November 27, 2023

News and Announcements

Professor Trevor Getz presenting about youth in Ghana

In 2018, SF State announced a $25 million gift from alumni and philanthropists George and Judy Marcus, the largest gift in University history. Five years later, the gift continues to have a tremendous impact on the liberal and creative arts at San Francisco State. 

To celebrate that transformation, SF State hosted an event on Nov. 16 showcasing some of the innovative research, scholarship and creative activities made possible with this gift. Leaders from across the state were present, stressing the importance of liberal and creative arts and recognizing how the Marcuses have advanced these fields through their philanthropy. Special guests included California Gov. Gavin Newsom, CSU Board of Trustees Chair Wenda Fong and Consul General of Greece in San Francisco Socrates Sourvinos. 

“They saw what was possible in our city decades and decades ago, but in particular they saw what was possible at San Francisco State,” Newsom said of the Marcuses. “Their support has resulted in groundbreaking, best-in-class research that you’re seeing highlighted and showcased here tonight.” 

Throughout the evening, faculty members across academic disciplines — journalism, liberal studies, theatre and dance, to name a few — presented their projects, many of which students participated in, giving them valuable research experience. One of the research projects was from Professor of African and World History Trevor Getz. Getz presented “Youth Participatory Action History in Ghana,” his research and curricular framework that uses community-engaged methodologies to empower and train youth in Ghana to collect, interpret and publish their own community’s history. It’s a novel approach that positions students as expert history researchers, exploring the potential for historian-assisted communities to use this method to understand their relationship over time to the spaces and networks in which they live. 

Another project was from Professor of Theatre and Dance Yutian Wong, who talked about her book “Dancing in the Archives of Sincerity.” The book explores the intersection of a global health crisis, the resurgence of anti-Asian racism and dance studies. Using the Korean pop music act BTS (Bangtan Sonyeondon) as a case study, the book examines how conversations about racism, xenophobia, homophobia, cultural hierarchies and the roles and responsibilities of the artist in society are taking place from the space of Asian popular culture. 

The evening concluded with remarks from the Marcuses, who emphasized how SF State faculty and students participating in the liberal and creative arts are doing great work. 

“You have intelligence, you have incredible capability, you’re very special people,” George Marcus said. “That’s what we need. We need people [who] can create ideas.” 

Learn more about how SF State is providing unique learning opportunities in the liberal and creative arts. 

Photo by Gail Mallimson 

SF State alumni reuniting for a luncheon

SF State alumni reunited at a special luncheon on Nov. 6, marking 55 years to the day when they and other students walked out, forever changing higher education. Their actions resulted in the longest student strike in U.S. history and the nation’s first College of Ethnic Studies, right here at SF State.  

This luncheon was part of a series of events commemorating the 55th anniversary of the strike surrounding student activism, art and politics. The series is sponsored by the 1968 – 1969 Black Student Union/Third World Liberation Strike Commemoration Committee of the College of Ethnic Studies. Co-sponsors are the Richard Oakes Multicultural Center, Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, and the George and Judy Marcus Endowed Chair in Social Justice Filmmaking.    

Photo by Sean Santos 

Global Museum event presented by David Bacon, Juan Fuentes and Ana Navarro

Dive deeper into the activist art themes of the Global Museum’s exhibition, “In the Fields of the North / En los campos del norte,” at a moderated discussion on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 4 – 5:30 p.m., in the Global Museum gallery (Fine Arts 203). 

Photojournalist David Bacon and Chicano artist Juan Fuentes will engage in a discussion moderated by Ana Navarro. Navarro (B.A., ’19; M.A., ’21) is leadership gifts associate for the Northern California chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and president of the Bay Area Emerging Museum Professionals group. 

RSVP via Eventbrite  

The discussion will be followed by the closing ceremony for pop-up exhibit “Ofrenda,” 5:30 – 6:15 p.m. 

Registration for the California State University (CSU) Student Success Analytics Certificate program for spring 2024 is open. It will run from Jan. 26 – April 19. It is free for CSU faculty. Teams from departments are encouraged to participate. Registration deadline is Dec. 15.   

With its data-based and equity-focused curriculum, the certificate program provides teams of faculty, staff and administrators the opportunity to turn institutional data into action and close equity gaps for historically underserved students. No previous experience with data is required.   

For more information, visit the CSU Student Success Analytics Certificate program website

The Center for Equity and Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CEETL) will hold an Abolitionist Teaching (AT) Learning Community in spring 2024. AT is a non-punitive pedagogy drawn from Black feminist scholarship on community, carcerality and intersectionality. The learning community’s mission is to explore the potential of AT pedagogies to generate active, relevant learning and diverse opportunities for student growth and excellence. CEETL’s goal is to collectively review and further develop AT assignments, activities and assessments, particularly around reading equity. Together, they will consider best practices in the use of Abolitionist pedagogies.  

This is a 15-hour, discussion-based online learning community with both synchronous discussion and asynchronous Canvas activities. It will run Feb. 2 – March 15. Applicants should only apply if they can attend all four online meetings Fridays 10 a.m. – noon: Feb. 2, Feb. 9, Feb. 16 and March 8. Participation will be capped at 15 faculty. Applications close Saturday, Jan. 27, and successful candidates will be informed via email by Monday, Jan. 29. Faculty who complete the requirements by Mar. 15 will receive a stipend of $750. Due to CSU policy, the following appointments will not be eligible to receive a stipend: MPPs, Staff, FERP faculty, and individuals not actively employed at SF State.  

To apply, please complete this intake form. For questions, please email and

The University Police Department (UPD) is excited to host its annual toy drive to benefit the San Francisco Fire Department Toy Program. Donate a new, unwrapped toy from now to Friday, Dec. 15. The drop-off location is the UPD lobby on the Lake Merced Boulevard side of campus on North State Drive. 

The Staff Council needs input on how they can better serve the community. Please complete this survey by Friday, Dec. 1 at 5 p.m. All survey responses are anonymous. 

Sign up to joining plenary meetings on Fridays at 9 a.m. On Friday, Dec. 1, Chris Lujan will discuss the Basic Needs Initiatives for students.  

Join a one-hour live webinar, Nov. 29 at 3 p.m., to learn about California State University (CSU) programs and services offered to current and former foster youth across the 23 CSU campuses. They will discuss the CSU commitment to provide a wide range of services to support incoming first-year, transfer and graduate students who have experienced foster care. Three inspiring students will share how the CSU supported their educational pursuits. This webinar is free and open to the public. 

Register for the webinar. For more information regarding CSU resources for current and former foster youth, please visit or contact Ana Aguayo-Bryant by email for questions about the webinar. 

Faculty and staff are invited to help recognize SF State students who will be studying abroad starting in spring 2024. The Division of International Education is holding a Study Abroad Ceremony on Friday, Dec. 1, 3 – 5 p.m. (doors open at 2:30 p.m.) in the Student Life Event Center (Annex). This is the final sendoff for students participating in the California State University International Program or an SF State Exchange Program next semester. Please come celebrate and honor our students. 

The final issue of CampusMemo for 2023 will be launched on Monday, Dec. 11. Weekly publication will resume Tuesday, Jan. 16. 

SF State Spotlight

Grants for the Arts organized a panel discussion, “Economic Resilience for SF Arts and Culture Organizations,” featuring keynote speaker Professor Anoshua Chaudhuri on Nov. 6. Chaudhuri is senior director of the Center for Equity and Excellence in Teaching and Learning and Lam-Larsen Distinguished Service Professor of Economics. 

Chaudhuri and the panel offered valuable insights into how arts and cultural programs and services can show their economic impact while building community among San Francisco arts and culture organizations. In addition to Chaudhuri, panelists included prominent members of San Francisco arts organizations.  

The event was held at the San Francisco Girls Chorus.  

Associate Professor of Urban Studies and Planning Tony C. Sparks was the featured guest recently on the “News in Context” podcast on KSFP-FM. 

On the episode, Sparks explores the issue of homelessness in San Francisco and the persistent challenge of how to ensure that everyone has adequate housing. The episode also explores why the U.S. faces these issues, what can and can’t be done at various levels of government and how to reframe the way housing and homelessness are discussed to help rethink solutions. 

“There’s a fundamental problem with housing being an exclusionary commodity that will always pose any problem for a government,” Sparks said. 

The literary magazine Craft recently published “Hott Lipps,” an essay by Creative Writing Lecturer Matthew Clark Davison. In the essay, he revisits the alter-ego persona he created at age 12 to flirt over CB radio.  

“I felt and feel powerful and brave, then and now because of surviving the loneliness of my younger life and because of my Queerness,” Davison wrote in his author’s note. 

As Bloomberg reports on Nov. 17 that television programming generated by artificial intelligence (AI) has flopped, Cinema Assistant Professor Mihaela Mihailova offers her evaluation of the emerging, controversial method. 

“The initial popularity of such shows was a function of their novelty, rather than their quality,” she said. “The first wave of AI-generated productions has been overwhelmingly glitchy, visually and narratively awkward, stylistically derivative and sometimes even offensive.” 

On Nov. 21, Mother Jones featured a Q&A with Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts Professor Dina Ibrahim. In the Q&A, she analyzes media coverage and misinformation regarding the crisis in the Middle East. 

“Journalism is meant to counter misinformation,” Ibrahim said. “It is meant philosophically to be the best version of the truth that it can be. It is meant to be a tool to inform the public for a better society. And it should be as free and independent as possible, from corporate and government influences.” 

Recreation, Parks, Tourism and Holistic Health Professor Erik Peper coauthored two articles in the fall 2023 special edition of Biofeedback on biofeedback for health. 

The articles are titled: 

  • “Mouth breathing and tongue position: a risk factor for health” and 
  • “Differentiating Successful from Less Successful Males and Females in a Group Relaxation/Biofeedback Stress Management Program.”