feb. 10.

Following a national search, Michelle Montoya was appointed executive director of the Tutoring and Academic Support Center effective Jan. 21. Montoya comes to SF State from Truckee Meadows Community College, where she served as the Tutoring and Learning Center coordinator for writing and social sciences. Montoya brings more than 15 years of experience coordinating academic support programs, teaching and advising with a focus on student success, retention and graduation. She earned a B.A. in English Writing at University of Nevada, Reno and an M.A. in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix. She is currently completing a Ph.D. in educational leadership at the University of Nevada, Reno.

"We are eager to expand and improve tutoring and academic support,” said Dean of DUEAP Lori Beth Way. “Michelle Montoya will be instrumental in ensuring that we are responding to the academic support needs of our students.” 


LGBTQ Flag

LGBTQ Faculty/Staff & Allies Luncheon returns

The first LGBTQ Faculty/Staff & Allies Luncheon of the semester will be sponsored by the Office of the President Feb. 4. Scheduled from noon to 1 p.m., the event will be held in the new University Club located on the mezzanine level of the Cesar Chavez Student Center. The gatherings are slated to be held monthly, with each one sponsored by a different unit on campus. Join LGBTQ faculty and staff and their allies from around SF State for networking and community-building. Lunch will be served. All are welcome. RSVP by Jan. 31 via Qualtrics.

The University Club will eventually be open to all faculty and staff members on a regular basis. Keep an eye on CampusMemo for details.


Help keep campus flu-free

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this is the peak of flu season. The influenza virus is highly contagious, and you can pass it to others for several days after you’ve been infected yourself. If you do catch the flu bug, please help keep campus healthy by remaining home until you’ve fully recovered. For more information about the virus and prevention, visit the CDC website.


Virtual parking permits are here

All semester, annual and current payroll deduction permit holders must register their vehicles using the new parking permit website by Friday, Jan. 31. Employees who are not currently enrolled and who are interested in signing up for pre-tax payroll deduction should visit the Parking & Transportation office. As of Feb. 1 all expired hangtags will not be valid.

More information and FAQs about the new virtual permit system can be found at parking.sfsu.edu. For questions or assistance, please contact Parking & Transportation at ext. 8-1441.


Academic Technology now in new LIB 80 location

Academic Technology (AT) has moved operations to LIB 80 and adjacent areas on the basement level of the J. Paul Leonard Library and is now open for support. Visit the AT service area in LIB 80 or call ext. 5-5555 if you require assistance from the Desktop, iLearn or Media & Classroom Support teams. If you would like to submit a ticket online, you may continue to use the individual AT support team emails:


Accessible Technology Commons reminder

After the addition of extensive resources throughout the J. Paul Leonard Library to increase availability of accessible technology, the Library's Accessible Technology Commons (ATC) closed at the end of the fall 2019 semester. The closure makes way for the development of a new centralized student tutoring center to open later this spring. In addition to providing a broad range of tutoring services, center staff will receive disability-specific training to better equip them to effectively tutor disabled students. Watch CampusMemo for updates. For more information on Assistive Technology in the Library, visit access.sfsu.edu/at-library.


ITS launches two-factor authentication

On Jan. 15, Information Technology Services (ITS) launched Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) for 2,072 SF State staff members to increase security when accessing online resources. This means that staff will go through an additional step when accessing web applications including, but not limited to, through the following:

  • Any applications that require logging into SF State’s Global Login page
  • Box.com and Box Sync/Box Drive
  • gateway.sfsu.edu
  • iLearn.sfsu.edu
  • Office 365 Outlook Web Access (OWA) and Outlook clients
  • sfsu.service-now.com

The implementation of 2FA improves SF State’s IT security posture, aligns the campus with CSU policy and helps reduce the number of compromised SF State accounts. This represents a significant milestone in improving campus security.

Implementation of 2FA for faculty accounts will be scheduled later in 2020 in collaboration with IT’s partners in Academic Affairs, but these accounts are not affected at this time. Student accounts will be assessed after 2FA is implemented for staff and faculty.

Want to learn more? More information and a 2FA FAQ can be found on the IT website.


Voluntary employee benefits enrollment

Standard Insurance Company (known as the Standard) has announced new voluntary benefits for CSU employees. The Standard has provided employer-paid basic life, accidental death and dismemberment and long-term disability insurance to eligible CSU employees. Now, during a special enrollment period Feb. 1 through Feb. 29, eligible CSU employees and dependents will have an opportunity to enroll in critical illness, accident and voluntary life insurance plans. Enrollment information is available on the Standard website.


Deadline for AHRI mini-grants approaching

The Applied Housing Research Initiative (AHRI) has announced the availability of two $5,000 mini-grants. The grants are intended to support faculty/student teams working on applied research to generate new knowledge relevant to pressing affordable housing issues in California (at the state, regional or local level). Tenured and tenure-track faculty and lecturers are eligible to apply. 

For award consideration, please submit a one-page letter of interest describing your research project, including (1) significance to the affordable housing field; (2) specific goals and methods; (3) timeline and chances of successful completion. Please also submit your CV. Email both documents to Ayse Pamuk and Brooke Ashton no later than Monday, Feb. 3. More information on the mini-grants can be found on the AHRI website.


Reminder: Civic & Community Engagement Award nominations sought

The Institute for Civic and Community Engagement is accepting nominations for the annual Civic & Community Engagement Awards Ceremony. Help recognize students, faculty, staff and community partners who have made outstanding contributions to their communities through service and community-engaged scholarship. Nominations are sought for the following categories:

  • Faculty Award for Excellence in Service-Learning
  • Student Award for Excellence in Service-Learning
  • Community Partner Excellence Award for Campus Collaboration
  • Student Award for Excellence in Community Engagement
  • Staff Excellence in Community Engagement Award
  • SF State’s Nomination to the Bay Area Jefferson Awards for Public Service

The award ceremony will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, April 16, at the Seven Hills Conference Center. For more information, visit icce.sfsu.edu/awards.


Vista Room returns with new menu, schedule

The Vista Room will open for the Spring Semester on Tuesday, Feb. 11. You can check out the campus restaurant’s hearty spring menu and make reservations directly on its website. Please note: The Vista Room will only be open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the Spring Semester.


Experimental College student-teachers looking for students

SF State is offering 53 one-unit elective, student-taught courses this semester through the Experimental College. Courses cover a wide range of student interests, with titles like “History of Sideshows,” “Decolonizing Board Games,” “Why We Sit in Rows,” “Intro to Data Science,” “The Geography of Tea” and “Indigenous Resistance.” Check out all 53 courses on Exco’s website. Students can sign up through Gateway.


Meet your New Year's resolution goals with Fit Plus

For spring 2020, Fit Plus will launch a fun and exciting set of activity classes to help you meet your fitness goals. In addition, receive one complimentary fitness consultation with a professional trainer under the Personal Fit program. More information is available on the Fit Plus webpage.


“CSU’s Got Talent” screening, Jan. 28

Human Resources’ Professional and Organizational Development Department invites all SF State staff to a screening of a “CSU’s Got Talent” live webcast featuring innovative and essential training for your professional success. The screening is scheduled for 10 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 28. Higher education administration expert Audrey Reille will discuss delegation, allocating time optimally and how to say “no” to unreasonable requests. Feel free to join from your computer, your mobile device or in a group where multiple viewers can sit and partake in post-event discussion. Reille’s presentation can be watched on a CSU Adobe Connect webpage.


ICCE Internship & Service-Learning Fair, Feb. 4 & 5

The Institute for Civic & Community Engagement (ICCE) invites the campus community to the spring 2020 Internship & Service-Learning Fair.

Tuesday, Feb. 4, and Wednesday, Feb. 5. The fair will be held on the Cesar Chavez Student Center’s Plaza Level from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will be several 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.


“Call of the Baby Beluga” screening, Feb. 6

SF State’s Estuary & Ocean Science Center invites the campus community to a screening of the film “Call of the Baby Beluga” at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6, at the Bay Conference Center in Tiburon. “Call of the Baby Beluga” follows the rescue of a baby beluga who washed up on a gravel beach along the St. Lawrence River in Quebec, Canada. The story of this baby whale leads us on a larger journey through the amazing world of the St. Lawrence beluga whales and the scientists who have worked for decades to help them. A Q&A with filmmaker Michale Parfit will follow the screening. For more information about the film and this event, visit babybeluga.eventbrite.com


Celebration of Life: The Rev. J.E. (Penny) Saffold, Feb. 11

The campus community is invited to honor and celebrate the legacy of the Rev. J.E. (Penny) Saffold, vice president emerita, who made her transition from this life in November. Saffold led and served SF State for 31 years in a variety of roles, including vice president for student affairs and dean of students.

The celebration will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11, in the Seven Hills Conference Center. Those who plan to attend are asked to RSVP by Feb. 4 via email to sharber@sfsu.edu or by telephone to ext. 5-3544.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to the SF State Dr. J.E. (Penny) Saffold Scholarship Award. Donations to the scholarship fund may be made online at give.sfsu.edu/pennysaffold.


HR Benefits team events in February

SF State’s Human Resources Benefits team will host the following benefits informational events next month:

  • Victor Tawn, a Savings Plus 401k/457b specialist representing the California Department of Human Resources (CALHR), will visit campus Tuesday, Feb. 11. Tawn will discuss retirement savings plans. For more information about savings plans, please visit hr.sfsu.edu/retirement-savings-plans. Watch the Benefits Campus Events page for more information and updates.
  • Patelco Credit Union office hours will be available 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13. Please register via Eventbrite.
  • Fidelity Investments will present an “Ask Us Anything” event from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24. Come meet SF State’s new Fidelity representative and get your 403B questions answered. For more information or to register for this event, please visit hr.sfsu.edu/campus-events.

De Wolk looks back on Stanford

Lecturer of Journalism Roland De Wolk appeared on the podcast “Innovation Hub” to discuss his book “American Disruptor: The Scandalous Life of Leland Stanford.” Stanford was a railway tycoon and West Coast politician best known today as the founder of Stanford University. In his book, De Wolk tells the story of Stanford’s rise to power — and his less-than-honorable business practices. “This was a guy who had absolutely no compunction about lying, about taking money that wasn’t his, about not paying back money he owed,” De Wolk said. Listen to the full podcast.


Tello relives battle against eviction

Lecturer of Health Education Juana Tello was featured prominently in a San Francisco Examiner article about families fighting eviction in the Bay Area. Tello and her family struggled to hold onto their home in the Bayview neighborhood, but unfortunately it was a losing battle. “So many people on our block have also been forced out,” Tello said. Read the rest of the article online.


Purser takes on McMindfulness

Earlier this month Professor of Management Ronald Purser was a guest on the podcast “On Contact” to delve into the mindfulness movement and the influence that corporations, schools, governments and even the military have had on it. Purser’s recent book “McMindfulness: How Mindfulness Became the New Capitalist Spirituality” explored how the mindfulness movement grew from — and then arguably left behind — a Buddhist spiritual tradition. “What’s happened is that mindfulness has been extracted from a grounding in that ethical and moral tradition and turned into a utilitarian and instrumental technique which is unmoored from any kind of ethical and moral commitment,” Purser said. Listen to the full podcast.


Logan eyes union fight

Professor of Labor Studies John Logan was recently interviewed by Woman’s Wear Daily about Hearst Magazines’ resistance to unions. One of the world’s largest publishers of magazines, Hearst is in a standoff with employees — a standoff that was delayed even further when the corporation asked the National Labor Relations Board to overturn an official’s ruling on an upcoming union vote. Maybe the request was sincere, Logan says ... and then again, maybe not. “Unions have claimed that some employers deliberately employ delays as a strategy to both extend the period during which they can conduct an anti-union campaign and to take the momentum out of the union campaign,” Logan said. Read the full article online.