May 13, 2024

News and Announcements

an outstanding academic hood graduate

A dozen outstanding graduates will be honored during SF State’s 123rd Commencement ceremony, to be held at Oracle Park Friday, May 24. They will represent their more than 7,300 graduating peers in the Class of 2024. 

As part of a longstanding tradition, each of the University’s six academic colleges selects an undergraduate and a graduate student to represent their classmates and wear their college’s academic hood during the ceremony. Additionally, two of the hood recipients, one undergraduate and one graduate student, will each deliver a Commencement address. 

More details about the ceremony are available on the Commencement website

Read biographical sketches of the 2024 hood recipients

Photo by Paul Asper

SF State nursing students working at Sutter Health

In a strategic collaboration aimed at advancing clinical education for nursing students, SF State and Sutter Health have joined forces to expand clinical placement opportunities. With this move, Sutter’s California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco will provide eight clinical placement slots for SF State’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program (BSNA), allowing the University to enroll 25% more students in the program. 

“Sutter’s care for the local community starts with having enough skilled caregivers in place, and this collaboration speaks to how we’re working purposefully to grow our nurse pipeline,” said Sutter’s Greater San Francisco Market President Christina Oh. “The urgent need to expand the nursing workforce is undeniable, especially in the face of a rapidly aging population. We saw firsthand during the pandemic that nursing shortages strain hospitals and health care systems. Workforce shortages also lead to staff burnout. Immediate actions such as commitments from health care facilities and educational institutions, to recruit, train and retain more nurses is vital for patient well-being and helping ensure the long-term sustainability of health care systems.” 

High demand for clinical placement slots 

Securing clinical placement slots is an ongoing challenge for nursing programs due to high demand and limited availability. In addition, the need for more clinical instructors to provide oversight and training further exacerbates the issue. As a result, many nursing programs struggle to secure enough clinical placement slots to meet students’ educational needs. This leads to the rejection of thousands of qualified applicants each year. In 2022, nursing schools nationwide turned away 78,000 qualified applications due largely to the lack of nurse faculty and clinical training sites. 

“Clinical placements are a crucial part of a nursing program, allowing students to use the knowledge and skills they learned in the classroom and apply it in the real world,” said Elaine Musselman, director of the SF State School of Nursing. “We are grateful to partner with Sutter’s CPMC to provide more of these sorely needed opportunities to our students.” 

“Removing obstacles for aspiring nurses is vital for their quick integration into bedside roles,” said Hamila Kownacki, CEO of Sutter’s CPMC and also a registered nurse. “Nurses are a critical part of providing high-quality patient care, and hospitals could not function without them. At Sutter, we’re committed to building a strong workforce, and, for our nurses, this starts with making educational training opportunities available. Sutter’s CPMC works with more than two dozen nursing programs across California and beyond, and this recent collaboration with SF State can serve as an example for other hospitals to open up similar pathways to help get nurses to the field faster.” 

First cohort to graduate in spring ’25 

The inaugural SF State BSNA cohort, set to graduate in spring 2025, is currently undergoing its fundamentals training at Sutter’s CPMC’s Mission Bernal Campus. These eight students will, over the next year, rotate through various hospital units including psychiatric and behavioral health, pediatrics and obstetrics, and medical-surgical at Sutter’s CPMC. Upon graduation and passing their national nurse exam, the students are eligible to apply for permanent positions at Sutter’s CPMC or another hospital or health care facility.   

“SF State has been an excellent opportunity for me to meet people who are like-minded, compassionate and excited to learn the nursing profession in an environment full of hands-on learning experiences,” said SF State nursing student Nate Challis. 

Challis added, “Nurses are in such high demand and that’s in large part because nurses at their core are fixers. We fix problems. I love what Sutter’s done by offering these [clinical placement] opportunities to SF State BSNA students to go directly to work. Not only are the clinical sites at Sutter’s CPMC incredible, but the nursing instructors are highly skilled. We’re fortunate to have access to Sutter’s cutting-edge facilities and cutting-edge technologies across different parts of San Francisco. We also get exposure working with many different populations and people who have different backgrounds and understandings, which will set us up for success in the future.” 

Nursing at Sutter Health 

Sutter’s more than 16,200 nurses represent the largest part of the organization’s workforce. These essential caregivers help deliver high quality, equitable and safe care to Sutter Health patients in communities big and small across Northern California.   

“Sutter’s nursing philosophy, which includes being a force for good, provides a framework to inspire nurses, reminds them why they entered the profession and highlights their unique role in their patients’ healing process,” said Sutter Health’s Chief Nurse Officer Anna Kiger. “Such a fulfilling work environment allows our organization to retain and attract the most talented nurses who are capable of reaching their unlimited potential while with us.” 

Sutter Health is proud to partner with more than 80 nursing programs across its 22 hospitals. In 2023, the organization partnered with Samuel Merritt University to champion health equity through a new Health Equity Nursing Fellowship program, where new and future fellows hope to empower the next generation of nurses committed to narrowing health disparity gaps.  

Commencement ambassadors wearing SF State cap and jacket

It’s almost here! SF State’s 123rd Commencement ceremony at Oracle Park is on Friday, May 24. Please consider signing up as an ambassador — an integral role in the success of this monumental day. All ambassadors will receive a special SF State hat. This stylish hat is a great way to show your SF State pride and support of this year’s graduation ceremony.  

Ambassador assignments will be from 1:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.  

As in years past, all ambassadors are asked to: 

  • Receive approval from their supervisor. 
  • Attend at least one informational training via Zoom for their assignment. The training dates are Monday, May 20, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m., and Tuesday, May 21, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. 

Many assignments involve large amounts of walking and standing. Please request any accommodations on the signup form under “Questions or requests.” Your support will help make this a special event for our graduating students, their friends and family members.    

For questions, please email Dania Russell

For the last week of classes and finals week (Monday, May 13 – Thursday, May 23), the Library is partnering with Health Promotion & Wellness and Food+Shelter+Success to transform the Events Room (Library 121) into a Wellness Room. 

 In the Wellness Room, students can: 

  • Grab a free snack 
  • Color or make a bracelet 
  • Play games or work on puzzles
  • Settle in for a serious study session 
  • Find out about campus resources 

The Tutoring and Academic Support Center (TASC) is hosting quiet study space in Library 244. All SF State students can get free tutoring from TASC’s main office in Library 220. 

Plus, the Library is filled with people who are available to help, including peer mentors at the checkout desk who can help students find the books or articles they need. Librarians also offer in-depth research appointments and answer questions 24/7 via live chat

Please visit the J. Paul Leonard Library website for more information

Do you know a student who exemplifies the essence of SF State? Have a student who you would like to see get more involved on campus? Have a student that you think would make a great Alli Gator mascot? The New Student and Family Programs office is accepting nominations for the Alli Gator mascot program.  

Please submit nominations via Qualtrics and Alli will do the rest! 

The May issue of the CSU Student Success Network newsletter is now available to read on the CSU Student Success Network website.

The SF State Academic Senate met on Tuesday, May 7, at Seven Hills and via Zoom.  

The Senate: 

  • Adopted by general consent Resolution in Memory of Associate Dean Catriona Esquibel 
  • Passed: 
    • Revision to F18-146 All University Program for Educator Preparation 
    • Resolution on the Use of Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Teaching and Learning 
    • Revision on Temporary Faculty Range Elevation S00-211 
    • Resolution on SF State’s Renewed Commitment to Multilingualism and Internationalization 
    • Revision of policy on Academic Program Discontinuance F19-177 
    • Revision of Department Chairs and Equivalent Unit Directors Policy S24-145 
    • Revision of Retention and Tenure and Promotion Policy S24-241 
  • Heard in first reading: 
    • Resolution for Positive Action and Collaboration in Recognition of Significant and Unusual Financial Challenges 
    • Resolution on Loss of Confidence in the CSU Chancellor and Board of Trustees Ability to Effectively Consult with Faculty on Changes in CSU Curricula 

The Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs is excited to share progress on the search for the assistant vice president of Title IX/Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation. The University has engaged search firm Witt Keifer, which has coordinated a national search for candidates to fill this vital role.  

During the first week of May, the search committee, chaired by Senior Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management Katie Lynch, conducted first-round interviews with preliminary candidates. The next steps include on-campus interviews with several stakeholders and groups to ensure that the campus is given the opportunity to meet and share their feedback on the candidates. Lynch will moderate the open forums, which will be held via Zoom. The campus community is encouraged to participate. 


Curious about artificial intelligence (AI) and what it might mean for students? All are welcome to join and participate in “Navigating AI as SFSU Students,” a virtual workshop on Monday, May 13, 3 – 4 p.m., to learn about types of AI, ethical issues and AI tools. 

Academic Technology will also discuss appropriate usage of generative AI and introduce the “stoplight” method to help you navigate this emerging technology. 

Generative AI has become a topic of interest in the media, business and at colleges across the country. ChatGPT and other emerging AI tools are quickly evolving and will soon become vital in professional and personal environments.  

Please register via Zoom.  

The campus community is invited to the Health Equity Institute (HEI) Student Scholar Showcase on Tuesday, May 14, 2 – 3 p.m., in HSS 361. Student scholars will give HEI’s annual poster presentations on their health equity work. Tea and cookies will be provided.  

The graduating cohort of Master of Public Health (MPH) students will present Culminating Experience presentations on Thursday, May 16, 4 – 7:15 p.m., in Burk Hall 410. The campus community is invited to join the students in community for this critical, insightful and joyful celebration of their scholarship alongside their faculty, family and friends. 

Join Human Resources on Monday, May 20, 11 a.m. – noon, to learn about saving plans by payroll deduction, for your future and your retirement planning. Savings Plus Retirement Specialist Victor Tawn will give a presentation via Zoom. 

Savings Plus provides California state employees with 401(k) and 457(b) supplemental savings plans. This is an employer-sponsored retirement plan that will increase your financial knowledge and help you achieve your financial objectives.  

Please RSVP via Qualtrics.  

SF State Spotlight

Zubaida Qamar, associate professor of Nutrition and Dietetics and the campus farm lead for Climate HQ, presented at the annual conference and 100th anniversary of the California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in San Francisco in April. 

Her talk, “Nourishing the Planet: Advocating for sustainable and resilient food systems,” focused on strategies and tools that empower dietitians and nutrition professionals to support and advocate for sustainable dietary practices and resilient food systems. Qamar also shared Climate HQ’s initiative to build a campus farm at SFSU in the near future. 

Gust A. Yep, professor of Communication Studies and graduate faculty of Sexuality Studies, continues his work in the emerging field of Queer Intercultural Communication. His article “‘Other Bodies’ in Interaction: Queer Relationalities and Intercultural Communication” is published in the “Handbook of Critical Intercultural Communication” (second edition, Wiley, 2024).  

The article is a follow-up to the 2023 essay “Mapping Queer Relationalities: An Exploration of Communication at the Edges of Cultural Unintelligibility,” authored with Associate Professor of Communication Studies Fatima Alaoui and Ryan Lescure, and published in the Journal of Homosexuality. 

Former visiting professor Greg Tate won a Pulitzer Prize in Special Citations and Awards last week. He was a pioneering popular culture and music critic and journalist who wrote for The Village Voice, Vibe, Spin, The Wire and Downbeat, among other publications. A founding member of the Black Rock Coalition, Tate led the ensemble Burnt Sugar The Arkestra Chamber and produced 16 albums. He died in 2021 at age 64. 

“His aesthetic, innovations and intellectual originality, particularly in his pioneering hip-hop criticism, continue to influence subsequent generations, especially writers and critics of color,” stated an announcement on the Pulitzer Prize website

Tate taught Africana literature and Black Lives Matter courses at SF State in 2018. He also had been a guest on campus lecturing on Afrofuturism and other topics. He collaborated with Documentary Film Institute Director Soumyaa Behrens at the “Pluralities” conference on campus to present a dialogue with artist/filmmaker Arthur Jafa. Tate was part the campus community and the larger Bay Area community. He supported other visitors such as Leroy Moore at The Poetry Center and he spoke alongside Anthropology Professor Dawn-Elissa Fischer, Africana Studies and Race and Resistance Studies Lecturer Danae Martinez, 2018 Africana Studies Undergraduate Honoree Justin Shelmire, artists Karen Seneferu and Malik Seneferu and others at the Black Speculative Arts Movement in Oakland.   

SFSU students and alumni recall Tate’s rigorous coursework and unwavering support, as he continued to write letters and advise SFSU students after his time on campus. 

Professor Emeritus of Marketing William Perttula made his 10th annual visit to the Romanian American University in April to deliver a short class on internet marketing. Romanian American University is a private university in Bucharest founded in 1991.