July 20, 2020

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Eugene Sivadas

University names new Lam Family College of Business dean

The University has announced that Eugene Sivadas has been appointed dean of the Lam Family College of Business. His appointment is effective July 27. He succeeds Linda Oubré, who left SF State to become president of Whittier College. Yim-Yu Wong, formerly the associate dean of the College of Business, has served as interim dean since 2018.

“Dr. Sivada’s background uniquely qualifies him for this position,” said SF State Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Jennifer Summit. “He has a strong foundation and proven success in academic innovation, strategic planning and fiscal operations, and under his leadership, the Lam Family College of Business is poised to redefine business education for a new era.”

Since 2017, Sivadas has been associate dean of Academic and Student Affairs at the Milgard School of Business at the University of Washington, Tacoma, overseeing the school’s academic programs and leading initiatives such as the creation of new academic programs, global study tours, alumni outreach and online teaching and learning projects. From 2008 on he also served as Milgard’s MBA program director and coordinator of the master’s in Cybersecurity and Leadership.

Sivadas received a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Delhi, India. He earned his master’s degree in Marketing Communication at Emerson College and a Ph.D. in Marketing from the University of Cincinnati.

“I’d like to express my sincerest appreciation to Yim-Yu Wong for her leadership as interim dean during the last two academic years,” Provost Summit said. “Faced with the challenge of leading the college during an unprecedented budget and health crisis, she has led the Lam Family College of Business with exemplary skill, ensuring that it continues to provide the best business education for our students.”

Provost Summit also expressed appreciation to the search committee co-chairs, Amy Sueyoshi and Sepideh Modrek; committee members Bob Bonner, Bruce Heiman, Richard Ho, Mari Hulick, Colin Johnson, Ming Li, Amr Shomali, Lori Beth Way, Jackson Wilson and Amy Wu; and the Lam Family College of Business faculty, staff and students who participated in the interview process.

woman screaming at a computer with a bullhorn

Study explores attraction to ‘tyrannical’ leaders

Ever wonder how some leaders in business or politics who appear selfish and domineering still manage to amass a following? A recent study in the Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies by SF State Assistant Professor of Management Dayna Herbert Walker found a connection between a person’s childhood family environment and the leaders they’re drawn to as grown-ups. Using data from the Fullerton Longitudinal Study, a long-term study that began tracking families in 1979, Herbert Walker and three other researchers noticed a correlation between adolescents who reported a high level of conflict at home and those who later identified socially undesirable traits as ideal leadership qualities.

The survey, which tracked 130 individuals at various points of their life, gave researchers details about participants’ home lives and the leadership traits they valued most. Researchers studied data gathered in 1996, when participants were 17 years old. Two decades later, as part of another round of data collection for the Fullerton Longitudinal Study, researchers asked the same individuals questions about ideal leadership qualities.

The 1996 survey asked participants about their family dynamics, such as whether people at home raised their voices or were physically violent. Twenty years later, those respondents were asked to measure on a scale whether 10 qualities researchers defined as tyrannical (domineering, pushy, dominant, manipulative, power-hungry, conceited, loud, selfish, obnoxious and demanding) were characteristics present in their image of an ideal leader. Herbert Walker and the study’s other authors then compared the data from 2016 and 1996 and found a strong positive connection between those who reported living with a high level of conflict at home and those whose ideal image of a leader possessed these negative traits. A person who experiences high conflict in adolescence is 20% more likely than chance to prefer a tyrannical model of leadership, controlling for other known factors that shape leadership preferences like sex and personality.

“Tyrants, whether they be in the boardroom or in politics, wouldn’t have the power they do if followers didn’t support them,” Herbert Walker said. “We often look to leaders to explain leadership, but we should also be looking to followers.”

Inside a white tent medical workers test people at a park for COVID19

50-year bond between El Tecolote, SF State strengthens during pandemic

For more than a decade, students in Professor of Journalism Jon Funabiki’s “Community Media” class have written for the Mission-based newspaper El Tecolote — a bilingual publication founded in 1970 by a former SF State instructor. After the city issued a stay-at-home order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year, these student reporters became vital to the newspaper and the community it serves.

The students have written about COVID-19 testing in the hard-hit Mission District (pictured above), the rise of pandemic-related hate crimes and the unique challenges vulnerable communities face due to the spread of the virus.

“We would not have been able to publish the kind of content we’ve been producing without them,” said El Tecolote Editor Alexis Terrazas, an alumnus (’11) and former student of Funabiki’s. The community looks to El Tecolote for resources, he says, and students rose to the occasion in spite of the many challenges they faced this semester.

One Gator journalist-in-training, Joseph Christoph High, said the pandemic sometimes could sometimes make reporting easier. He wrote about the struggles of a single mother of two school-aged children. He found the woman on an online parenting forum, and she was eager to help with his article, he says. “She was excited to talk to me, because she hadn’t talked to a new person in a long time,” he explained.

For High, the pandemic highlighted the need for El Tecolote. “The theme of our class is hidden communities,” he said. “Underrepresented communities are obviously getting hit harder by coronavirus.”

And serving underrepresented groups is what drove former SF State instructor Juan Gonzales to start El Tecolote 50 years ago. He launched the paper as a project in his La Raza Studies journalism class. His goal was to not only diversify newsrooms by creating a launchpad for Latinx journalists but also to cover news that mainstream outlets overlooked. The paper is now the longest-running Spanish bilingual newspaper in the state.

State Controller’s Office discontinues printing of pay stubs

To better support the state during COVID-19, the state Controller’s Office (SCO) accelerated the rollout of Cal Employee Connect (CEC), an application that provides employees with direct electronic access to their monthly earnings and deduction statements. Now the SCO has announced that as of June 2020, CEC is available to employees paid by its payroll system in all agencies and campuses statewide. With access to CEC available statewide, the SCO has decided to permanently discontinue the printing of employee direct deposit advices (pay stubs). The SCO will continue to print live warrants and disburse them as usual.

Employees may access their earnings and deductions electronically through CEC. This tool allows employees to view and print their earnings statements and W-2’s, along with personal information. Visit the SF State Human Resources (HR) website or the CEC User’s Guide for more detailed information. Find answers to frequently asked questions via CEC’s FAQ page. 

Please note that this new portal is owned and maintained by SCO and is not part of CSU’s PeopleSoft Self Service. For more information, contact the Payroll Representative for your area. The HR Payroll Team continues to serve with regular on-site operation hours and through the HR Client Services Center,  Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Teams and Zoom.

CEETL faculty development offerings

The Center for Equity and Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CEETL) is presenting a series of faculty development offerings to support SF State faculty as they prepare to teach in remote modalities for fall 2020. Upon completion of one or more of these programs, faculty will receive a stipend funded through a CARES Act II allocation.

  • The Online Teaching Lab is a fully online course about online teaching and explores inclusive pedagogies that humanize the online experience for students and instructors. Topics include resilient course design, trauma-informed teaching, low-bandwidth teaching, video strategies, accessibility, assessment and academic integrity.
  • The JEDI PIE Institute builds a community of JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) protagonists through 10 hours of practice of developing anti-racist pedagogy and dismantling white supremacy in online teaching. Special attention will be paid to accessibility and universal design for learning; microaggressions in teaching practices; anti-racism in designing assignments and assessments; and centering student voice and experience. 
  • Online Teaching Squares bring together four faculty members to form a supportive, non-evaluative “teaching square” through which they share inclusive teaching practices and learn from each other throughout the fall semester. Interested participants may propose their own four members or may ask to be added to a Teaching Square.

These programs, which are offered in summer and fall, are optional and need not need be taken sequentially or as a prerequisite to each other, though they have been designed to build upon each other in meaningful ways when taken in succession. Please visit the CEETL Website to learn more and register.

ADA anniversary events throughout July

This month marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). To celebrate this historic event, the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability at SF State will host multiple virtual film screenings and panels throughout the month. All events are free with registration.

Film screening: “Deej”

Thursday, July 23, 5 p.m.
Presented in partnership with Making Change Media, this event will feature a showing of the documentary “Deej” followed by a panel discussion exploring the power of poetry, art and other forms of creative resistance. A collaboration between a veteran filmmaker and a non-speaking autistic man, “Deej” challenges misconceptions of what an alternatively communicating autistic individual can do. ASL and captioning will be provided. The film will play with captioning and open audio description by default as well as closed audio description by request. Register via Zoom

Virtual book event: “Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century”

Saturday, July 25, 4 p.m.
Presented in partnership with the Disability Visibility Project, this virtual book event features a discussion of “Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century,” edited by disability activist Alice Wong. A moderated panel discussion will include several contributors. ASL and captioning provided. Ten copies of the book will be given away to event participants. Register via Zoom

Virtual book event: “#ADA30InColor”

Sunday, July 26, 4 p.m.
To mark the 30th anniversary of the ADA, the Disability Visibility Project is publishing an online collection of essays by disabled people of color. A panel discussion of the book, titled “#ADA30InColor”, will feature contributors and their thoughts on the future of disability and the work to be done post-ADA. ASL and live captioning will be provided. Register via Zoom

UndocuAlly trainings for staff and faculty, July 23

The University’s Dream Resource Center invites staff and faculty to participate in an UndocuAlly training from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, July 23, via Zoom. These trainings have been designed to guide the SF State community in learning how to support the undocumented student population. Participants will receive an overview of recent legislation and ways to support undocumented students’ challenges while hearing the stories of current SF State students. Those attending will be given information about resources available for current and prospective undocumented students. Space is limited, so interested staff and faculty members are asked to register in advance via Qualtrics. SF State graduate student staff are also welcome to attend the workshop.

If you have attended in the past and want a refresher, you are welcome to register again. Please share this opportunity with your team. Questions? Contact Luis De Paz Fernandez at ldepaz@sfsu.edu.

Adolph Sutro virtual book event, Aug. 7

The Sutro Library will host a virtual book talk on the life of Adolph Sutro at 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 7. William Huber, author of the recently published biography “Adolph Sutro: King of the Comstock Lode and Mayor of San Francisco,” will be the featured speaker. In addition to serving as mayor of San Francisco from 1895 to 1897, Sutro was a noted area engineer, entrepreneur and philanthropist. His heirs donated his huge collection of rare books and pamphlets to the California State Library in 1913. After operating in various locations in the city for almost 100 years, the Sutro Library moved to its permanent home at SF State in 2012. 

RSVP for the virtual book discussion through Eventbrite to receive the Zoom information a day prior to the event. 

Mahoney expresses gratitude for policy repeal

President Lynn Mahoney was interviewed by the San Francisco Chronicle and SF Weekly about the Trump administration’s decision to abandon a controversial international student visa policy. On July 7, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced a new policy that would require all international students not taking in-person classes to return to their home countries. After growing criticism, the ruling was repealed on July 14. “We are deeply grateful to everyone — on campus and off — who worked diligently and rapidly over the last week in support of our international students,” Mahoney told the Chronicle. “If anything good came of this unfortunate experience, it was the encouraging and inspiring reactions of our community in support of international students who enrich our campus in so many ways.”

de Robertis, alumna named finalists for California Book Awards

This year’s list of California Book Award finalists includes both an SF State faculty member and an alumna. Associate Professor of Creative Writing Carolina de Robertis is a finalist in the Fiction category for her novel “Cantoras,” while Gator scribe Mimi Lok (MFA, ’07) has a chance to win in the First Fiction category thanks to her short story collection “Last of Her Name.” Both books were featured in a recent SF State News story about buzzworthy books to read while sheltering in place. The California Book Awards are given out annually by the Commonwealth Club, the state’s oldest and largest public affairs forum. Winners will be announced later this year.

Oliphant on the Bay Area’s micro-microclimates

Professor and Chair of Geography and Environment Andrew Oliphant discussed the variety of microclimates in the San Francisco Bay Area on the KQED podcast “Bay Curious.” While microclimates can be found around the world, Bay Area residents are particularly familiar with big weather swings from one area to the next. “When we talk about microclimates of the Bay Area, we’re actually a little bit beyond the traditional scales of micro,” Oliphant said. “We’re really talking more neighborhood-to-neighborhood scale.” Listen to the full episode on the KQED website.

Cushing study looks at oil, gas operations and pregnancy

Assistant Professor of Health Education Lara Cushing co-wrote an article about the effects that living near oil and gas wells can have on pregnant women and their children. Several studies nationwide have revealed negative health impacts of living near oil and gas operations. “In a California study, we found that pregnant women living near active high-production oil and gas wells have an elevated chance of having low birth-weight babies. This finding adds to a growing body of research on potential public health impacts from oil and gas operations,” Cushing and her co-authors wrote. The article was published in The Conversation and Inverse.

Rohlfs uncovers historical racism at SF State

As protesters around the country speak out for racial justice, Assistant Professor of Biology Rori Rohlfs published an article showing evidence of the country’s racist past close to home: in SF State’s course catalog. In a post for the Genetics Society of America’s blog Genes to Genomes, Rohlfs describes a unique project she undertook with some of her students to dig through course records from the 1950s. Academic science long flirted with false ideas of racial purity, she writes — and in fact, her team discovered that as recently as 1951, a course called “Eugenics” was offered at SF State. The next year, the course disappeared, replaced by one called “Human Genetics.” Rohlfs writes about how these connections may have influenced the modern field of genetics and says that recognizing historic racism in academic science is essential to doing science equitably today. “By grappling with questions like these, we can begin a process of accountability, squaring up with our scientific past and intentionally shaping our future,” Rohlfs wrote.