October 23, 2023

News and Announcements

Vasav Juthan Tumaini smiling in front of the "Tumaini Innovation Center"

“When are you able to say you’re actually an engineer? I think this is something I’ve been trying to figure out for almost a year now,” said SF State Mechanical Engineering student Vasav Juthani. 

Until recently, Juthani felt that he can’t claim the title “engineer” until he’s completed his Engineering degree. But an international research experience this summer made him question his beliefs. 

“When we went to Kenya, the teachers there had no engineering degrees, and they proudly say, ‘I’m an engineer,’” he said. 

Juthani was one of two SF State students (and one of seven students total) who travelled to Kenya for a six-week summer experience doing engineering education research. The program, designed by SF State and Purdue University Engineering faculty, takes students to the Tumaini Innovation Center in Eldoret, Kenya, to work on engineering projects and provide engineering education. The program is funded by the National Foundation of Sciences, and the summer 2023 cohort was the first to participate in the program, which is slated to run for three years. 

“It’s pretty unusual for Engineering students to study abroad,” said SF State School of Engineering Assistant Professor Stephane Claussen, who is leading the project. It’s usually hard to fit international experiences into the extremely structured programs typical of the engineering field, Claussen explains. “We’re offering students experiences abroad, and they’re engaging in research in this very rich way. But it’s in partnership with community organizations, which is also pretty unique for Engineering students,” she added. 

The university engineers are partnering with Tumaini, a school reducing educational barriers faced by vulnerable youth in Eldoret. Tumaini educators teach and provide mentorship, youth vocational training and more so individuals can build successful and productive careers in their communities. 

The visiting university students worked with this community to support ongoing engineering and educational projects at the school. Many of the university engineers were first-time researchers, but there’s a limit to how much prior research experience could have prepared them for this experience. The Kenyan engineering environment was very different from what most of the students were used to. 

Juthani, who loves working on cars, recalls talking to a Tumaini alum who works at a car body shop. Learning about Juthani’s interests, the mechanic asked him how’d fix his car. Juthani eagerly listed ideas, and the alum pointed out that none of those ideas are feasible — none of the necessary parts are available, so they make everything from scratch. 

“It was just very interesting to see how they operate with the resources they have on hand,” said Juthani. “It kind of makes me want to explore the world more and do the same kind of opportunity elsewhere.” 

Within his very first week, Juthani watched a group of students build a system to transport water upstairs to a hair dressing and beauty therapy class. They had most of the idea down, Juthani said, but needed a little help executing. He tried to assist and quickly realized that he’d have to adapt his own communication style to connect with his new colleagues. 

“Even with the language barrier, they’re able to understand what I was explaining to them. It was a very surreal feeling to be there and have them understand what you’re saying,” Juthani said. “It really changed something in my head, and I was very excited for the rest of the experience.” 

These are the types of changes Claussen and her faculty collaborators hoped for. Engineers are not simply individuals doing math in a cubicle, she explains, and they have a responsibility to consider the social implications of their work. 

“There’s a lot of learning that goes on. How do we interact with people in a responsible way? And how do we make sure that they are willingly joining your research study and so on?” Claussen said. 

“Before this experience, I feel like I hit an educational block where I just couldn’t process stuff the same way. This experience helped push me out of my comfort zone and forced me to learn on my own and do research on how I can improve something,” Juthani said. “I think that’s the whole point of an engineer. [It’s] figuring out how you can improve something.” 

Learn more about SF State’s School of Engineering

Rebecca Alvarez Story

SF State alumna Rebecca Alvarez Story (M.A., ’17) didn’t get much sex education growing up. She went to an all-girl high school with an abstinence-only approach to sex ed, and her parents weren’t comfortable stepping in to explain the birds and the bees. 

“In my home, we didn’t talk about sex education,” Story said. “My parents did try to have one awkward sex talk.” 

Today, however, sex talk is far from awkward for Story. In fact, it’s both her business and her mission. 

Story is the founder and CEO of Bloomi, a company offering intimate health products — oils, personal lubricants, sex aids and more — with an emphasis on bilingual marketing. The Bloomi line can be found in local spas and boutiques as well as national retailers like Target and Saks Fifth Avenue. The daughter of Mexican immigrants, Story says she hopes to use Bloomi to bring quality sex education to a billion people around the globe, with an emphasis on expansion in Latin America. 

Unfortunately, Story’s own sex education journey included a traumatic detour. A Bay Area native, Story originally went to Southern California to attend college. While there, she was sexually assaulted. 

“That experience made me return home to reground myself,” Story said. “After that, I was very apprehensive about intimacy. I actually feared intimacy.” 

Back in the Bay Area, Story became inspired to use her experiences as a way to heal, and she enrolled in the Women’s Health and Sexuality program at UC Berkeley. 

“That was the beginning of me starting to understand the power of education in the category,” said Story. 

Following graduation, Story worked with startups in sexual wellness focused on intimacy products, sex coaching and sex education. Eventually she decided to continue her education in the field at SF State, where she enrolled in pursuit of a master’s degree in Sexuality Studies. 

“I was a single mom when I started the program. My daughter was 3,” said Story. “She actually came to a few courses and was on the side with her headphones.” 

On top of being a single mom and a graduate student, Story was working full-time as a sexologist. 

“It made me feel good that I was doing things I love,” said Story. “My daughter learned a lot about me at such a young age. It was an important time in my development, and it was all things that I loved.” 

Being a single mother and working full-time while pursuing a graduate degree is no small feat, and Story was fortunate to have support from her family and professors. 

“All of the professors in the Human Sexuality program were incredible,” said Story. “They are very passionate about the work, which comes through in what they’re teaching.” 

It wasn’t just the teaching that Story found inspiring. Thanks to her time working with startups, she also knew there were untapped audiences for sexual wellness products.  

“I had a lot of experience seeing what worked well and not so well with products in the category,” said Story. “The way that products were being marketed was very binary and stereotypical. I felt there was a world where we could be more inclusive about that.” 

Story had also seen brands undervalue the Latinx market. She created Bloomi to be a bilingual brand, carving out an inclusive space within the sexual wellness industry and making the brand both unique and, for her, personal. 

Despite her parents’ reluctance to discuss sex when she was younger, Story says her family has been supportive of Bloomi from the beginning. Now it gives her a deep feeling of satisfaction when, for instance, she and her father pass her company’s products for sale at Target. 

“The feeling is incredible, but it’s hard to explain to people who aren’t children of immigrants,” said Story. “It’s very emotional because it’s not just another product on the shelf. It’s the realization of several generations of people striving to get ahead and get a better education and the American dream of starting this business.” 

Learn more about SF State’s Sexuality Studies Program

David LeRoid sitting on a purple couch

Long before his illustrations would be seen at restaurants and on television, LeRoid David drew art in school yearbooks. Not just the covers. Every year he would sign dozens of yearbooks with a personalized comic for his peers. Each piece used the same caricature-based style and humor that is discernable in his work today. 

The SF State alumnus has a diverse client list. Fans have waved the cheer cards he created for NBC Sports from Oracle Park to Chase Center to Levi’s Stadium. Last year he designed the official San Francisco Giants T-shirt for Filipino Heritage Night. David’s digital caricatures are on signs for The Lumpia Co. restaurant, and his work appears in the 2003 superhero spoof film “Lumpia” plus the sequel “Lumpia with a Vengeance.”  

The erstwhile Tower Records at the Stonestown Galleria is where David (B.A., ’03) first applied the skills he was learning at nearby SF State. He created in-store displays and doodled on the whiteboard above the cash register.  

David and the interviewer for this Q&A attended Burton High School in San Francisco together. 

In high school, you were sketching comic art by hand for the yearbook, newspaper and even the senior class T-shirt.
I’ve always been an illustrator, going as far back when I was 3 years old growing up in San Francisco. I was always fascinated by product labels and logos, in addition to reading comics and watching cartoons. 

I’ll always remember you would take the time, upon anybody’s request, to sign their yearbook with a personalized cartoon. 
That goes way back to elementary school. Around that age I realized that art can make a big impact. I saw the impact of creating something for someone and how it affects them emotionally. I got hooked to using art to make an impact. It gave me a feeling of wanting to do more. 

To this day, I will get a message from old classmates, even people I haven’t seen since elementary school. They would go through their closet and find something that I did for them, and I don’t even remember it! 

Tell us about your job at Tower Records and how it intersected with your SF State life.  
I started out just like a regular cashier. Slowly over time, I got involved with the visual arts team. I would assist the store artists with a lot of the signage, and that’s when I would start to apply the design techniques I learned from class.  

I stayed with Tower Records ’til the very end, which was 2006. I was able to move up and work for the regional office to do marketing and events locally for the Bay Area stores. My job was to propose music events, whether it’s album signings or even in-store performances.  

Describe a class or a moment at SF State that had a major impact on your life. 
Man, there were a lot of moments. The first thing that stands out is becoming part of DAI [the Design and Industry Department] at SFSU. It not only helped develop my skills as a designer, but it also helped me learn how to connect with my peers, learning how to network and how to be a better communicator. 

The second thing at State was being part of FilGrad, the student-run Filipino graduation. At State I solely focused on my major and what I needed to do to graduate. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to take other classes such as Ethnic Studies. I knew that SF State had a very strong Ethnic Studies program, especially when it came to Filipino American history, so I joined FilGrad as a way to connect with the Filipino American community.   

Of course at the very end, we held a very special fundraiser: We hosted the premiere of the “Lumpia” movie at SF State. It was crazy, man, it was. It was a sold-out, standing-room crowd. 

I’m a second-generation Filipino American. My parents immigrated to the U.S. when they were really young, so I didn’t grow up speaking Tagalog. I only knew what being Filipino was to food, pretty much. It wasn’t until my later years, and again, especially at SF State, where I learned about Filipino American history. 

I saw that, as artists, that we, too, can also create — and be part of that history, too. 

Learn more about SF State’s School of Design

Jessica Wolin, lecturer faculty in the Department of Public Health, and colleagues at the CSU Long Beach Center for Equitable Higher Education (CEHE) have been awarded a grant of $400,000 by the College Futures Foundation.  

The grant will support CEHE’s work as a source of actionable student basic-needs research and catalyst of a California higher education system that prioritizes the student experience. This award will be used to build out CEHE’s infrastructure in the areas of policy, leadership and fundraising with a specific emphasis on shifting the frame regarding student basic needs to a student human rights framework. Wolin serves as CEHE’s director of policy and practice. 

Assistant Professor of Biology Archana Anand is collaborating with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory on a new project funded by the Department of Energy (DOE). She’s been awarded a three-year subaward of $375,000 as part of the project “Phage Foundry: A High-Throughput Platform for Rapid Design and Development of Countermeasures to Combat Emerging Drug-Resistant Pathogens.” It is part of DOE’s $112.4 million for 10 research projects in the Biopreparedness Research Virtual Environment (BRaVE) initiative

Phages are viruses that infect bacteria. Using a multi-omics approach on a large wastewater system, researchers will guide phage isolation efforts and build a baseline understanding of the population diversity, mobile genetic elements and identify phages associated with our pathogens.  

SF State will provide the environmental context for selected phages-hosts ecosystems. Specifically, researchers will shed insights on the diversity of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in wastewater microbiomes to understand the prevalence of AMR genes in specific pathogens. 

The project will allow University faculty to advance undergraduate and graduate experiences. By leveraging the expertise at the Lawrence Berkeley lab, they’ll be able to integrate advanced molecular methods into microbiology courses and advanced skills required for careers in microbiology and biotechnology into labs. 

As part of SF State’s commitment to maintaining the highest standards of data security, the Quality Assurance office kindly requests all employees to review the SF State Payment Card Industry (PCI) policy. The policy is to ensure that all campus entities that require payments are consistent, efficient and secure as they protect the interests of the University, its auxiliaries and individuals, including students, employees and organizations doing business with the University and its auxiliaries.

This policy provides requirements and guidance to ensure that payment card acceptance and e-commerce processes comply with the PCI Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) requirements. 

For questions or to ensure you are on the list of approved locations, please email the PCI Committee

If scammers cast out a line, you don’t have to bite! Information Technology Services (ITS) is here to help you avoid falling for tricks by staying one step ahead of the criminals.  

The first step is being in the know. So, what is phishing anyway? Phishing is when criminals use fake emails, social media posts or direct messages to lure you to click on a bad link or download a malicious attachment. If you click on a phishing link or file, you can hand over your personal information to cybercriminals. A phishing scheme can also install malware onto your device. 

No need to fear your inbox, though. Fortunately, avoiding a scam email is easy, but only once you know what to look for. With some knowledge, you can outsmart the phishers every day. 

Follow the ITS week four page for Cybersecurity Awareness Month for details on how to avoid a phishing attack. Read the ITS “Phish Bowl” article for the latest examples and samples of scam emails. 

SF State has introduced a new funding opportunity database, SPIN, which replaces Pivot. Use SPIN to locate potential sources of funding for research.  

For more information, please visit the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs Need a Grant or Contract web page

Log in to the mailing list manager with SF State credentials to subscribe to one or more mailing lists to receive weekly funding alerts by subject area: 

  • orsp_arts-humanities 
  • orsp_education 
  • orsp_health-medicine 
  • orsp_social-sciences 
  • orsp_stem 

The Academic Senate fall 2023 special election voting period is open from Monday, Oct. 23, to Friday, Nov. 3, at midnight. Items on the faculty ballot include the University Tenure and Promotion Committee

Please complete the Special Fall 2023 Academic Senate Elections form via Qualtrics to cast your vote.  

For questions, email the Academic Senate office

The Institute for Civic and Community Engagement (ICCE) is accepting applications for the 2024 Call to Service Grants through Sunday, Dec. 17. These grants support SF State faculty and staff by providing funding opportunities for community-engaged activities, research and community service learning course development.  

For more Information on grant categories, please visit the 2024 Call to Service Grants page. For questions or concerns, please email ICCE or call (415) 338-6419.

Do you have an interest in incorporating climate change and/or climate justice into your pedagogy? Through SF State’s Climate Justice Leaders Initiative, Climate HQ aims to strengthen climate justice teaching, research and outreach at SF State.  

Climate HQ supports climate justice teaching at SF State through Climate Justice Faculty Learning Communities. Modeled on Center for Equity and Excellence in Teaching and Learning’s Teaching Squares, these communities will meet regularly throughout the semester to support each other and share best practices for teaching and learning focused on climate justice pedagogies. 

The Climate HQ Faculty Learning Communities will take place spring 2024. Each should consist of three to six faculty, staff or students. Both interdisciplinary groups and people within departments/disciplines are encouraged to apply. 

The communities should meet to work on their project for 10 hours over the course of the semester, using curated resources to create a proposed pedagogy outcome including but not limited to: syllabus change, readings list, assignment/exercise, lecture(s), project-based collaboration between departments, community collaboration and/or organization of a Climate HQ event for campus. 

A $500 honorarium is provided. Apply by Friday, Nov. 17, at 5 p.m. View the call for proposals

Alternatively, CSU Chico will host a CSU-wide Faculty Learning Committee

For questions, please contact Carolina Prado

Sciences Po (France) is calling for applications for visiting faculty from around the world. Sciences Po is an SF State exchange partner, allowing SF State students to study abroad for one semester or more. 

In the 2024 – 2025 academic year, Sciences Po will open two visiting faculty positions in the social sciences or humanities, for up to one semester (14 weeks maximum). 

Sciences Po is an international research university, both selective and open to the world, ranking among the finest institutions in humanities and social sciences.  

For more information, please visit the Office of International Programs application page.   

The Division of Graduate Studies and Career Development host the annual Grad Preview Week from Monday, Oct. 23, to Friday, Oct. 27. They invite undergraduate students, staff and faculty to explore graduate education opportunities by joining one or more of over 70 virtual and in-person events.  

SF State employees are invited to the Grad Week mixer on Tuesday, Oct. 24, noon – 1 p.m., in Library 286 to learn more about master’s degree programs and the fee waiver benefit. 

The SF State Academic Senate will meet Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2 – 5 p.m. at Seven Hills and virtually via Zoom for its fifth meeting of the academic year. Please contact the Senate office for a Zoom link.    


  • Recommendation from the Strategic Issues Committee: Resolution Affirming Academic Senate Input and Oversight in Budget Related Practices and Policies, in first reading. 
  • Recommendation from the Campus Curriculum Committee: Certificate in data Science for Psychology, in second reading. 
  • Recommendation from the Academic Policies Committee: Resolution in Support of Deepening and Re-Imagining the Senior Capstone, in second reading.  
  • Formal presentations: 
    • Fred Smith (Equity & Community Inclusion, Bias Incident Education Team), Lori Makin-Byrd (Equity Programs & Compliance), Larry Birello (Office of Student Conduct) and Chief Reginald Parson (University Police Department): “Introducing the Reporting Portals and Conflict Diffusion Workgroup.” 
    • Jeff Wilson, vice president and chief financial officer, Administration & Finance: “Budget Update.” 

View the full agenda, meeting materials and minutes on the Academic Senate website.   

The Department of Modern Languages and Literature presents “Around the World in Nonbinary Terms: How Gender Diversity is Expressed in Languages other than English” on Wednesday, Oct. 25, noon to 1 p.m. in the Kurt Liedtke Graduate Reading Room (Humanities 473) and via Zoom. Pizza and drinks will be provided. 

Have you ever wondered how gender diversity is expressed in French, German and Spanish? French Professor Anne Linton, German Professor Ilona Vandergriff and Spanish Associate Professor Ana Luengo will illustrate how languages with grammatical gender have adapted to changing notions around gender identity, including the use of nonbinary pronouns. Each presenter will discuss grammatical challenges unique to their respective language and share creative innovations developed in a quest for a more inclusive language. 

Please register to receive the Zoom link

Event sponsors are the departments of Women and Gender Studies, English Language and Literature, and Humanities and Comparative World Literature. 

Every year, Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences (SLHS) 701 and Special Education (SPED) 780 bring graduate students together to host the "Interprofessional Education for Inclusive Early Childhood Education" learning experience. This event is Wednesday, Oct. 25, 4:30 –6:30 p.m. on Zoom. Instructors for SLHS 701 are Betty Yu and Jim Cartwright, with Jetta Jacobson teaching SPED 780. 

This collaboration between SLHS and Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) has evolved and changed hands for over a decade. It began with Nany Robinson, SHLS professor emerita, and Summer Hsia, who retired from SPED in 2023. Yu and Maryssa Mitsch collaborated on this from 201 to 2022. Over time, the SLHS 701 course brought together two sections and instructors as well, including Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences Lecturers V Tisi and Jim Cartwright. This year, Yu, Cartwright and Lecturer of Special Education Jetta Jacobson are working together to put on an inclusive and collaborative event for students in the SLHS and ECSE programs. 

For questions, faculty may email Yu. Students can register via the Google Form.   

Prospective students are invited to join an information session for the Department of Child and Adolescent Development. Learn about undergraduate programs, student opportunities and admissions.  

Sessions are Monday, Oct. 30, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m., and Thursday, Nov. 2, noon – 1 p.m. RSVP to receive the Zoom link.

The campus community is invited to the inaugural Center for Equity and Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CEETL) “WE WEDNESDAY” event on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 11 a.m. – 12.15 p.m. in Library 240.  

CEETL will hold space for campus colleagues to come together in shared interests, learn to cultivate rest, joy, and community, and bring humanism into our academic lives.  

No RSVP required. Just drop in. Participants will get to take something home with them. Healthy refreshments will be provided. 

The campus community is invited to a meet and greet lunch with participants of the 1968 SF State student strike that led to the birth of the College of Ethnic Studies. It takes place on Wednesday, Nov. 6, noon – 2 p.m., on the fifth floor of the Administration building. 

This event is 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.   

For questions, please contact Tiffany Caesar, committee chair. 

Professor Sandra Lee McKay

Sandra Lee McKay, professor emerita of English, passed away unexpectedly on Sept. 11, while traveling with friends in Croatia. She was 78 years old. 

After earning her M.A. in American Studies and Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics at the University of Minnesota, and after teaching in Guatemala and at Stanford and Georgetown, McKay joined the English Department at SF State in 1978. She taught a variety of courses in the M.A. Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and English as a Second Language (now Composition for Multilingual Students) programs, specializing in sociolinguistics, TESOL pedagogy, composition, literature and culture, and the teaching of English as an international language. 

A prolific researcher, widely published scholar, valued collaborator/mentor and avid traveler, McKay gained international recognition for her work in applied linguistics and TESOL. She received four Fulbright awards and served as an academic specialist for the U.S. Department of State. She lectured and conducted research in dozens of countries, including Chile, Japan, Hong Kong, Hungary, Laos, Latvia, Morocco, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand and Uruguay. She lectured regularly in the Department of Second Language Studies at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, Temple University in Japan and the Singapore University of Social Sciences. 

McKay’s pioneering books, articles and edited volumes, on topics as wide ranging as language use in American immigrant communities, language policy and English teaching overseas, classroom research methodology and ESL textbook materials, continue to influence educators around the world. 

Outside of academia, McKay served on the board of directors of Puente de la Costa Sur, helping impoverished people in the South Coast region of San Mateo County. 

She was preceded in death by her husband Gerry and parents George and Evelyn Thomas and is survived by her son Jerry, his wife Ana Claudia and their daughter Maya; son Michael; a sister and brother-in-law; three brothers; seven sisters-in-law; and a niece. 

Inspiring, warm, caring and generous, she will be greatly missed. 

A memorial service will take place Sunday, Nov. 5, at 1:30 p.m. at the Women’s Club of Palo Alto, 475 Homer Ave., Palo Alto. 

SF State Spotlight

The massive continent of Africa is home to some of the world’s oldest civilizations, greatest natural resources, fastest growing economies and largest youth populations. More access to technology and growing demands for a seat at the global table are contributing to the way many African countries are challenging a legacy of Western colonization and domination. And yet, Africans continue to suffer the devastating impacts of that legacy in the form of climate change, ongoing poverty and internal conflicts.   

Last month, three Africa-based correspondents joined SF State International Relations and Journalism students for an online panel discussion about current affairs across the continent. During their 90-minute presentation, the journalists shared their thoughts on the African Union’s new role as a member of the G-20, moving from being an exporter of raw materials to greater ownership of the means of sustainable production. They also considered what’s fueling the recent wave of coups in Africa’s Sahel region and what interests historic superpowers such as Russia, China, the United States and France might have in these countries.  

Toward the end of the discussion, students were encouraged to ask questions, and several wanted to know what helps the reporters stay hopeful in a challenging landscape.  

“I have done stories that influence policy. I like to do stories — and I have done stories — that effect change, that make policymakers scratch their heads, that make governments think,” said Douglas Okwatch, a veteran Kenyan investigative reporter who now serves as China Global Television Network’s Africa affairs editor. “I like to do stories that (make) everybody want to hide under the table.” 

Ruud Elmendorp, a multimedia journalist of Dutch and French descent who covers African affairs for Al Jazeera, Voice of America, Deutsche Welle Radio and the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, said that during his two decades on the continent, he’s taken inspiration from the African people’s resilience. The emergence of smart phones with cameras allowed him to engage sources as citizen journalists in areas he’s unable to access. He has also come to appreciate how Africans in the most challenging of situations have a huge capacity to focus on one of life’s most precious gifts: human relationships.  

“One of my most favorite parts of my job is just the interaction with the people I am reporting on just to sit in a refugee camp, for example, and have a discussion about life with a cup of milk— maybe from a camel,” he said. “Just sitting there and then sharing that. I will tell my story as well because if I tell my story, I get more return from the person I’m talking to.” 

Longtime Kenyan journalist and public health expert Anne Soy, who serves as BBC’s deputy editor and senior Africa correspondent, said on the hardest days, she just focuses on how her story might change one life. But she’s also inspired by how the BBC has been working to improve on its storytelling impact by hiring more diverse reporters. This has given African journalists like herself a greater say in the issues that affect their communities, while collaborating with and bouncing ideas off colleagues from other parts of the world.  

“It’s about diversity, and for me, from where I sit, it’s not replacing what we have had before because then it’s not diversity,” she said, adding that outsiders — be they people with no ties to the continent or people whose relatives hail from the continent but raised them somewhere else — all bring unique perspectives that she can balance with her own. “Coming from outside, you may not have that local knowledge. That is what I bring into this story, and therefore, at the end of the day, we have this multiplicity of ideas. I think it really works, and it really serves our audiences well.” 

Librarian Kendra Van Cleave’s new book, “Dressing à la Turque: Ottoman Influence on French Fashion, 1670 – 1800” (Kent State University Press), explores the significant influences of Turkish dress on French fashion. While French fashion has historically set the bar across the Western world, the cultural influences that inspired it are often obscured. Dressing à la Turque examines the theatrical depictions of Ottoman costumes, or Turkish dress, and demonstrates the French fascination for this foreign culture and its clothing. The impact, however, went far beyond costumes worn for art and theater, as Ottoman-inspired fashions became the most prominent and popular themes in French women’s fashion throughout the 18th century. 

The newly invented fashion press used Ottoman-inspired styles to reconcile fashion consumption with Enlightenment dress reforms. At the same time, Turkish-inspired fashions were increasingly associated with long-criticized ideas about luxury, stereotypes about the connection between a woman’s interest in fashion and “lascivious” behavior, and French perceptions of the Ottoman Empire. This backlash is epitomized by the public criticism of Queen Marie-Antoinette, who popularized Turkish-inspired fashion, embraced a lifestyle of excess, and is still remembered for her singular sense of style. 

Associate Professor of American Indian Studies Robert Keith Collins co-authored and published with Alaka Wali, curator emeritus of North American anthropology at the Field Museum in Chicago, “Decolonizing Museums: Towards a Paradigm Shift” in volume 52 of the Annual Review of Anthropology.  

Central in this review is an examination of the discourses and practices that have produced a lively literature on museum decolonization created by scholars of museum practices and curators. Collins and Walli consider the trajectory of decolonization efforts in museums, focusing especially on the care of Native North American heritage, with comparison to similar trajectories internationally.  

Their review begins with a discussion of decolonizing moments in theory and practice, with particular attention to 1990s critique of ethnographic museums and developments after the passage of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). Following this discussion is a review of works on concerns regarding Native American representation and public displays, involvement in collections care and the varied collaborations that are changing museum practices. The final section foregrounds the fluorescence of tribal museums and their contributions to the decolonization and indigenization of museums, as well as emerging paradigm shifts in both the anthropology of museums and anthropology in museums. 

Collins gave an invited conference lecture on “Intersectionality and Ethnography” at Bard College for its conference “Rethinking Place: Bard on Mahicantuck” on Oct. 13. This lecture discusses the relationship between intersectionality to person-centered ethnography and explores the relevance of intersectionality to ethnography, explanatory gaps in analyses of intersectional experiences, the relationship between intersectionality and how person-centered ethnography leads for constructing intersectional interview questions, preparing for intersectional interviews, showing respect, and examining what people say about intersectional experiences, what people do with intersections, how people embody intersections, and the implications an intersectional approach holds for future research into subjective racial experiences. 

Latina/Latino Studies, Art and History Lecturer John Ulloa is quoted in an Oct. 17 article in The New York Times covering the repeal of low-riding bans throughout California. 

Ulloa comments on the growth of the low-rider movement in the 1950s, when Mexican Americans in California began to refurbish older, more affordable cars: “‘Necessity is the mother of all invention,’ he said, describing the ingenuity of those who created ‘something beautiful out of something that was somebody else’s trash.’” 

Artel Great, the George and Judy Marcus Endowed Chair in African American Cinema and an assistant professor of Critical Studies, will present a talk at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 6:30 – 8 p.m. 

“The Pleasures of Fear: Black Horror Films and the American Dream” will be an in-person conversation between Great and New York University Professor Ed Guerrero. Great and Guerrero are the editors of “Black Cinema and Visual Culture: Art and Politics in the 21st Century” (Routledge, 2023). 

Great also serves as the cultural critic in residence for the MoAD. 

Valerie Francisco-Menchavez, College of Health and Social Sciences assistant dean for restorative and transformative racial justice, will give a talk on caring for caregivers in a Duke University Revaluing Care in the Global Economy working-papers seminar focusing on migrant domestic workers. The program is on Friday, Oct. 27, 9 – 11 a.m.  

For Zoom link and pre-circulated papers, please email Tania Rispoli

bball team volunteering and carrying groceries

The SF State Gators have won the inaugural California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Cares Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Community Service Award, as voted on by student-athletes at the recent conference meeting of SAAC leadership and advisers. 

As part of the CCAA Cares initiative, the conference office presented the Gators with a commemorative plaque and a $500 prize. The award is presented to a campus SAAC with the most innovative project, with either consistent service and contributions or a singular outstanding event, during 2022 – 2023. 

Partnering with The City Eats, the SF State women’s and men’s basketball teams served food and delivered gently used clothing in low-income neighborhoods. They also worked with developmentally disabled youth and adults through the city’s Pomeroy Center.  

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