May 6, 2024

News and Announcements

SF State Asian American Studies Chair Wesley Ueunten, donor Masako Takahashi and SF State Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Amy Sueyoshi

SF State has received a $4.2 million gift from the Henri and Tomoye Takahashi Charitable Foundation to establish the Henri and Tomoye Takahashi Distinguished Chair in Nikkei Studies. This faculty position is the first endowed chair in the University’s College of Ethnic Studies. It is also the first in the Asian American Studies department, which is the oldest and largest in the country, and is at the forefront of curriculum development used by schools and universities nationwide. 

Nikkei Studies centers the history, culture and experiences of the global Japanese diaspora and its intersectional communities. The new distinguished endowed chair will focus on increasing awareness, understanding and appreciation of the historical and contemporary experiences of Japanese Americans and the worldwide Nikkei diaspora. 

“With this new role, San Francisco State can play a critical part in promoting and advancing the field of Nikkei Studies,” College of Ethnic Studies Dean Grace Yoo said. “We are deeply grateful for the Foundation’s generosity and for trusting San Francisco State to establish this important position for the University and broader community.” 

The Distinguished Endowed Chair in Nikkei Studies will join the SF State faculty in 2025 and will: 

  • Collaborate and exchange ideas with national and international scholars in Nikkei Studies 
  • Lead the development of curricula and resources for teaching Nikkei Studies at the university and K-12 school levels nationwide 
  • Further frameworks of social justice and self-determination in advancing Nikkei Studies 
  • Promote Nikkei Studies on campus and engage with the Nikkei community in the Bay Area and beyond 

“One major aspect of this position is focusing on strengthening the relationship between the University and community,” Professor and Chair of Asian American Studies Wesley Ueunten said. “We want to ensure people within and outside our campus community have opportunities to engage with and learn about Nikkei Studies.” 

Masako Takahashi, a San Franciso-based artist born in Utah’s Topaz Concentration Camp during World War II, is the president of the Henri and Tomoye Takahashi Charitable Foundation. The Foundation, established in 1986 by her parents Henri and Tomoye Takahashi and Tomoye’s sister, Martha Masako Suzuki, is a philanthropic leader in the Japanese American community and in fostering friendly relations with Japan through cultural and educational projects. 

“When I attended the University’s last Alumni Hall of Fame celebration and heard the honorees speak, it was clear to me that SF State and its graduates show a deep commitment to supporting minorities and the marginalized,” Masako Takahashi said. “It made me feel our funding could support a good place, a place for good.” 

Students smiling and posing in their graduation gown during commencement

SF State will award three honorary doctorate degrees at its 123rd Commencement ceremony on Friday, May 24. This year’s honorees are actor and activist Benjamin Bratt, attorney and civil rights activist Walter Riley and the late psychologist, activist and educator Joseph L. White (A.B., ’54; M.S., ’58). White passed away in 2017, so accepting on his behalf will be his daughter Lori S. White. She, Bratt and Riley will address the more than 7,300 students receiving their degrees as well as their more than 30,000 guests. 

Doors at Oracle Park open at 3:30 p.m. The graduate procession begins at 5:30 p.m., with Commencement starting at 6:30 p.m. Fireworks will close out the event at about 9:30 p.m. 

Live updates and photos from the ceremony will be posted to the University’s Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts. Graduates and guests can tag their Commencement posts on social media using the hashtag #SFSU2024. 

Commencement information is available via the SF State mobile app. Once you’ve downloaded the SF State mobile app, visit “SF State’s 2024 Commencement Ceremony, See More Ceremony Info.” Be sure to opt into the University’s Commencement reminders by selecting “Manage Commencement Alerts” to receive push notifications. Details are also available on the Commencement website

Honorary degrees 

Benjamin Bratt 

San Francisco native Benjamin Bratt is an award-winning actor and producer whose career in both television and film spans nearly 40 years. Raised by a strong, Indigenous single mother from Peru, his family was part of the American Indian Occupation of Alcatraz Island in 1969, an event which ignited the Red Power movement for self-determination. His mother Eldy Bratt raised her children part-time on the island over the 18-month occupation, a decision that inspired a lifetime of activism and commitment to community for his mother and her five children. 

Bratt is a proud graduate of the San Francisco Unified School District. A Lowell High School alumnus, he credits his mentor Jack Anderson for his introduction to acting. He graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1986 with a BFA in Theatre and then pursued an MFA at the American Conservatory Theatre (ACT) in San Francisco. Plucked from starving student status during his second year to star in a TV pilot, he returned to ACT to receive his MFA and quickly established the Bratt Family Diversity Award, an annual scholarship given to the most promising students of color within the program. 

Television audiences perhaps best recognize Bratt from his Emmy-nominated role as detective Rey Curtis on NBC's long-running drama “Law & Order,” or as Sofia Vergara’s ne’er-do-well ex-husband Javier on “Modern Family,” or currently on “Poker Face” alongside actress Natasha Lyonne. 

A veteran of nearly 30 films, Bratt’s varied career includes the critically acclaimed films “Piñero,” “Traffic,” “Blood In, Blood Out,” “Doctor Strange,” “The Infiltrator” and “Miss Congeniality,” among many others. Bratt also voiced the supervillain El Macho in “Despicable Me 2,” as well as the famed musician Ernesto de la Cruz in Pixar’s Academy Award-winning film “Coco,” which won for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song. 

Bratt is also the co-founder of 5 Stick Films, a production company aimed at making films intent on creating a social impact. Founded alongside partners Alpita Patel and his brother Peter Bratt, the team produced “La Mission.” The film, written and directed by Peter, won NAACP and GLAAD award nominations and two Imagen awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor. The team’s documentary feature “Dolores,” about the work of labor and civil rights leader Dolores Huerta, won a Peabody and the Audience Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival. The Emmy-nominated film aired on PBS in 2018. 

Bratt honors his mother, recognizing that her activism, love and strength were instrumental in shaping his awareness around social justice work. Bratt remains tied to the Indigenous community of the San Francisco Bay Area and is a huge supporter of the Friendship House Village SF project. He remains a longtime supporter of the American Indian College Fund, Amazon Watch, the Natural Resources Defense Council, San Francisco’s BAYCAT, the Missional Cultural Center, Good Samaritan SRC and many other nonprofits. 

Walter Riley 

Walter Riley is an Oakland lawyer whose practice areas include police misconduct, civil rights and criminal defense. Riley serves as a board member of the Coalition for Police Accountability and chair of Deep Medicine Circle.    

He became an activist at a young age. He served as president of the young-adult chapter of the Durham, North Carolina, NAACP and organized voter registration drives, lunch counter sit-ins, job campaigns and campaigns to desegregate public accommodations, schools and businesses. He became a Congress for Racial Equality field secretary for North Carolina and the Southern region of the United States. 

He moved to San Francisco in 1965 and attended San Francisco State College. He was active in the 1968 student strike at SF State, participating in the campaign for ethnic studies and the Black Student Union and serving as vice chair of Students for a Democratic Society. After leaving college in 1968, he led the organization of a rank-and-file Black caucus among San Francisco Muni bus drivers. He was active in the labor and anti-war movements, working with the Black Panther Party and other community groups. 

He continues to work for social, political and economic justice for all people. Riley was the lead attorney for the “Black Friday 14,” #BlackLivesMatter protesters who disrupted Bay Area Rapid Transit service the day after Thanksgiving in 2014. He also represented other #BlackLivesMatters protesters, including those demonstrating against the police murder of George Floyd. 

Riley received the California Black Lawyers Association President’s Award, National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Chapter Champion of Justice Award, National Lawyers Guild Law for the People Award and East Bay Sanctuary Covenant Award. He has been honored in the U.S. Congressional Record by Rep. Barbara Lee and in the California Assembly by Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg. The Oakland City Council proclaimed April 27, 2013, as Walter Riley Day, and he received a Black Panther Commemoration Committee Award. 

Joseph L. White (A.B., ’54; M.S., ’58) 

Joseph L. White is a pioneering psychologist known to many as “the godfather of Black psychology.” He was also a trailblazer in ethnic studies and other programs that would serve students of color and low-income students for years to come. He was a teacher and an administrator at several universities, spending much of his career at the University of California, Irvine (UCI).  

He moved to San Francisco after high school, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees from San Francisco State College. In 1961, he became the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Michigan State University, making him one of only five African Americans in the nation to hold a doctorate in Psychology at that time. 

White joined the Psychology Department at CSU Long Beach, where he co-founded the Education Opportunities Program (EOP). The program expanded statewide, providing supportive pathways for disadvantaged students to study at CSU campuses. Since its inception, EOP has helped more than 300,000 minority students achieve college degrees and go on to professional careers. 

White returned to SF State in 1968 as a professor of Psychology and became a tireless ally to students of color. He was dean of Undergraduate Studies during the 1968 – 1969 student strike and helped launch the Black Studies Program (now the Africana Studies Department), the first of its kind at an American four-year college. 

At the height of the civil rights movement, White emerged as a powerful voice for change, challenging psychologists to better understand the unique experiences of ethnic minorities. In 1968, he helped found the Association of Black Psychologists, and his seminal 1970 article in Ebony magazine, “Toward a Black Psychology,” introduced Black perspectives to mainstream psychology. His books include “The Psychology of Blacks: An African American Perspective” and “Black Man Emerging: Facing the Past and Seizing the Future in America.”  

UCI recruited White successfully to teach in the Comparative Culture program and serve as director of the Black Studies Program. He also held appointments in the School of Social Sciences and the Department of Psychiatry & Human Behavior. He taught there for 25 years, inspiring and mentoring countless students.  

He has been recognized many times for his work, including receiving a citation of Achievement in Psychology and Community Service from President Bill Clinton in 1994 and the Presidential Citation from the American Psychological Association in 2015. In 2008, he was honored as SF State’s Alumnus of the Year. He passed away in 2017 and was posthumously awarded SF State’s highest honor, the President’s Medal, in 2019.   

Anthropology Professor Dawn-Elissa Fischer

Extending an academic family tree to today’s students and future generations, a professor at SF State has created two scholarships for students.  

With two generous donations to SF State, Anthropology Professor Dawn-Elissa Fischer has established the Marcyliena Morgan Scholarship and the Walter P. Riley Radical Change Scholarship. Both awards are eligible exclusively to SF State students. 

Fischer created the awards to respectively honor Morgan, a Harvard University professor and renowned scholar of hip-hop, and Riley, an Oakland civil rights attorney and activist. Both Morgan and Riley have each fought injustices and opened doors with global impact. 

“Dr. Marcyliena Morgan and Walter Riley are revolutionaries in their own distinct ways,” Fischer said. “Their steadfast efforts have brought about widespread recognition for activists and hip-hop artists as organic intellectuals with integrity.” 

With both awards, students will gain opportunities to meet mentors, join professional networks and establish their own. As a faculty member, Fischer says that mentorship is critical to engender success in students, particularly those from underrepresented groups without equitable access to professional networks. She learned the value of networking from mentors like Morgan, but also through her personal academic family tree: Fischer’s parents, grandparents and great-grandparents were all educators. 

“There are so many layers and roles that faculty play in helping students build scholarly community,” Fischer said. “In my family, it comes from a Historically Black College and University tradition, and it recognizes structural factors that often block access for talented individuals to plug into success networks,” Fischer added. “And when that happens, society loses.” 

Marcyliena Morgan Scholarship 

The Marcyliena Morgan Scholarship provides stipends for activities related to student professional development, such as travel, lodging and conference fees. These experiences enhance students’ knowledge, but perhaps even more importantly, also allow them to build their own professional networks.  

At Harvard, Morgan is the Ernest E. Monrad Professor of the Social Sciences, a professor in the Department of African and African American Studies and the executive director of the Hiphop Archive and Research Institute. Her books include “Language, Power and Discourse in African American Culture,” “Speech Communities: Key Topics in Linguistic Anthropology” and “The Real Hiphop: Battling for Knowledge, Power and Respect in LA’s Underground.” 

In December, Fischer was among the invited presenters at a tribute to Morgan at Harvard, alongside other notable mentees in academia. Fischer’s presentation makes note that Morgan’s multigenerational, worldwide impact has reached SF State: Fischer has worked with Morgan at the institute, directing special programs and collections for two decades and — along the way — connecting SF State students with Harvard fellowships. 

Walter P. Riley Radical Change Scholarship 

The Walter P. Riley Radical Change Scholarship honors students committed to pursuing radical social change through community involvement.  

An activist since high school in the Jim Crow South, Riley attended SF State in the 1960s and became involved in Students for a Democratic Society, Black Students for Open Admissions and the student strike for Black and ethnic studies. His work is centered around labor, education, housing access, anti-apartheid, anti-war, police misconduct, voter registration and cultural issues. He has worked with the Black Panther Party and in grassroots efforts to prevent urban displacement of Black and other working-class communities. Riley’s numerous recognitions include the 2015 Law for the People Award from the National Lawyers Guild. 

Learn more about SF State scholarship opportunities

Photo by Melissa Blackall/Courtesy of the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research 

Clementi Forte piano

Every member of the San Francisco State University community has their favorite campus spots and little-known lore. From the quietest study nooks and best coffee carts to rare plants and a piano that’s almost a century older than the University itself, it’s impossible to know all the highlights and surprises in and around San Francisco State. But as part of the University’s 125th anniversary celebration, we’re highlighting some of our favorites below. 

No. 1: The University has its own tearoom 

The Toshiko Mishima Memorial Tea Room is housed in Humanities 117. It was donated to the University by the Japanese company Adachi Industry in 1992. It’s named after former Japanese Program Coordinator Toshiko Mishima. Over the years, it’s been used for classes, meetings and public Japanese tea ceremonies (chanoyu). Most commonly, it’s used for classes such as “JAPN 401: Topics in Japanese Culture: Tea Ceremony and Tea Culture,” which will be offered in spring 2025 by Professor of Japanese Midori McKeon. 

No. 2: SF State is home to the world’s longest continuously running webcam 

FogCam has been keeping an eye on Karl the Fog since 1994. Currently situated in the Business building, it captures and displays grainy images of the Quad every 20 seconds. Beyond a few location changes, the webcam and operation hasn’t changed over the decades — which only adds to the project’s charm. It all started as a project by Instructional Technologies Department students Jeff Schwartz and Dan Wong. When they announced that the project was being shut down in 2019, everyone from The New York Times and NPR to the BBC picked up the story, fueling internet calls to save the project. The alums made a deal so that the University would take over the FogCam around the project’s 25th anniversary. It’s now operated by the University’s Academic Technology division. 

No. 3: The greenhouse is full of super-rare plants … and you can visit them! 

In the back of one of SF State’s greenhouse rooms hangs a pot with seemingly unassuming purple flowers. Closer inspection reveals flowers with intricate purple veining and startling drips of red. Nesocodon mauritianus is one of a few plants with red nectar, which makes it particularly visible and attractive for geckos, an uncommon plant pollinator. In the wild, it’s only found cliffside near waterfalls on the island of Mauritius — hence why the plant thrives in San Francisco’s climate. Unfortunately, it’s a vulnerable species facing a myriad of issues in the wild. It’s just one of 800 to 1,000 species from all around the world that are part of the University’s greenhouse collection. Arid, Intermediate Tropics, Highland Tropics/Cloud Forest plants are just a third of the collection. Visitors are welcome to visit during Tuesday open hours, and students are invited to the greenhouse’s biannual plant sale. 

No. 4: SF State hosts the longest-running disability film festival in the world 

For more than 30 years, the Superfest Disability Film Festival has celebrated film portrayals of disability through “diverse, complex, unabashed and engaging lens." Though it began life as a small Los Angeles showcase, today it’s produced by SF State’s Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability. The 2023 festival, held in October, included short films, mockumentaries and feature documentaries from around the world. 

No. 5: You can peruse a museum without leaving campus 

Explore SF State’s Global Museum next time you’re in the Fine Arts building. Its key collections are from Africa, Oceania, the Americas and Asia. The Ancient Egypt collection — originally acquired by onetime San Francisco Mayor Adolph Sutro in the 1880s — has been at SF State since the 1960s. The collection includes two mummified remains, a rare triple-nested sarcophagus and more. Students, faculty and staff in the Museum Studies program maintain these artifacts. Anyone can visit the museum in Fine Arts building room 203 for free. 

No. 6:  Swifties Studies is a thing  

In the Experimental College (EXCO), SF State undergraduates can teach classes about nearly anything. Fall 2024 classes include everything from veterinary medicine and genealogy to Black science fiction and, yes, “Taylor Swift and the Art of Songwriting.” Through EXCO, students are mentored by a faculty director who helps them choose a subject, develop a curriculum, recruit students and lead the course. The original program ran from 1965 to 1969 as an outgrowth of various counterculture and activist movements of that time. It was revived in fall 2017and has been thriving ever since. 

No. 7: You can travel through Bay Area history without leaving your desk 

SF State’s Bay Area Television Archive stores more than 135,000 videos from Bay Area television stations, with countless historic treasures that are known and others that have yet to be discovered. It includes clips about the civil rights movement, the Zodiac Killer, old-school hip-hop and much more. Archivist Alex Cherian even rediscovered and restored clips from Maya Angelou’s 1968 TV series “Blacks, Blues, Black.” Since 2007, Cherian has preserved 6,000 hours of footage and digitized 350 hours — and this is approximately 6% of the total collection. Footage from the archive has been used in more than 1,000 documentary, television and community projects. 

No. 8: There’s a 200-year-old piano in the Library 

Built in 1808, the Clementi Fortepiano was donated to the University in the 1960s and today is safely tucked away in a temperature-controlled room of the J. Paul Leonard Library. While its basic mechanism is comparable to a modern piano, it’s smaller (shorter keyboard, smaller keys) so its sound is distinct and better suited for more intimate performance spaces of its time. School of Music Professor Victoria Neve was told that there are only five instruments of this make and vintage on record. While there may be more fortepianos on the planet, the likelihood of them working is small. Neve often incorporates the instrument into her teaching. The Clementi Fortepiano is one of many treasures in the Frank V. DeBellis collection, which is filled with artifacts of Italian culture. 

No. 9: You can get a swanky three-course meal (prepared and served by students) 

The Vista Room is a fully functional restaurant and a teaching and learning lab managed by the Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Event Management in the Lam Family College of Business. Students gain practical experience with food service, hospitality and service management. Visit the fourth floor of Burk Hall to enjoy contemporary California cuisine with an emphasis on responsibly sourced ingredients and sustainability. The dining room seats visitors from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and closes at 1:50 p.m. Reservations are highly encouraged. 

No. 10: The gators on campus used to be real  

Before Alli Gator, with her fabulous purple nails and fashion, SF State had real baby alligators named Oogie and Albert as mascots. They were donated to a private zoo in 1947. The alligator origin story began in 1931 when there was a need for an athletics mascot. While alternative mascots were considered (golden panthers, owls and seals), students voted to be the “Golden Gaters” because alligators are steadfast and strong. The intentional “Gater” spelling was a nod to the Golden Gate Bridge, though the spelling was eventually changed to “Gator.” The mascot has evolved over the years, and in 2023 Alli Gator got a glow up and debuted a new look for the first time in over 90 years.   

Learn more about the cool opportunities, resources and surprises on the SF State campus

Commencement ambassadors wearing SF State cap and jacket

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. As a thank you for signing up, 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.  

University Advancement, with Information Technology Services, has built a unique feature for the SF State mobile app that is all about Commencement. The mobile app is available for all SF State Gators, Gator family and friends, faculty and staff.  

The app will provide pertinent ceremony details and information to assist with preparing for Commencement. Examples include getting tickets, Oracle Park accessibility and essential services, ceremony schedule, parking, a map of Oracle Park and instructions on returning regalia.  

App users will notice the Commencement feature displayed prominently at the top of the screen through May. 

Attendees can also link to SFSU’s social media sites to post images with the tag #SFSU2024 and view them on the live social media Tagboard supported by University Advancement.  

Download the SF State mobile app for iPhone or Android

SF State’s homepage is about to get a makeover. On the evening of Tuesday, May 7, a new, transitional version of the landing page for the University website will go live. It will feature additional content and calls to action designed to benefit future and current students. 

The main-menu navigation, header and footer will stay the same. All content from the previous page will remain.  

This transition homepage is not part of the overall website redesign process underway in partnership with higher education digital marketing agency OHO Interactive. It’s meant to address immediate concerns — such as the need to make the website as appealing and helpful as possible to future students — while the new website is built.  

Updates about the website redesign process will appear regularly in CampusMemo and on the Strategic Marketing and Communications website

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.  

By popular demand, Professor of Cinema and Director of the Veteran Documentary Corps (VDC) Daniel Bernardi and his team of filmmakers invite the campus community to again view free screenings of films. A special film series in May honors the Montford Point Marines.  

While many people know at least part of the Tuskegee Airmen story, very few know the story of the brave and resilient Black men who were key to the U.S. Marine Corps, ultimately becoming an integrated service. These highlighted films tell just a few of the many memorable stories of individual Montford Point Marines and their contributions and service to their country. 

To support the work of VDC, please subscribe for free to El Dorado Films on YouTube and like VDC on Facebook

The SF State Academic Senate will meet Tuesday, May 7, 2 – 5 p.m., at Seven Hills and virtually via Zoom for its 13th meeting of the academic year. To attend, please email the Senate office for a Zoom link.     


  • Recommendation from the Academic Policies Committee: Revision to F18-146 All University Program for Educator Preparation, in second reading 
  • Recommendation from the Faculty Affairs Committee: Resolution on the Use of Generative Artificial Intelligence in Teaching and Learning, in second reading 
  • Recommendation from the Faculty Affairs Committee: Revision of policy on Temporary Faculty Range Elevation S00-211, in second reading 
  • Recommendation from the Student Affairs Committee: Resolution on SF State’s Renewed Commitment to Multilingualism and Internationalization, in second reading 
  • Recommendation from the Faculty Affairs Committee: Revision of policy on Academic Program Discontinuance F19-177, in first reading 
  • Recommendation from the Faculty Affairs Committee: Revision of Department Chairs and Equivalent Unit Directors Policy S24-145, in first reading 
  • Recommendation from Faculty Affairs Committee Revision of Retention Tenure and Promotion Policy S24-241, in first reading 

Join the Institute for Civic and Community Engagement for a free, student-led workshop on using Notion for personal growth and success. It will be held Monday, May 6, noon – 1 p.m., via Zoom.  

Notion is a multipurpose web application growing in usage. The workshop will cover Notion’s various features and how to master the basics. 

Please RSVP via Zoom

For questions, please email Elsy Hernandez-Monroy.  

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.  

The awardees will be honored at the 2024 CEETL Teaching Awards Ceremony on Monday, May 6, 4 – 6 p.m., in Library 121. The campus community is invited to celebrate the accomplishments of outstanding faculty colleagues. 

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 celebrated at this event. 

Please RSVP via Qualtrics.

The Center for Equity and Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CEETL) presents a Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) Brown Bag on Wednesday, May 8, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., in Library 242. This is the final in a series of open forums to discuss challenges and opportunities as they unfold across the semester, especially in assignment redesigns, grading and teaching with artificial intelligence.  

Instructors teaching GWAR courses are encouraged to drop by. No RSVP necessary. Drinks and light snacks will be provided. Faculty will receive a $50 honorarium for participating. 

For more information, please email Kasturi Ray and CEETL

Join Risk and Safety Services for a forum on promoting wellbeing, personal preparedness and outdoor safety on Thursday, May 9, noon – 1 p.m., in Library 286.   

Please register via Qualtrics.  

The Poetry Center presents the fourth iteration of its New Voice Series, featuring poet Jennifer S. Cheng with Karla Myn Khine and Evelyn Jo, on Thursday, May 9, 6 – 8 p.m., in The Poetry Center (Humanities 512). 

The New Voice Series brings together an alum of SF State’s Creative Writing graduate program, a graduate student in Creative Writing and an undergraduate poet selected from any major. Poetry Center student staff select the undergraduate poet, based on an open call for work, and introduce the writers. Following the poets, the event will turn into a party with music by Neblinas del Pacífico (featuring Creative Writing MFA candidate May-li Khoe and Professor of Mathematics Federico Ardila). 

The Creative Writing Department and School of Theatre and Dance Arts present “Greenhouse 2024,” the annual Greenhouse Reading Series festival of staged plays by M.A./MFA Playwriting candidates in Creative Writing. There will be five readings Monday, May 13 – Friday, May 17, in The Lab (Creative Arts 104).  

  • Monday, May 13, 7:30 p.m.: “Memories” by Ben Zingos, directed by Ely Sonny Orquiza 
  • Tuesday May 14, 7 p.m.: “Gender Studies” by Joshua Graves, directed by Kieran Becia 
  • Wednesday, May 15, 7 p.m.: “Saffron Stain” by Ferdos Heidari, directed by Hasti Jafari  
  • Thursday, May 16, 7 p.m.: “Glue” by Lynn Mari, directed by Adam L Sussman 
  • Friday, May 17, 7 p.m.: “Jars” by Marina Lee, directed by Ciera Eis 

The Office of Human Resources invites all employees to the CSU’s Got Talent webcast on Tuesday, May 14, 10 – 11 a.m. Elatia Abate, a futurist and business strategist and the founder of The Future of Now, will present “Society, Strategy, Self: Your Impact on the Future of Work.” 

Please register via Zoom.  

Staff are invited to Human Resources’ last Staff Forum of the semester on Wednesday, May 15, 10 – 11 a.m., via Zoom. The agenda includes remarks from President Mahoney, a campus budget update from Chief Financial Officer and Vice President Jeff Wilson, and an update on the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program from Associate Vice President Ingrid Williams.  

All campus staff, except Management Personnel Plan (MPP) and faculty, are encouraged to attend.  

Please RSVP via Qualtrics

Staff Forums will return in the fall. 

Join the Center for Equity and Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CEETL) for its JEDI Critical Digital Tools workshop “Digital Literacy: Pushing Back on Oppressive Citation Cycles through Critical Citation Practices” on Wednesday, May 15, 1 – 2 p.m., in Library 242.   

Faculty teaching at least one course this semester are eligible for a $50 stipend. 

Please register via Qualtrics

For questions, please email CEETL

The University Budget Committee (UBC) invites all campus employees to its meeting on Thursday, May 16, 10 a.m. – noon, via Zoom.   

Members of UBC are staff, faculty, students and administrators. UBC members host an “office hour” on Friday, May 17, 11 a.m. – noon, via Zoom to share feedback or ask questions about University budget-related matters.  

Please RSVP for the meeting and/or office hours by emailing the UBC

Black Graduation celebration— May 23, 2024 4 p.m. at the main gym

Calling all Black graduates: both undergrad and graduate-level Gators! Jabulani invites you to participate in Black Grad, a celebration of your scholastic achievement. The ceremony will be held Thursday, May 23, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., in the Main Gymnasium. Doors open at 4 p.m.  

Please register via Google Forms. 

SF State Spotlight

Design Professor Hsiao-Yun Chu has won a 2024 – 2025 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation fellowship with the Library Company of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Historical Society to support her research project, “The She-Makers.”  

The fellowship will support up to four weeks in residence at the Library Company of Philadelphia, one of the oldest cultural institutions and lending libraries in the U.S., founded by Ben Franklin in 1731.  

Chu’s original research project concerns women designers and design educators in the late 19th century, mostly in East Coast industrial cities including New York, Boston and Philadelphia. 

Artel Great, the George and Judy Marcus Chair in African American Cinema, is interviewed in “How Disney Built America,” a six-part documentary series on the History Channel. It debuted April 28. 

“Disney’s legacy continues to echo through American culture,” Great said in the trailer. 

CSU Research Comp students

The Division of Graduate Studies and Career Development and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs congratulate all 11 student delegates for participating in the 38th annual CSU Student Research Competition. It was held April 26 – 27 at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. 


  • Behavioral, Social Sciences and Public Administration: Hailie Wood (undergraduate) 
  • Behavioral, Social Sciences and Public Administration: Morgan Butler (graduate) 
  • Business, Economics and Hospitality Management: Dinakar Murthy (graduate) 
  • Creative Arts and Design: Sirvan Manhoobi (undergraduate) 
  • Education: Lucy Fuentes (graduate) 
  • Engineering and Computer Science: Gian Carlo L. Baldonado (graduate) 
  • Engineering and Computer Science: Ryan Hartnett and Jarren Berdal (graduate) 
  • Interdisciplinary: Zoe Panagopulos (graduate) 
  • Humanities and Letters: Taylor Stone (graduate) 
  • Physical and Mathematical Sciences: Sequoia Andrade (graduate)  

The following students earned second place in their respective categories. They competed against hundreds of graduate and undergraduate students across the CSU, demonstrating innovation, academic excellence, creativity and a commitment to shared social justice values and graduate education for the public good.  

  • Second place, Behavioral, Social Sciences and Public Administration: Hailie Wood, B.A., Psychology. “An Analysis of the Intersection of Clinical Psychology and Human Sexuality through Non-normative Sexualities and Sex Therapy.”  
  • Second place, Education: Lucy Fuentes, Ed.D. Educational Leadership. “The Relentless Pursuit of College — Elevating the Voices of Former Foster Youth and Social Work Professionals.”  
  • Second place, Interdisciplinary: Zoe Rivka Panagopoulos, M.S., Interdisciplinary Studies. “Coverage Gaps Experienced During the Period of Medicaid Unwinding.” 
  • Second place, Physical and Mathematical Sciences: Sequoia Andrade, M.S., Statistical Data Science. “A Statistical Analysis of Wildland and Prescribed Fires in the Changing California Climate.”  

School of Public Affairs and Civic Engagement Professor Genie Stowers has been appointed to the board of directors of the American Friends Service Committee, a non-governmental organization and Nobel Peace Prize winner focusing on community organizing and working for peace around the world. She chairs its Strategic Vision Committee.  

Stowers also chairs the Policy Committee and serves on the Board Executive Committee of Friends Committee on National Legislation, a national lobbying/advocacy group with over 140 grassroots lobbying groups around the U.S. 

Gretchen George, associate professor of Nutrition and Dietetics, presented at the 100-year anniversary California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics conference in San Francisco in April.  

Her presentation, “Expanding Your Professional Toolkit Through Global Exploration and Learning,” demonstrates recent research conducted on her course abroad and underscores how short-term study abroad programs lead to demonstration in cultural humility, awareness of personal biases and an understanding of cultural differences as they contribute to diversity, equity and inclusion. 

Professor Emeritus of Art Lewis deSoto has received a 2024 Guggenheim Fellowship in Fine Arts (Creative Arts). He joins a distinguished and diverse group of culture-creators working across 52 disciplines. Fellows were selected among nearly 3,000 applicants by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation through a rigorous application and peer review process.