April 29, 2024

News and Announcements

Two SF State students posing at Explore SF event

On Saturday, April 20, SF State welcomed thousands of newly admitted students and their families to campus for a taste of Gator life. The daylong introduction to the University community, Explore SF State, featured campus tours, financial aid workshops, a student research showcase and opportunities to meet with admissions experts, faculty members and current Gators. 

During the course of the day, dozens of future SF State students accepted their admissions offers. 

“I accepted my offer today because I really want to do bio here at SF State,” said Shannah Kwan, who’s finishing the Middle College program at College of San Mateo. 

Kwan — who also hopes to get involved in musical theatre at SF State — says she’s looking forward to making new friends who share her interests. For Emily Underwood, the chance to live in the Bay Area was a big draw. 

“I’m really excited to live in San Francisco,” said Underwood, who’ll be coming to SF State from San Diego. “I love the area, and the school itself just feels like a good community. So I’m excited.” 

SF State students, faculty and staff were on hand to welcome Underwood, Kwan and the other newly admitted Gators to campus. The day also featured musical performances, open houses, a student life and organization showcase and a free doubleheader for SF State’s softball team. 

“It was great to welcome new students to campus on such a beautiful day,” said Camille Rieck-Armstrong, the University’s director of undergraduate admissions and recruitment. “We could see the excitement on their faces. SF State is where they’re going to write the next chapter in their lives, and they can’t wait to get started!” 

Learn about SF State academics, housing, aid, admissions and more

Photo by Kevin Perez

SF State students supporting The Price is Right contestant Amylah Charles

Forget spring break at the beach! Twenty media students headed to Los Angeles to get a jumpstart on their careers. They spent their week attending television show tapings and meeting with leading professionals.  

Included in their itinerary was “The Price is Right,” “The Jennifer Hudson Show” and “America’s Got Talent,” along with visits to Sony Studios, media agency Canvas Worldwide, the NFL Network and chats with several top-level producers.  

Miriam Smith, associate professor of Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts, says she began the Los Angeles seminar 20 years ago to immerse students in the industry. 

“This year was almost magical,” she said.  

Student Amylah Charles came on down to compete on “The Price is Right” in the episode that will air Tuesday, May 21. 

On “The Jennifer Hudson Show,” student Yesi Munoz asked a question from the audience to a guest, author Jamie Kern Lima. She later was allowed to visit the show’s control room. The episode will air Tuesday, April 30. On another episode the students attended, they danced on camera during a break. 

“Our students are even in the audience shots of ‘America’s Got Talent,’” Smith added. 

Photo courtesy of Miriam Smith 

dwarf star

Using the James Webb Space Telescope data, astronomers discovered methane emission on a cold brown dwarf (W1935) — something never observed before — possibly caused by aurorae. These new findings were published in the journal Nature. The team includes several researchers from multiple institutions including SF State Assistant Professor of Astronomy & Physics Eileen Gonzales, who has been active in modeling the atmospheres of brown dwarf since she was a Ph.D. student. 

Brown dwarfs are larger than planets but smaller than stars. After formation, they cool over time, displaying molecular features in the atmosphere that astronomers can detect. W1935 is a cold brown dwarf with a surface temperature of approximately 480 degrees Kelvin and a mass that is estimated to be between 6 – 35 times the mass of Jupiter. 

Gonzales helped with computational modeling, known as atmospheric retrievals, to understand W1935’s methane emission. Modeling suggests the brown dwarf may have had a temperature inversion where the atmosphere gets warmer with increasing altitude. This usually happens to planets orbiting a star but W1935 appears to be isolated. 

The team looked to Jupiter and Saturn, two planets with methane emissions and temperature inversions likely caused by aurorae. For these giants, aurorae are caused by interactions between high-energy Sun particles and the planets’ magnetic fields and atmospheres. These two planets also have active moons that release particles that accentuate their auroral footprint. Since W1935 doesn’t have a host star, the team speculate the brown dwarf might have an active, yet-to-be discovered moon. Future studies are necessary to confirm this hypothesis. 

“There’s never been a confirmed detection of an exomoon around an exoplanet or brown dwarf,” Gonzales said. “The signatures for those are going to be a lot smaller than the signatures we find for planets around other stars. It’s really exciting because it’s something that we haven’t detected yet.” 

Image courtesy of NASA, ESA, CSA, Leah Hustak (STScI) 

The deadline for the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program (VSIP) is approaching on Tuesday, April 30. Applications received after 11:59 p.m. on April 30 will not be considered.  

The VSIP is part of an effort to reduce the campus’ structural budget deficit, intended to encourage employees to voluntarily separate with severance on Sunday, June 30. This is a one-time non-precedent setting program.   

Please visit the VSIP web page for more information and to apply

For questions, please email Human Resources

An updated version of the Strategic Marketing and Communications (SMC) website went live last week with a variety of new and expanded resources for campus communicators. In addition to a brand toolkit offering guidance on logo use, typography and other design elements, the site also includes: 

Go to the new SMC home page to begin exploring what’s available

Are you an SF State employee interested in building community and applying restorative practices to address conflict? Promoting Equity and Relationships among Colleagues (PERC) invites you to step up by becoming a PERC fellow.  

Ten new PERC fellows will be selected from across campus in 2024 and will receive training in peer-led, community-based, empathetic approaches for addressing and navigating workplace conflicts. PERC fellows will gain important conflict management and leadership skills while working with colleagues to foster equity and inclusion across campus. View the leadership criteria via Google Drive

Please apply via Qualtrics by Wednesday, Sept. 11

For details about the fellowship, please register via Qualtrics for PERC’s Zoom information session on Monday, May 6, 11 a.m. – noon.  

For questions, please email PERC or PERC co-directors Ashmi Desai or Kai Burrus

The College Corps is seeking students to join its cohort for the 2024 – 2025 academic year. Applications are now available for students interested in a paid fellowship that helps them gain hands-on experience, strengthen their resumes and make a meaningful impact. Through involvement in critical projects, access to professional development training and cohort networking opportunities, students will be equipped to drive positive change and address pressing issues in our communities. 

This program is open to currently enrolled undergraduate students and AB 540 California Dream Act students from all majors. Participants have the chance to earn up to $10,000 while contributing to community-based service in one of three key areas: K – 12 education, climate action and environmental justice, or food insecurity. 

Encourage your students to apply today and be part of this impactful initiative! Priority applications are due by Friday, May 10. To apply, please visit the College Corps website

For questions, please email Meagan Prasad, College Corps program lead. 

The SF State Academic Senate met on April 23, at Seven Hills Conference Center and via Zoom.  

The senate: 

  • Adopted by general consent a discontinuance for the MFA in Theatre Arts: concentration in Design/Technical Production (non-emergency) 
  • Passed the Research, Scholarship and Creative Activities Pathway Policy 
  • Passed the items: 
    • Minor, Russian (name change and other changes) 
    • Certificate in Paralegal Studies (reduce by 20%) 
    • Certificate in Financial Analytics (new) 
    • Certificate in Real Estate (new) 
    • Certificate in Fintech (new) 
    • Certificate in Data Science for Biotechnology Professionals (new) 
    • Certificate in Business Analytics (new) 
    • Graduate Certificate in PK – 12 Climate Justice Education (new) 
  • Heard in first reading the items: 
    • Revision to F18-146 All University Program for Educator Preparation 
    • Resolution on the Use of Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Teaching and Learning 
    • Revision of policy on Temporary Faculty Range Elevation S00-211 
    • Resolution on SF State’s Renewed Commitment to Multilingualism and Internationalization 
  • Deferred resolution to form Institutional Review Committee under F19-177 Academic Program Discontinuance Policy until next meeting 

SF State has partnered with other CSU campuses to provide workshops for employees. The CSU Cross Campus Collaboration provides a unique opportunity to extend campus workshops beyond campus borders and a different way to share professional development systemwide. 


  • Tuesday, April 30, 2 – 3 p m.: Breath and Health 
  • Thursday, May 2, 10 – 11 a.m.: Excel Tips and Tricks 
  • Thursday, May 2, 1 – 1:30 p.m.: Weekly Dose of Mindfulness 
  • Friday, May 3, 8 – 8:30 a.m.: Weekly Dose of Mindfulness  
  • Thursday, May 9, 10 – 11 a.m.: Getting Started with MS OneNote 
  • Thursday, May 9, 1 – 1:30 p.m.: Weekly Dose of Mindfulness 
  • Friday, May 10, 8 – 8:30 a.m.: Weekly Dose of Mindfulness 
  • Friday, May 10, 1:30 – 3 p.m.: Self-Coaching 101 
  • Wednesday, May 15, noon – 1 p.m.: Success as First-Gen Professional 
  • Thursday, May 30, 2 – 3 p.m.: Subject Matter Experts and Course Design 
  • Wednesday, June 5, noon – 1 p.m.: Success as First-Gen Professional 
  • Tuesday, June 11, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.: Building Trust in the Workplace 

Go to the Chancellor’s Office CSU Cross-Campus Collaboration website to register. 

Do you feel stressed? Are you tired sitting at the computer? Do your eyes get blurry and irritated? Do you experience back or neck pain? Do you get irritated and find it challenging to let go? Are you looking for techniques you can implement right away to improve your health and wellbeing?  

You may want to attend the “Clear Your Vision” workshop Wednesday, May 1, at noon in HSS 306. Registration is not needed.   

Holistic Healing Studies Lecturer Meir Schneider will explore the principles of natural vision improvement, simple strategies to prevent vision degeneration and techniques to improve vision and health. 

This workshop is part of the Institute for Holistic Health Studies, Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism “TechStress to Health” workshop series.  

All are welcome to the 13th biannual English Department Graduate Student Conference. It will be held Friday, May 3, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., in Humanities 484 and nearby classrooms. 

Each semester, the English Department hosts this event to showcase the work of its M.A. students, representing the disciplines in its graduate programs: the M.A. in English (Composition, Linguistics and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and the M.A. in English Literatures.  

Join for lunch at the “Alumni Career Panel on Tech and Language,” 12:30 – 1:30 p.m., in Humanities 587. Alumni will talk about how they have forged career pathways in technology, language instruction and language science. 

Please register via the conference website

The SF State Technology Governance Committee invites the campus community to a presentation on artificial intelligence (AI) and the future of higher education. It will be held Monday, May 6, 11 a.m. – noon. 

Generative Artificial Intelligence (GAI) and its impacts on higher education have been felt here at SF State across this academic year as faculty, students and staff consider this new technology. Mixed reactions such as concern, excitement and confusion are being experienced at SF State and campuses across the country. While responses and activities may differ from campus to campus, the dynamics are the same: colleges are facing rapid changes while seeking to balance the range of opportunities and the myriad of risks. 

The committee has invited EAB, a higher education consulting group, to share its insights and research on the GAI phenomenon and give a national view of how it may impact the future of higher education. 

In the presentation, “AI and the Future of Higher Education: Five Transformative Opportunities,” case studies and practical examples will be shared from other campuses to help understand AI opportunities being tested at other campuses as well as measures for reducing or addressing risks. 

Please register via Qualtrics.

The 2024 Center for Equity and Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CEETL) Exemplary Teaching awardees will be honored at the 2024 CEETL Teaching Awards Ceremony on Monday, May 6, 4 – 6 p.m., in Library 121.  

All who participated in CEETL faculty learning communities and workshops will be recognized and awarded their certificates. Faculty who contributed their teaching stories will also be recognized at this event.  

Please register via Qualtrics.

Human Resources offers two presentations for campus employees in May to help understand both ends of retirement benefits. Both can help set up for retirement from your first through your last workday on campus. 

  • Tuesday, May 7, 11 – noon: Using Savings Plus to build your 401(k) or 457b via payroll deduction in your early years 
  • Wednesday, May 8, 2 – 3:30 p.m.: If planning to retire within a year or so, understanding the CalPERS retirement application.  

Please RSVP via Qualtrics.  

Visit the Human resources website for information on other retirement and voluntary benefits.

SF State’s Science, Technology and Society Hub co-organizes “Into Unexpected Worlds: A Conversation with Donna Haraway and Ed Yong” on Friday, May 10, 4 – 6 p.m. Join in person or via Zoom for a conversation about the life-worlds of non-human animals and the power of writing to create meaningful change in a violent, complex world.  

Haraway (“Staying With the Trouble,” “When Species Meet”) is a feminist theorist and critical science studies scholar. Yong (“I Contain Multitudes,” “An Immense World”) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer. 

The event will be held in the Maude Fife Room (Wheeler Hall 315) at UC Berkeley. Masks are requested. Visit UC Disability Resource and Compliance for accessibility information. 

Please RSVP via Eventbrite.  

The Science, Technology and Society Hub thanks the event sponsors, including the U.S. National Scientific Foundation. 

SF State Spotlight

Screenshot of Wood Supply Game Competition team

A team of SF State Decision Sciences students recently won the Wood Supply Game Competition. SF State’s Logistics Legends team was one of 17 teams representing 12 universities from nine countries. 

The Logistics Legends team is comprised of team captain Kyle Vergara, Giovanni Lopez, Kanwarmehtab (Kanwar) Waraich and Vinh Tran

Decision Sciences Professor and Chair Theresa Roeder notes this year is the first time that the USA has been represented in this competition in more than a decade. 

The team extends special thanks to competition co-organizer Christoph Kogler, who introduced SF State to the game, visited campus from Austria and invited SF State students to represent the U.S. in the international competition. 

Photo courtesy of Logistics Legends

Theatre and Dance Professor Yutian Wong published a chapter titled “Canonising BTS: FOMO in the Archives of Digital Convenience” in “Lo: Tech: Pop: Cult: Screendance Remixed” (Routledge, 2024), edited by Priscilla Guy and Alanna Thain.  

Wong’s auto-ethnography of pandemic-era teaching uses the Korean pop music act BTS as a case study to think through the relationship between research, pedagogy and canon formation in dance studies. 

Associate Professor of American Indian Studies Robert Keith Collins chaired a panel on “Sports, Mascots and Commodification” and co-chaired a roundtable on “Museums.” These conversations centered on what European museum scholars and practitioners can Learn from Native Americans. He also presented a paper on “Transcending the Shackles of Savagery and Servitude Through Sport: Hampton Institute Football Team of 1900” on the panel “Sports and Residential/Boarding Schools” at the 46th American Indian Workshop at the University of Pardubice in Pardubice, Czech Republic, on April 17.  

This paper explored the following question: What is the relationship between African Americans and Native Americans in sports? To explore this question, this paper examined shared sportsmanship in early 20th-century collegiate sports evident in the experiences of the Hampton Normal Agricultural Institute football team of 1900. In this paper, the argument was made that shared sportsmanship expands on the frameworks of shared experiences in creative resistance, kinship, lifeways and under policy used in contemporary studies of African-Native American lives, particularly in the United States. In a similar vein, this paper hypothesized that shared sportsmanship must be understood as the byproduct of the intersections of African American and Native American extracurricular educational experiences. 

The Library Journal named School of Environment Professor Qian Guo’s book “Food of Cultures of China” as one of the best reference books of 2023. “A delectable treat that satisfies cravings and curiosity about Chinese cuisine and its history,” the Library Journal story stated.  

With this book, Guo wants young readers (high schoolers, college students) and the general public to distinguish myth and reality of Chinese food culture. Given his expertise in geography and environment, he focuses on human-environment interactions driving the evolution of Chinese food culture. In the book, Guo emphasizes Chinese food’s regional diversity, “omnivore” nature and the range of ingredients. The book also includes cooking methods and dining etiquette that reflect environmental adaptation in an agrarian society, persistent threat of famine and sustained cultural exchange and diffusion.  

Chinese foodways are not unique nor superior/inferior to others. As China emerges as a major economic power and global consumer, its food culture is changing rapidly and has an enormous impact on the world’s natural resources and the environment. 

This year’s SF State Model United Nations team, representing the Republic of Armenia and the Arab Republic of Egypt, won a coveted Slanczka Award for Excellence in Diplomacy in representing the Arab Republic of Egypt at the 73rd annual Model United Nations of the Far West (MUNFW) conference. This year’s theme was focused on human security and the world’s collective responsibilities in the 21st century.  

SF State International Relations delegates staffed the General Assembly, First Committee, International Organization on Migration (IOM) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) committees and worked to arrive at solutions in preventing genocide, the threat posed by new generations of nuclear and artificial intelligence-based weapons systems, maritime security and structural inequality. For IOM, the committee’s agenda included development and maintenance of safe migration pathways, addressing the needs of the forcibly displaced and migrant workers while the FAO worked hard to reduce the impact of conflict on food chains, protecting the rights of women in food systems and sustainability. 

This year’s team was led by Dan Buschmeyer and included Kenza Idrissi, Roland Petty, Maurice Chilton, Lexy Johnstone, Pich Moni Neath Lay, Adjani DeRook and Zen Lewis.  

Model U.N. is a key elective for students studying International Relations and is open to students from all majors. Students will acquire advanced skills in U.N. research, writing, debate and collaboration on topics of global importance. MUNFW is the oldest and most prestigious Model U.N. on the West Coast and held its conference April 19 – 23 at the Burlingame Hyatt Regency Hotel. Next year’s conference preparation will commence in late October. 

For inquiries, please email International Relations Professor Burcu Ellis

Photo courtesy of Burcu Ellis 

Retired Digital Media Specialist Irene Poon is shown in a picture in the traveling exhibition “Pictures of Belonging: Miki Hayakawa, Hisako Hibi and Miné Okubo.” The exhibit features art by Hayakawa, Hibi and Okubo during their incarceration during World War II. 

Poon is an accomplished photographer and author of the book “Leading the Way: Asian American Artists of the Older Generation” (Gordon College). She is an SF State alumna and worked on campus from 1965 to 2010.