January 29, 2024

News and Announcements

Character illustrations for SFSU Comics studies program

SF State’s Comics Studies program is looking for campus partners to help students hone their comics-making skills while promoting University departments, programs and units.  

The students — the first cohort pursuing the program’s new Nonfiction Comics Making certificate — spent the fall semester studying and making short nonfiction comics. Now it’s time for them to put their new skills to use by teaming up with members of the University community to document their research or activities, culminating in a published comic. Students will also tackle smaller projects that could incorporate collaboration, such as an introduction to a program in comics form or a graphic guide to accessing campus resources.  

Interested in using the power of comics to spread the word about your work? Email Program Director Nick Sousanis.  

Art by Ashley Nortman  

A volunteer assisting with income tax filing

It’s that time of year again — tax season has arrived! Volunteer Income-Tax Assistance (VITA) at SFSU Beta Alpha Psi (BAP) provides free income tax preparation to low-income individuals, students (including international students on F or J visas) and elderly, disabled and limited English-proficient individuals.  

Qualified taxpayers have the option to get in-person tax filing support from IRS-certified volunteers (In-Person VITA, earning less than $70,000 per year) or do their taxes on site with assistance from volunteers (DIY VITA, earning less than $79,000 per year).  

The VITA office is located at Creative Arts 116 (next to the Little Theatre). Volunteers will be available Tuesday, Jan. 30 – Friday, April 12, with a spring break closure Tuesday, March 26 – Friday, March 29. Please visit the Lam Family College of Business website for hours of operation.  

All services are by appointment only. Please make an appointment via OneHub.  

For married couples filing jointly, both spouses must be present. 

Please bring the following documents to your appointment: 

  • Photo ID, Social Security Card or ITIN for each person on your tax return 
  • All forms of income (W2s, 1099s, self-employment work, etc.) 
  • Other tax forms (1098s, 1095s, etc.) 
  • Information for all deductions (including charitable contributions)/credits 
  • Total paid to day-care providers and their tax ID numbers 
  • Bank account and routing number for direct-deposit refund 

This VITA site is sponsored by the Lam Family College of Business, the BAP student organization and the United Way of Bay Area. 

J. Paul Leonard Library

Drop in for Library 101 to learn what the SF State Library can do for you and what you can do at the Library. 

Each day of the first two weeks of instruction, a Library student peer mentor will offer a tour of the building and a brief orientation to essential resources and services. Everyone is welcome. Meet at the book checkout and pickup desk on the first floor. Bring your questions and curiosity! 

For more information please email the Student Success and Engagement team.  

Tour schedule

  • Monday, Jan. 29, 4 – 5 p.m. 
  • Tuesday, Jan. 30, 11 a.m. – noon 
  • Wednesday, Jan. 31, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. 
  • Thursday, Feb. 1, 11 a.m. – noon 
  • Friday, Feb. 2, 10 – 11 a.m. 
  • Monday, Feb. 5, 2 – 3 p.m. 
  • Tuesday, Feb. 6, 10 – 11 a.m. 
  • Wednesday, Feb. 7, 1 – 2 p.m. 
  • Thursday, Feb. 8, 5 – 6 p.m. 
  • Friday, Feb. 9, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. 

The University Corporation (U Corp) is pleased to offer notary public services to the campus community — for both your work-related and personal needs.  

Services are available by appointment only and may be scheduled via the U Corp website. The cost is $15 for a notarization. 

Academic Technology (AT) resumes extended hours beginning Monday, Jan. 29, to support evening classes. The new hours are Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Friday hours will remain 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Visit in Library 80, or call (415) 405-5555 or send an email

AT has compiled technology guides to help faculty and students review its resources and recommendations for a wide range of critical technology needs. View the Faculty Guide and the Student Guide

Get help with AT services on ATHelp: Select a topic to view how-to guides or participate in the community forum to ask questions and share ideas.  

Did you know AT makes video content? Find out more on AT’s YouTube channel.  

Learn more about what AT is up to, including the latest updates to Canvas, campus response to artificial intelligence, technology resources and so much more.  

Visit the AT website for the latest updates

Nominations for the 2024 Annual Civic and Community Engagement Awards are open. These awards honor students, faculty and community partners whose leadership, service and collaboration strengthen the bonds of engagement that connect the University and the community. 

Please share widely! Nominations are encouraged for anyone who has demonstrated exceptional involvement and experience in community service learning or has achieved remarkable accomplishments in community engagement. 

Nomination forms are open until Friday, Feb. 23, at 6 p.m. 

For questions or concerns, please email the Institute for Civic and Community Engagement (ICCE) or call the office at (415) 338-6419. 

Visit the ICCE website to make a nomination and for more information.

Are you a faculty member interested in the possibility of working with the First-Year Experience (FYE) Peer Mentor Program and having a peer mentor in a spring 2024 course?   

Courses eligible to participate    

  • ENG 114, 106, 202, 209, 210 and other courses that meet the A2 requirement;    
  • COMM 150 and other courses that meet the A1 requirement;    
  • PHIL 110 and other courses that meet the A3 requirement; and    
  • Quantitative Reasoning, B4 requirement    

Program goals    

Support first-year students in their transition to college by bolstering academic and holistic success strategies by placing a trained peer mentor in classrooms to partner with faculty.    

What does a peer mentor do?    

  • Peer mentors are trained by the faculty director of the FYE.    
  • Peer mentors are paid student employees.     
  • Peer mentors attend every class session to help support the students in real time.    
  • Peer mentors help ease transition to college by creating a strong sense of belonging, both inside and outside the classroom, and helping to navigate how to be an effective college student.    

Faculty who participate in the program receive a $500 honorarium. Learn more on the information sheet via Box.   

If you would like to work with a peer mentor or have questions, please email Susanna Jones,  FYE faculty director.  

The Center for Equity and Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CEETL) presents a new opportunity excusively for Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) instructors in spring 2024. CEETL will hold GWAR Second Wednesdays Brown Bags 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. in Library 242.  

These will be open forums to discuss challenges and opportunities as they unfold across the semester. CEETL will provide resources in the areas of assignment redesigns, grading, and teaching with artificial intelligence.  

GWAR instructors can drop by; no RSVP necessary. Drinks and light snacks will be provided. Meetings will occur Feb. 14, March 13, April 10 and May 8.  

For more information, please email Kasturi Ray and CEETL

The Vista Room, the sit-down service training restaurant on campus, is open Thursdays only for lunch at 11:45 starting Feb. 15.  

More information is available on the Vista Room website or make your reservation directly through Yelp.  

Five contemporary artists have created new work in response to the artist Ruth Asawa and The Garden of Remembrance, an SF State memorial to Japanese American incarceration during World War II. “Reflecting on Ruth Asawa and The Garden of Remembrance” opens Saturday, Feb. 24, with a reception from 1 to 3 p.m., in the Fine Arts Gallery. The exhibition continues through Saturday, April 6. Gallery hours are Tuesdays – Fridays, noon – 4 p.m. Admission is free. 

Featured artists are: Mark Baugh-Sasaki, Tina Kashiwagi, Paul Kitagaki Jr., Lisa Solomon and TT Takemoto. The catalog features essays from Lewis Kawahara, Weston Teruya and Patricia Wakida and will be available as a free PDF on the Fine Arts Gallery website. 

The garden, between Burk Hall and the Fine Arts building, is one of the artist’s last public artworks.  

This project is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Henri and Tomoye Takahashi Charitable Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and SF State’s Instructionally Related Student Activities Fund.

CSU Innovative Teaching and Learning Programs will hold a virtual symposium on wellbeing-Informed Teaching Friday, March 15, 10 a.m. – noon. 

Bonnie Gasior and Darci Strother, faculty fellows for student mental wellbeing, will be the hosts. 

This symposium will celebrate the ways to support student mental wellbeing in multiple faculty roles and share ideas that bridge the concepts learned in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) with teaching across the disciplines. 

Following a brief opening keynote by Professor Mays Imad (Connecticut College), author of “How to Help Students Develop ‘Mental Immunity,” CSU faculty will lead a series of 15-minute “Pecha Kucha”-style presentations (30 slides, 20 seconds each). 

A link to register for the symposium will follow in early February. 

Has MHFA, or research on the relationship between students’ mental wellbeing and academic success, influenced your approach to course design, assessing student work, supporting student mental wellbeing or tending to our own mental wellbeing? The CSU would like to give you space to share what you are doing. Submit a proposal via Google Docs of up to 200 words by 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 5.  

Questions? Please email CSU Innovative Teaching and Learning Programs

The Office of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development presents workshops this semester to help prepare for retention, tenure and promotion. Tenure-track faculty and associate professors preparing for promotion can participate.  

Todd Roehrman, associate dean of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development will lead the retention workshops. Roehrman and the chair of the University, Tenure and Promotion and Committee will lead the workshops. 

Faculty who will be reviewed in the next few years are encouraged to attend. The workshops are organized according to different phases of faculty and professional development, but topics covered in each of the workshops will be similar, so feel free to attend the workshop that best fits your schedule.  

Please RSVP via Qualtrics to receive a link for the workshop of your choice. An invitation link will be e-mailed the day before the workshop. 

  • Monday, April 8: 10 – 11:30 a.m. – Faculty preparing for tenure and promotion 
  • Thursday, April 11: 10 – 11:30 a.m. – Faculty preparing for promotion to Professor 
  • Friday, April 12: 2 – 3:30 p.m. – Faculty preparing for any retention review 
  • Wednesday, May 1: 10 – 11:30 a.m. – Faculty preparing for tenure and promotion 
  • Friday, May 3: 2 – 3:30 p.m. – Faculty preparing for any retention review 

For questions or more information, please email Todd Roehrman.  

SF State Spotlight 

Africana Studies Professor Dorothy Tsuruta was invited to speak on “Doing What Must Be Done, When It Must be Done” at the Modern Language Association (MLA) annual convention on Jan. 4. 

MLA also rotated Tsuruta to chair of the MLA African American Form, a three-year position, beginning in January. 

A Kwanzaa honor in the community: For the fifth consecutive year, the Village Project and Community Partners invited Tsuruta to host the seventh day of Kwanzaa celebration, Imani: to believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

Kevin Kelly, lecturer in Equity, Leadership Studies and Instructional Technologies, will launch two books for faculty, academic staff and campus leaders this spring. Both books are highly practical, sharing best practices, additional resources, activities, tools, templates and real-world examples. 

“Making College Courses Flexible” (Routledge) will be published April 1. It prepares practitioners to create equivalent and equitable learning experiences for students in the classroom and those learning from home, synchronously or asynchronously. The book also includes a dozen case stories shared by educators from around the country.  

In June, the second edition of Kelly and Katie Linder’s “The Blended Course Design Workbook” (Routledge) will be published. It guides faculty through the process of revising traditional location-based courses into a blended or hybrid format. 

As a side note, Kelly cautions that writing two books while working full time and teaching part time does not foster work-life balance very well. 

Yutian Wong, professor in the School of Theatre and Dance, is quoted by The Guardian in a Jan. 20 article commemorating the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting at the Star Ballroom dance studio in Monterey Park.  

She explains that ballroom dancing was brought to Asia in the 1920s by Europeans and Americans through colonialism and militarism. It took off in the U.S. among aging, college-educated Chinese and Taiwanese immigrants and southeast Asian refugees in the 1980s and 1990s. 

“Ballroom dancing has always had this aspiration element to it,” she said. “There’s a sheen of respectability and a class element to it.” 

“About Ed” (New York Review Books) is the new book by Creative Writing Professor Emeritus Robert Glück (M.A., ’73), recounting his relationship with the artist Ed Aulerich-Sugai. 

The sub-headline in The New Yorker on Jan. 19 reads: “’About Ed’ is a literary monument that harnesses memoir’s emotional honesty while indulging fiction’s stylistic latitude.” 

From The New York Times Book Review on Nov. 13: “If this is a book about a lost loved one, it is also a memorial to a lost sensibility, a period in the 1970s when sex was ‘founded on hope,’ before the onslaught of the AIDS crisis.” 

School of Theatre and Dance students Jessa Laboissonniere, Tristan Fabiunke, Bre Lawscha, Connor Diaz and Benjamin Edwards have co-authored and published an article on their design process for the SF State production of Sarah Ruhl’s “Eurydice.” The article was in The Theatre Times on Jan. 24. 

Student designers spent several months preparing for their upcoming production of Ruhl’s 2003 play “Eurydice.” The semester-long pre-production required the student scenic designer, student costume designer, student lighting designer, student sound designer and student prop designer to enroll in “Theatre Arts 740: Play Production Concepts.”  

They met for two-hour sessions, once a week, for 15 weeks to collaborate with one another, their faculty director and design mentors. They made preliminary designs and refined their ideas in the form of models, renderings, light plots, etc., all leading up to a culminating event known as the “Design Reveal,” where they shared their proposed designs with faculty, staff and other students. But first, the designers were asked to reflect on their process, clarify how they arrived at their designs and write it down. The essays they produced formed the basis for an article that demonstrates how deeply and theoretically they think about the work they make

Andrew Fraknoi, an instructor in the SF State Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), is the subject of a profile in the San Jose Mercury News on Jan. 24. 

“There’s nothing like taking astronomy and making it into something that even the most reluctant, non-science majors could enjoy,” he said. “I just got fascinated by being able to wake people up to the excitement I felt about astronomy. That became my mission.” 

He just completed teaching his latest six-week course at OLLI. 

“I think teaching really is his calling,” OLLI Director Kathy Bruin said. “Some people might know their stuff, but they’re not good teachers. Or they’ll be good teachers, but they don’t know their stuff. But Andrew is both.” 

John Logan, professor and director of Labor and Employment Studies, was quoted in international news articles in Fagbladet 3F (Denmark) on Dec. 21, ETC (Sweden) on Dec. 22, Magasinet for Fagorganiserte on Jan. 4 and RTVI-TV (Russia) on Jan. 10.  

Logan was also recently quoted in CalMatters and on KCBS-AM about the new California minimum wage for fast-food workers.  

In addition, Logan published an article in the International Union Rights journal: “Tech workers rising: Why are so many young U.S. tech workers embracing labour activism?” 

A Jan. 17 article in Smithsonian Magazine explores the history of accents and dialects throughout the U.S.  

“There’s never [just] one accent in a given place,” said Teresa Pratt, assistant professor of English Language and Literature. “There’s so much variation, even in one particular region.”