May 20, 2024

News and Announcements

SF State undergraduate Sergio Gonzalez Jr. presenting

SF State announced on May 15 that it received $14 million from the Genentech Foundation to support two University programs that are training the next generation of life sciences leaders. The new five-year grant is the latest in the Genentech Foundation’s transformational support for University programs, which has totaled more than $33 million during their long-lasting partnership. This partnership has impacted more than 700 students since 2008, and an additional 350 students are projected to be supported by the new funding. 

The new funds will continue sponsoring SF State’s Genentech Foundation Scholars and PINC (Promoting Inclusivity in Computing) programs. In 2008, an earlier iteration of the program that would become the Genentech Foundation Scholars program began at SF State to support graduate-level students with tuition and scholarships, mentorship, career preparation and research experience. In 2019, the Genentech Foundation awarded the University a historic $10.5 million grant to continue this program and expand support to undergraduate students, followed soon after by additional funding for the PINC program from the Genentech Foundation and Genentech Inc. 

This latest $14 million grant will extend tuition support to freshmen and sophomores to cover full tuition for all undergraduate students in the Genentech Foundation Scholars Program for the first time. It will also increase support and research opportunities for students in the PINC programs. 

Since the Genentech Foundation-SF State partnership began, the Genentech Foundation Scholars program has had a tangible impact on diversifying the STEM Ph.D. pipeline and increasing the number of underrepresented students in Ph.D. programs. One hundred and six students — 22 undergraduate and 84 master’s students — have enrolled in Ph.D. programs. Thirty-eight students have completed their Ph.D. program, with students from the 2019 grant cohorts still working on their Ph.D. degrees.  Additionally, due to the support provided to remove barriers that typically prevent underrepresented students from completing their degrees in four years, the on-time graduation rate for undergraduate scholars in the program is three times higher than that of SF State students from similar backgrounds who are not in the program. 

“The Genentech Foundation Scholars program isn’t just launching more students into Ph.D.s in science and medicine — it’s challenging the status quo perception of which institutions can produce top Ph.D. talent and which students are capable of leading tomorrow’s innovation,” said Kristin Campbell Reed, executive director of the Genentech Foundation. “SF State truly meets students where they are and believes in their boundless potential. We are proud to be doubling down on our investment and invite others to join us in what we believe is a scalable model for change.” 

Genentech Foundation Scholars Program 

$11.7 million of the grant will go to SF State’s Genentech Foundation Scholars Program. Each year, approximately 120 students participate in the year-long program. In addition to tuition, students receive a stipend and participate in research activities with the support of peer and faculty mentorship. The program offers summer research opportunities, preparatory calculus and chemistry courses for pre-freshmen participants, weekly career-preparation seminars and graduate school application prep. 

PINC (Promoting Inclusivity in Computing) Program 

The remaining $2.3 million of the grant will support SF State’s Gen-PINC Scholarship and PINC Summer Program, programs that empower students to develop computational skills applicable to real-world research and provide opportunities to work with researchers from industry and other academic institutions. For the Gen-PINC program, the grant renewal will increase the amount of scholarship funding each scholar receives, provide partial tuition for undergraduate scholarship recipients for the first time and expand the budget for student-mentor support. The new grant will also provide students in the eight-week PINC Summer Program more opportunities to explore their interests and develop skills critical for their future careers. 

“Our partnership with the Genentech Foundation has accelerated the expansion of successful training programs preparing our diverse students for exciting graduate programs across the country,” said College of Science & Engineering Dean Carmen Domingo. “Working with Genentech scientists, our faculty are creating innovative curricula that apply machine learning approaches to solve real-world biotech problems. These experiences are making our students uniquely prepared for the biotech workforce needs of the future.” 

Student impact 

SF State undergraduate Sergio Gonzalez Jr. (pictured above) plans to become a professor at a research institute and a biotech leader in regenerative medicine. He’s also quick to emphasize that he wants to be an impactful mentor like the ones he has had at SF State and start programs like the ones he has benefited from. He was supported by both the Genentech Foundation Scholars Program and the Gen-PINC scholarship and has participated in other PINC programs. He originally transferred to SF State in 2013 but left in 2016 for personal reasons. During his academic hiatus, he began working as a medical assistant during the COVID-19 pandemic and realized his desire to help his community through research. He returned to SF State in 2022 to complete his education. Now, he’s making major strides toward his career goals by starting Vanderbilt University’s Interdisciplinary Graduate Ph.D. program in the fall to pursue biomedical research. He’s been awarded the prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research fellowship (NSF GRFP). 

“I was able to tap into my inner confidence that everyone else saw in me, but I wasn’t really tapping into because of my situation,” he said of the impact of these programs. Gonzalez, like many students, was supporting himself. The financial support and mentorship from these Genentech Foundation-funded programs gave him the time and space to focus on research and achieve a 4.0 GPA. 

“Learning that you don’t have to be this picture-perfect person to obtain these fellowships was crucial for me to pursuing them further because I left school,” Gonzalez explained. “When I came back, I remembered these programs and I told myself that in order for me to succeed, I need to be fully funded. These programs will help me get there.” 

For more information about these programs, please email Professor Emeritus of Biology Frank Bayliss ( for Genentech Foundation Scholars and Program Manager Michael Savvides ( for PINC. 

Photo courtesy of Sergio Gonzalez Jr. 

San Francisco State University pylon on 19th Holloway

The Academic Senate is pleased to announce the recipients of SF State’s 2024 Distinguished Faculty and Staff Awards. The honorees were presented at the final meeting of the 2023 – 2024 Academic Senate by the Faculty and Staff Awards Committee chaired by Fang-yu Chou. An in-person celebration of their accomplishments took place immediately following the Academic Senate plenary session. 

The awards come with a $4,000 stipend provided by the SF State Foundation Board, a plaque honoring their achievement and their photo added to those of past award winners.   


  • Excellence in Teaching (Tenured Faculty): Nick Sousanis, Liberal Studies  
  • Excellence in Teaching (Lecturer Faculty): Duc Ta, Computer Science 
  • Excellence in Professional Achievement (Tenured Faculty): David Peña-Guzmán, Humanities and Comparative World Literature                             
  • Excellence in Service (Tenured Faculty): Falu Bakrania, Race and Resistance Studies  
  • Excellence in Service (Staff): Darleen Franklin, Biology 

Photo by Deanne Fitzmaurice 

The Gators baseball team celebrate for a bid to NCAA Division II Western Regionals

For the first time since 1995, the San Francisco State baseball team advanced to the NCAA Division II West Regional. The Gators had to sweat it out ’til the end of the selection show, but the wait was worth it. 

The Gators earned the sixth seed and faced third-seeded Northwest Nazarene opened the tournament on May 16 at Cal State Monterey Bay, which won the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Tournament, earned the two seed and served as host. SF State looked to carry its spectacular CCAA Tournament run into the Regionals. The Gators had multiple comebacks throughout the week and were an out away from winning it all. 
Regionals took place May 16 – May 18. The winner of the Regionals advanced to play in the Super Regional against the winner of the other West Region bracket, hosted by Point Loma. 

Photo by Kendrick Mooney 

Critical Pacific Islands and Oceania Studies (in the Race and Resistance Studies Department) and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AA&PI) Student Services have secured a one-time grant of $460,000 from the CSU Chancellor’s Office to establish a Pacific Islander student support program. The Oceania Scholars Program will center around retention, graduation and success of Pacific Islander students at SF State and disaggregate data to better serve Pacific Islander communities. The program starts this fall and will span across two years. 

The Oceania Scholars Program will be vital in addressing educational equity for Pacific Islander students. It provides tailored support to help students overcome cultural and socioeconomic challenges and to enhance the inclusivity and visibility of Pacific Islander heritage on campus. The program also boosts academic outcomes through advising and access to culturally relevant resources while promoting leadership skills and community engagement among students. This comprehensive support system not only aids Pacific Islander students in their academic journeys, but also fosters a more equitable and diverse educational environment on campus. 

Ponipate Rokolekutu, assistant professor of Race and Resistance Studies, will serve as the principal investigator. Jeremy Khuth, director of AA&PI Student Services, will serve as co-principal investigator. 

The Center for Equity and Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CEETL) is delighted to announce the 2024 Teaching Awards, which recognize outstanding faculty who have made a significant impact on their students’ learning and development. These awards are for faculty members who have demonstrated excellence in teaching and a commitment to student success. 


  • Kristin Agius, lecturer faculty, English Language and Literature 
  • Yiwen Chen, assistant professor, Marketing 
  • Stephanie Claussen, assistant professor, Engineering 
  • Ashmi Desai, assistant professor, Communication Studies 
  • Yikuan Lee, associate professor, International Business 
  • Jinjing Qiu, assistant professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry 
  • Amy Skonieczny, professor, International Relations 
  • Anusha Sundarrajan, assistant professor, Speech, Hearing and Language Sciences 
  • Jaclyn Wolf, assistant professor, Psychology 

The Exemplary Teaching awardees were honored at the 2024 CEETL Teaching Awards Ceremony on May 6 between 4 and 6 p.m. in Library 121. At this event, a “teaching stories” video was premiered, celebrating faculty who contributed to the video. All who participated in CEETL’s Spring Faculty Learning Communities and Workshops were recognized and awarded their certificates at this event. 

The College of Liberal & Creative Arts has awarded Marcus Undergraduate Research Assistantship Grants for 2024 – 2025. This initiative is aimed at promoting student research in collaboration with a faculty mentor. 


  • Susan Belau, associate professor of Art: “Expanded Vectors: Printmaking with Laser Engraver and Vinyl Cutter” 
  • Hsiao-Yun Chu, professor of Design: “70 Years in the Making: A History of Design Education at SF State” 
  • Ron Hayduk, professor of Political Science: “Politics of Immigration and Inequality in the United States: A View from the Left” 
  • David Peña-Guzmán, associate professor of Humanities and Comparative World Literature: “The Wandering Animal Mind” 

The Department of Criminal Justice Studies is proud to present the Annual Review of Criminal Justice Studies, volume 2, showcasing the exceptional work of over 12 students from SF State and John Jay College of Criminal Justice. This collaborative effort underscores Criminal Justice Studies’ dedication to fostering academic excellence and providing a platform for emerging scholars in the field. 

Volume 2 is a collection of innovative research and thought leadership that addresses some of the most pressing issues in criminal justice today. The Department of Criminal Justice Studies believes that this work will serve as a catalyst for discussion, debate and development within its community and beyond. 

Students are encouraged to explore the latest volume as an excellent opportunity to engage with contemporary research and contribute to the ongoing dialogue in the field. Students are invited to consider contributing to or joining the editorial board for the next volume, providing a unique chance to work alongside peers and faculty from SF State and John Jay College, gaining invaluable experience in academic publishing and research. 

To access the journal or to participate, please visit the Department of Criminal Justice Studies website or email

Interested in a cultural exchange? Want to practice your foreign language skills? The American Language Institute’s Conversation Partner Program is for speakers of English who wish to be matched with an international student for an hour a week of informal conversation. 

The American Language Institute is an intensive, four- to six-hour per day English Language Program on campus. Most of its students are eager to learn about American culture and practice their English. Volunteers can often “trade” languages, for example speaking 30 minutes of English and 30 minutes of Chinese.  A get-together for all the volunteers and students to meet one another will be held at a date to be announced. 

For questions, please email Trang Tran

Please apply via Qualtrics. Matches are on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

The longtime campus Technology Acquisition Request (TAR) process will be relaunched this summer, introducing a new streamlined interface and a new name: BuyIT. 

Beginning Tuesday, July 30, campus users who purchase information technology goods and services will begin using the new website to submit requests. 

More information for official launch events will be announced in June, along with opportunities to attend demonstrations of the new process, access to new training materials and support information. This will help ensure all campus users are informed and prepared to submit requests in the new BuyIT application

The change is part of a year-long collaborative effort between Academic Technology, Information Technology Services and other campus partners, including Procurement and the Disability Programs and Resource Center.  

Campus input through focus groups and a user group made up of staff and faculty has been critical to this process improvement initiative. 

The fourth annual Cal OER Conference will take place virtually Thursday, Aug. 7, and Friday, Aug. 8. This is an event for educators, researchers and innovators who want to learn more about Open Educational Resources (OER) and are passionate advocates of OER. Join to explore how local innovations throughout California, especially across the state’s three public higher education systems, can create a positive impact on education. Be part of an amazing community committed to advancing open education and fostering student success. 

Distinguished keynote speakers are Cable Green, director of open knowledge at Creative Commons, and Virginia Clinton-Lisell, associate professor at the University of North Dakota,  

Please submit presentation proposals by Monday, June 3, at 5 p.m. Please register via Eventbrite. Registration is $25.   

SF State has a proud tradition of sponsoring Constitution and Citizenship Day conferences, providing opportunities to reflect critically on the past, present and future of constitutional rights, freedoms, citizenship, democracy, equality and justice. This year’s conference — “Rights and Wrongs: A Constitution Day Event” — will take place Monday, Sept. 16, and Tuesday, Sept. 17.  

The organizers welcome proposals on multiple topics related to rights, wrongs, constitutional law, legal citizenship and social change. This year they are especially interested in presentations related to the rights of students and faculty, campus free speech and campus policing, educational censorship, academic freedom, academic labor rights, reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, voting rights, electoral politics, presidential transitions, presidential immunity, the 2024 presidential election, and the Supreme Court. However, the organizers are broadly interested in all topics that might help deepen understanding of today’s debates and discussions about constitutional rights and wrongs. 

Proposals (maximum 250 words) should be emailed by Thursday, June 13, to conference coordinator Marc Stein at Individual and group submissions are welcomed. For group submissions, organizers encourage proposals that include presenters from multiple institutions and organizations. Most sessions will be scheduled for 75-minute time blocks to align with SF State class schedules. This means that two 20-minute presentations, three 15-minute presentations or four 10-minute presentations often work best. The organizers can supply chairs/moderators on request. They ask that all presenters plan to attend more than just their own session. Please submit short curriculum vitas/resumes for all participants. 

For more information, visit the conference landing page or email Stein at

The last spring 2024 issue of CampusMemo will publish on Tuesday, May 28. There will be monthly publications on Monday, June 10, and Monday, July 15. The first fall 2024 issue will be Monday, Aug. 19. Publication will be weekly until December. 

The SF State Academic Senate met on Tuesday, May 14, at Seven Hills and via Zoom.  

The 2023 – 2024 Senate: 

  • Passed a resolution for Positive Action and Collaboration in Recognition of Significant and Unusual Financial Challenges 
  • Passed a resolution Calling for the Revision of Title V to Restrict CSU Curricula Changes to Faculty Determination 
  • Adopted by general consent the resolution: 
  • Commendation in Honor and Recognition of Outgoing Members of the 2023 – 2024 Academic Senate  
  • Tabled a resolution on overreach in curricular decisions in general education, until fall 2024 
  • Welcomed a presentation of Distinguished Faculty and Staff Award winners 

The Academic Senate held elections for the 2024 – 2025 Senate Executive Committee and is pleased to announce the results for the one-year terms beginning on June 1: 

  • Chair: Jackson Wilson, Recreation, Parks and Tourism  
  • Vice chair: Carrie Holschuh, Nursing 
  • Secretary: Ryan Gurney, College of Professional and Global Education 
  • At-large: Fang-yu Chou, Nursing 
  • At-large: Brad Erickson, Liberal Studies 
  • Academic Policies Committee chair: Fang-yu Chou (interim), Nursing 
  • Campus Curriculum Committee chair: Rick Harvey, Recreation, Parks and Tourism 
  • Faculty Affairs Committee chair: Elizabeth Brown, Criminal Justice Studies 
  • Student Affairs Committee chair: Ellen Christensen, Design  
  • Strategic Issues Committee chair: Alaric Trousdale, Division of International Education 
  • Academic Senate of the CSU (ex officio): Robert Keith Collins, American Indian Studies; Dipendra Sinha, Engineering 
  • Immediate past chair: Michael Goldman, Biology 

Gather your friends and join the SF State Alumni Association for lawn bowling on Sunday, June 3, 4 – 7 p.m. Reconnect and reminisce in the company of fellow alumni in what promises to be an afternoon filled with camaraderie, laughter and friendly competition. 

Instructors will be present to provide equipment and lessons. No experience necessary. Lawn bowling is accessible for all abilities.  

Please RSVP by Friday, May 24. Tickets are $15. Registration includes lawn bowling equipment, lesson and refreshments.  

For questions, please email Marciana Flores

The Center for Equity and Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CEETL) will facilitate Small Group Instructional Feedback (SGIF) teams this summer for faculty teaching asynchronous courses during the first summer session. 

SGIF is a formative, mid-course check-in process to gather information about student learning experience to inform faculty pedagogical decisions. Participants work with a small group of colleagues from different departments to gather and share information about student experience in a confidential, non-evaluative process. The SGIF process is designed to be a valuable tool to examine and enhance teaching. It is intentionally separate from official peer observation processes that may be part of departmental retention, tenure and promotion. 

SGIF groups take place Monday, June 3 – Friday, June 28. Participating faculty will be eligible for a $300 stipend. Spots are limited!  

Please register via Qualtrics by Thursday, May 30

SF State Spotlight

Three SF State representatives gave presentations at the Association for Applied Psychophysiology’s 54th annual scientific meeting, held May 8 – 11 in Denver.  

Recreation, Parks, Tourism and Holistic Health Professors Erik Peper and Richard Harvey presented the Gabe Sella Memorial Lecture, titled “sEMG is more useful than you may think.” 

Harvey, Peper and College of Health & Social Sciences Assistant Dean for Student Success Erik Rosegard presented the poster “Increase attention, concentration and school performance with posture feedback.” 

When Mary Jue isn’t serving as coordinator for the School Nurse Services Credential Program, she can be found on a local pickleball court. She is a champion player and professional coach of the fast-growing sport. 

Jue enjoys the sport because “almost everyone can play, without being really good at it, and they can socialize,” she said in a San Francisco Senior Beat story on May 8. 

Jue (M.S., ’92) says working with children and families is fulfilling to her. 

“You get to build relationships with students and families like nowhere else, and there is so much one can do, determined by your own interests.” 

On May 8, KRON-TV reported that human remains found in 1967 were just recently identified, after help from Anthropology Professor Mark Griffin. The body had been found in Sonoma County at the bottom of a cliff. 

In 2009, the deceased woman’s body was exhumed with Griffin’s assistance. The examination determined that she white, 40 – 46 years old and the victim of a homicide. But it wasn’t until early 2023 that forensic genetic analysis identified her as Lillian Marie Cardenas. She was born in 1928 and was last known to have lived in San Francisco.