October 30, 2023

News and Announcements

Parents and students with mascot Alli Gator

The SF State campus was buzzing far more than normal for a Saturday morning on Oct. 21. More than 700 future students and families and 150 faculty and staff ambassadors were on hand for the Discover SF State Open House

This second-ever event is geared toward encouraging high school and community college students to apply for fall 2024 admission to SF State.  

The Mashouf Wellness Center featured tabling by representatives from academic colleges, University Housing and student services. Student tour guides led walks around the campus and the residence halls. Families attended presentations on topics such as financial aid and campus life, and then were treated to live student performances and faculty lectures presented by all of the academic colleges. 

Photo by Matt Itelson 

SF State professor Felicia Viator

When an SF State professor was invited to co-curate an exhibition commemorating the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, she knew women must be at the center. When entering “Hip Hop America: The Mixtape Exhibit” at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, their presence is unmistakable. Saweetie’s famously bespoke fingernails are among the first objects that visitors encounter. 

SF State Associate Professor of History Felicia Angeja Viator, the co-curator, placed an emphasis on women’s contributions throughout the exhibit, rather than compartmentalizing women as hip-hop history often does.

“We wanted to weave women throughout every single story,” she said. “As a visitor, you come in and you see women everywhere, and that is a true representation of the history. But it’s also a way to normalize the idea that women were there — and contributed and innovated and were significant. It gives people a sense of where we are now, with women dominating hip-hop.”

“Hip Hop America” opened Oct. 7 and is on display through Sept. 4, 2024. In addition to Viator, SF State is also represented by Africana Studies Lecturer Dave “Davey D” Cook, who is a member of the exhibit advisory committee. 

The artifacts procured by Viator include the personal mixtape collection of late SF State alumna Stephanie “DJ Stef” Ornales, a champion of female DJs regarded as a legend in the Bay Area hip-hop community and beyond. The content on her 60 cassettes in the exhibition, in large part, is not available on streaming services, showcasing one way that audiences discovered rap music in the pre-internet era. 

“For me, it’s the crown jewel of the exhibit because it represents what’s so important about hip-hop in terms of the DIY [Do-It-Yourself] culture of it,” said Viator, who also was one of the first female hip-hop DJs in the Bay Area and wrote a book exploring the societal impact of the gangsta rap subgenre. “DJs and underground MCs would share tapes. I wanted to show how important that is for moving the music around.”  

Every semester in Viator’s “History of Popular Culture” class at SF State, her unit on hip-hop ignites a lively discussion with a coalescence of varying musical tastes and lived experiences. 

“When I teach this history, I try to honor the fact that this music is so dynamic and changes so much,” Viator says, “and, as I do in general when I teach history, to give students a sense that history matters.” 

Learn more about SF State’s History Department

Photo courtesy of the Recording Academy™️/photo by Rebecca Sapp, Getty Images ©2023 

render of West Campus Green buildings

Construction on the two new buildings at the West Campus Green — a first-year residence hall and a dining and health center — has hit a key milestone: Both buildings have “topped out,” reaching the highest point of construction.  

Join the campus community to celebrate and leave your mark on a building element before it is hoisted into place. The element will be available Wednesday, Nov. 1, 7 – 11 a.m., between Marcus Hall and Humanities on Tapia Drive.  

Image courtesy of EHDD 

SF State’s Office of International Programs will celebrate International Education Month throughout November with events for students, faculty and staff. 

International Education Month began in 2000 by President Bill Clinton as a joint initiative of the U.S. departments of Education and State to recognize the importance of international education in higher education. Today it is celebrated in more than 100 countries. 

The final week of Cybersecurity Awareness Month highlights ransomware attacks. Ransomware attacks are, unfortunately, familiar news headlines. Ransomware attacks affect everyone from schools to government organizations to your wallet. These attacks are an utter pain to have to clean up after, but you have the power to outsmart hackers and prevent their ransomware traps.  

Follow the Information Technology Services week five page for Cybersecurity Awareness Month to learn how to prevent, detect and recover from a ransomware trap. 

On Saturday, Nov. 4, Zoom will require all users to be on an up-to-date version of the Zoom software.  

Update your software by visiting the SFSU Zoom download page and selecting to download the Zoom client for meetings at the top of the page.  

For more detailed instructions, please review the instructional guide from Academic Technology

The CSU Symposium on Teaching and Learning encourages participants to submit proposals for presentations by Sunday, Nov. 12.  

The systemwide event has been produced jointly by the CSU Faculty Development Council and Innovative Teaching and Learning Programs in the Chancellor’s Office for over two decades. It is back after five years, in-person at CSU San Bernardino on Friday, Feb. 23, and Saturday, Feb. 24, with a virtual event on Friday, March 1. It is a wonderful opportunity for faculty working to transform critical courses to share their work with colleagues across the CSU and the state. 

Visit the CSU Symposium on Teaching and Learning website for details and to apply

The Staff Council requests responses to a Qualtrics survey to receive input how it can better serve the campus community! All responses are anonymous. 

Upcoming speakers at Staff Council: 

  • Friday, Nov. 3: Counseling and Psychological Services and University Police Department: De-escalation techniques 
  • Friday, Nov. 17: Interim Vice Provost for Academic Resources John Kim: update on Academic Affairs budget alignment 
  • Friday, Dec 1: Food+Shelter+Success Director Chris Lujan: the Basic Needs Initiatives for students 

Plenary meetings are held Fridays at 9 a.m. Complete the Qualtrics form to RSVP.  

The SF State Academic Senate met on Tuesday, Oct. 24, at Seven Hills and via Zoom.  

The senate: 

  • Passed Certificate in Data Science for Psychology 
  • Heard in first reading: Resolution Affirming Academic Senate Input and Oversight in Budget Related Practices and Policies 

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

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

WE WEDNESDAY will be a space for University colleagues to come together in shared interests and learn to cultivate rest, joy and community in our academic lives. No RSVP required. Please drop in to connect with peers, participate in a guided activity, enjoy refreshments or just to take a break. 

In honor of Día De Los Muertos, the Nov. 1 event will focus on learning about this special day and creating art to commemorate and honor loved ones. 

For questions, email CEETL

Join the Office of International Programs in opening International Education Month with their first Study Abroad alumni panel on Wednesday, Nov. 1, at 4 p.m.  

Engage, interact and learn from students who embarked on their study abroad journeys in SF State’s most popular programs in Japan, South Korea and Thailand. The panelists will share their experiences, what they loved about their programs and how they transformed and grew from their experiences. 

Register for the Zoom event

The Office of International Programs hosts “Careers that Expand Your Worldview: Internships, Fellowships and Working Abroad with the U.S. Department of State” on Wednesday, Nov. 2, at 11 a.m. via Zoom.  

Ryan M. Gliha, diplomat in residence for the Northwest, will discuss the U.S. Foreign Service and the Department of State’s internship and fellowship programs. A 19-year veteran of the Foreign Service, Ryan M. Gliha has served overseas as U.S. representative to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the principal officer (consul general) of the U.S. Consulate General in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.  

Register for the Zoom event

Check out the rest of the International Education Month sessions in November. 

Join the Office of International Programs in their second Study Abroad alumni panel for International Education Month on Thursday, Nov. 2 at 4 p.m. 

Engage, interact and learn from students who embarked on their study abroad journeys in SF State’s most popular programs in Spain, Italy, and the U.K. The panelists will share their experiences, what they loved about their programs, and how they transformed and grew from their experiences. 

Register for the Zoom event

The second annual Asian American Research Center on Health (ARCH) Symposium will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2 – 5:15 p.m. in Library 121 and via Zoom with the support of the Health Equity Institute. 


  • Welcome from ARCH Founding Director Tung Nguyen and Provost Amy Sueyoshi 
  • Faculty research panel with Russell Jeung, Valerie Francisco-Menchavez and Emiko Takagi 
  • Mentoring and networking exchange  
  • Student wellness space 

For questions, please contact the symposium co-leads, Zubaida Qamar and Supriya Misra.  

Register for the ARCH symposium via the SF State Public Health Department website

Two theatre students sitting on lime green chairs

The School of Theatre and Dance presents “Stupid F##king Bird,” Aaron Posner’s comedic tragedy, from Thursday, Nov. 9 to Saturday, Nov. 18, in The Lab (Creative Arts 104). 

“Stupid F##king Bird” tells a tragic story of love, pursuing art and aging, ultimately prompting the question “What does it all mean?” In this satirical reimagining of Chekhov’s “The Seagull,” a punchy young director challenges the idea of what it means to be an artist, much to the dismay of his friends, family and lovers.  

“In my opinion, plays that ask us to engage with difficult themes — unrequited love, parental neglect, abandonment, obscurity, mental illness — through humor can be the most 

effective way of offering an audience a safer space to experience the human experience,” director and Lecturer Patrick Russell said. “Laughing at the pain and reality of life’s less desirable aspects has a way of helping to recognize and process our own experience.” 

Visit the School of Theatre and Dance website for all showtimes and to purchase tickets

Photo by Richard Mayer 

The campus community is invited to the next University Budget Committee (UBC) meeting on Thursday, Nov. 16, 10 a.m. – noon via Zoom. Agenda items typically include a wide range of budget-related topics.  

Members of the UBC are staff, faculty, students and administrators. Visit the Administration & Finance website for more information on the committee.     

UBC members offer peer-hosted “office hours” on Fridays after the monthly meetings via Zoom to answer questions about budget-related matters.   

Please RSVP at least one week in advance. To RSVP and receive the agenda, e-mail the University Budget Committee.  

SF State Spotlight

Daniel Bernardi, professor of Cinema and director of the Veteran Documentary Corps, is the subject of a Q&A on Shoutout SoCal on Oct. 24. He discusses his work as an SF State professor, his directing of documentaries and his service in the U.S. Navy Reserves. 

“The journey taught me the value of authenticity, whether in leading a small unit outside Baghdad in 2009, challenging young minds in the classroom at San Francisco State, or spotlighting marginalized tales of the veteran experience in film,” he said.  

Recreation, Parks, Tourism and Holistic Health Professors Erik Peper and Richard Harvey recently authored the article “Be skeptical: Finding and evaluating online health resources” in Townsend Letter. It provides recommendations on how to find and evaluate health resources and make informed choices. 

“Hawks on Hawks,” by Cinema Professor Joseph McBride, appears on a new list in The Hollywood Reporter of “The 100 Greatest Film Books of All Time.”  

“Hawks on Hawks” (University of California Press, 1982) is tied for 76th place on the list. It is comprised of interviews with director Howard Hawks. 

“McBride met Hawks in 1970 and, at the urging of François Truffaut, convinced him to sit for several interviews over seven years for a Hitchcock/Truffaut-style book about his half-century career,” the article stated. “Hawks memorably discusses his attraction to stories about male friendship and to strong female characters, and his perplexing ‘The Big Sleep.’” 


This summer Associate Professor of Humanities David M. Peña-Guzmán partnered with Wikipedia for a project aimed to increase representation of racial minorities in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). As part of the class, his students wrote Wikipedia biographies on underrepresented scientists. 

Peña-Guzmán will speak on a panel discussion on the subject, organized by Wikipedia, Wednesday, Dec. 13, at noon. The event is titled “Closing the gap for Black and Hispanic STEM professionals on Wikipedia.”   

Professor of Philosophy Carlos Montemayor, Professor of Management and Ethics Denise Kleinrichert and Professor of Computer Science Dragutin Petkovic will present at the Mechanics’ Institute on Thursday, Nov. 9, at 6 p.m.  

Their talk will explore generative artificial intelligence (AI), how it works, the ethics of the technology and the legal and philosophical discussions of its application. 

SF State student and study abroad alumnus Andrew Lu participated in the CSU Academic Committee for International Programs on Oct. 19 – 20. He was one of four CSU students from the 23 CSU campuses. Faculty and staff also participated. Lu provided meaningful and engaging feedback and insight to the committee. 

Lu studied abroad last year on a CSU international program at Waseda University in Japan. SF State Study Abroad is thrilled to have him as its student representative this academic year.

When a reporter from Vox was frustrated by the inaccurate forecasts on Apple’s mobile app for weather, Oceanography Professor Alexander Stine helped provide perspective. He notes that all weather forecasters and apps use the same information provided by the National Weather Service. 

“Not knowing whether it’s going to rain in an hour? I would say that’s just being fussy about where the peas are on your plate,” Stine said in the Oct. 25 story. “It’s an incredible technological achievement to know that it’s going to rain at all this week. I grew up in a world where weather prediction was not accurate. We didn’t have enough data. But over my lifetime, the skill of weather prediction has increased pretty astoundingly.” 

Urban Studies and Planning Professor Jasper Rubin commented to the San Francisco Chronicle on Oct. 25 about a proposed city to be developed in rural Solano County. Funded largely by investors from the technology industry, the California Forever project has purchased 50,000 acres of land. 

“It smacks to me of the sort of failure of new urbanist design which sounded good but ended up being a better version of a suburb,” Rubin said. “Building a place from scratch in Solano County with the idea that it would be a walkable, self-sufficient city doesn’t require a lot of density, but it requires the right mix of uses and space for alternative means of getting around.”  

He says that the project’s vision is “laudable,” but also “weirdly uninformed.” 

“It seems like a rose-colored picture of what Mayberry land was like,” he said.