August 22, 2022

News & Announcements

President Lynn Mahoney giving a speech

SF State celebrated the beginning of the 2022 – 2023 academic year with its traditional Opening Convocation ceremony for faculty and staff Wednesday, Aug. 17. This year’s ceremony was held live in the University’s McKenna Theatre while also being livestreamed online. President Lynn Mahoney, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Amy Sueyoshi, Professor of Biology and Academic Senate Chair Michael A. Goldman and other University leaders welcomed back faculty, staff and administrators.

In her remarks, President Mahoney pointed to the record number of residential students who recently moved in for the fall semester — nearly 4,600 — as just one of many signs that SF State has bounced back from the setbacks of the pandemic.

“Next week … we will welcome 6,000 new students to San Francisco State and more than 18,000 returning students. Almost 75% of our undergraduate classes are in person, as will more than 60% of our graduate classes will be face-to-face,” Mahoney said. “Once again, SF State will be a place where thousands of students and employees gather to learn, to develop, to work, to play and to be with one another in community.”

President Mahoney also discussed a number of University initiatives, including two construction projects expected to have a major impact on the campus: a new residential hall and the Science & Engineering Innovation Center, both expected to open in 2024.

In addition to addresses by other campus leaders, including the deans of SF State’s six academic colleges, California State Senator Scott Wiener spoke to the Convocation audience via a pre-recorded video. Wiener stressed the importance of the University to the city and its residents.

“SF State is such a critical part of San Francisco,” Wiener said. “It’s part of our heart and soul. Educating so many of our residents and our neighbors, educating so many people who are now in our workforce. We would not be San Francisco without SF State.”

Michael J. Payton (left) and Jay Z (right)

When SF State graduate Michael J. Payton posted a YouTube video about hip-hop record label Murder Inc. four years ago, he didn’t expect it would get him hired as director of the official docuseries for national television. But it did.

“The Murder Inc. Story” premiered on Black Entertainment Television (BET) on Aug. 9 and hit No. 3 trending on Twitter. Payton (B.A., ’15) directed all five of the one-hour episodes and interviewed icons such as Ja Rule, Jay-Z, Nas and Daymond John.

In early 2019, label founder Irv “Gotti” Lorenzo posted an all-points bulletin to his 1 million Instagram followers: “Whoever knows Michael Payton. Let him know to reach out to me. ‘Cause I am gonna let him be [a part] of the Big Official Documentary.”

That same night, they connected over the phone and Gotti tapped Payton to direct the series.

Murder Inc. recording artists like Ja Rule, Ashanti and Lloyd dominated the charts in the early 2000s, shattering Guinness World Records. Federal money laundering charges against Gotti and his brother would contribute to a fast downfall, though they were acquitted. The music retains legacy and influence, as it has for Payton since age 12.

“I remember being enamored with their mystique and the whole brand,” said Payton, who grew up in Oakland. “It’s really a story of hope [and] belief in oneself.”

A scholarship from Jay-Z’s Shawn Carter Foundation helped make it possible for Payton to attend SF State. When they met for an interview for “The Murder Inc. Story,” Jay-Z was so excited that he called his mother when the cameras stopped rolling: “Mom, look at this young man who we put through school! He is now working with BET!’”

Learn more about Payton’s University experience and career at SF State News.

Mural of Essential Workers

A new muralism class at SF State has already extended its reach far beyond campus, into rural Lake County. Utilizing both art-making skills and business savvy learned in the class last fall, a student won a grant to create a large mural honoring essential workers.

Emma Wakefield endured sweltering heat for a week in May to paint the Essential Workers Appreciation Mural, a project of the Lake County Arts Council. Days later, she graduated from SF State with a bachelor’s degree in Art and a minor in Education.

The mural shows a child sleeping with a stuffed animal under a large quilt with images of first responders, a teacher, a power-line worker, a mail carrier, a grocery store clerk and others. Measuring 44 feet wide and 13 feet tall, it covers the full back wall of the Meals on Wheels Thrift Store in Lakeport, about 120 miles from San Francisco. It was dedicated July 1 at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Wakefield says she wouldn’t have thought to apply for the $8,000 grant if she hadn’t taken the “Murals and Public Art” class, where Lecturer Daniel Velasquez (B.A., ’16) aims to impart far more than artistic techniques. He also provides students with an understanding of the entrepreneurial aspects of careers in the arts, including governmental funding and contract negotiation.

All University websites have been migrating from the Drupal 7 platform to Drupal 8, leading to changes in look and organization. CampusMemo is no different, and as of the next issue the CampusMemo webpage is going to look very different.

The new CampusMemo design was created based on feedback from the nearly 300 staff and faculty members who responded to a reader poll earlier this year. The Events section will be eliminated (though of course all official SF State events can still be found on the University Calendar), and the faculty and staff highlights in Spotlight will be more prominent. In addition, the Social Media Moment of the Week section of the CampusMemo email newsletter will be replaced by a new feature: Campus Flashback, which will offer a weekly glimpse at the SF State of yesteryear.

Strategic Marketing and Communications thanks everyone who took the time to offer insights into what readers want and need from the University’s staff and faculty newsletter.

After two nationwide searches, Equity & Community Inclusion has hired two new staff: Danille Hoffer is coordinator, Jewish student life and interfaith programs and Emmanuel Padilla is director, Latinx Student Center.

Hoffer’s appointment began on Wednesday, Aug. 3. In her role, Hoffer provides coordination and oversight for culturally responsive programs and services which promote educational access and success of students at SF State, in particular students who identify as Jewish and those interested in Jewish culture and faith.

Hoffer is from Toronto, Canada, and completed her undergraduate studies at Queen’s University. She studied both academically and religiously in Israel. In 2021, she completed a dual Master of Public Administration and Master of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, entertaining, knitting and following the cats of Twitter.   

Padilla began on Thursday, July 21. In his role as the inaugural director, Latinx Student Center, he provides coordination and oversight for culturally responsive programs, services, outreach and retention efforts for Latinx students at SF State. Additionally, he will contribute to campus efforts to improve retention and graduation of Latinx students.

Padilla worked five years at UCSF’s Center for Science, Education and Outreach. Prior to UCSF, he was a high school teacher and worked at UC Davis, where he led college outreach in the Sacramento area.  A native San Franciscan, Padilla fuels his drive by creating connections, trust and accountability with students, colleagues and the community. He loves to use humor with everyone to create safe spaces and allow folks to be folks.

The Interfaith Programs unit is located in the Student Services Building, Room 206. Hoffer can be reached at

The Latinx Student Center is located in Village C, Room 140. Padilla can be reached at

Each year, the University dedicates time during the Opening Convocation to honor exceptional faculty and staff members. This year, SF State Foundation Chair Neda Nobari presented three Distinguished Faculty Awards and one Distinguished Staff Award.

“Sponsoring the Distinguished Faculty and Staff Awards allows the SF State Foundation to show our deep admiration and respect for these incredible individuals and their achievements. I am proud to share a little about our awardees,” Nobari said.

The 2022 award recipients are:

Professor and Chair for the Department of International Relations Mahmood Monshipouri: Excellence in Professional Achievement Award

Monshipouri was recognized for his commitment to human rights and the role ethics plays in global affairs. He has impacted students’ views on poverty, human security, politics and inequality while helping them establish a record of publication. 

Genievive Del Mundo-Mendieta of Metro Academy: Excellence in Teaching Award for Lecturer Faculty

The Metro College Success Program provides support to first generation, low-income and underrepresented students at SF State. Del Mundo-Mendieta has been a stellar instructor and coordinator with Metro since 2016, bringing with her a deep knowledge of science content. She oversees and monitors the success of students and inspires them to think critically in their roles as scientists, engineers and mathematicians.

Rose Carmona-Arbulu of Metro Academy: Excellence in Service Award for Staff

Carmona-Arbulu served as a counselor in the Financial Aid office before transitioning to the Metro Academy, where she is currently the student services lead. While working as a Financial Aid counselor, she advocated for undocumented students and worked on the AB 540/Undocumented Student Task Force. This task force became the Dream Resource Center Advisory Board, on which she currently serves as chair.

Professor of Special Education Sandra Rosen: Excellence in Service Award for Faculty

Rosen started her career as a lecturer and then became the program coordinator for the Physical Disabilities, Visual Impairment and Orientation & Mobility credential programs within the Department of Special Education. Rosen then transitioned to a tenure-track faculty position and continued as program coordinator. She has been awarded over $6,000,000 in grants and contracts to improve the quality of service and preparation within the Orientation & Mobility program and for direct support of SF State faculty and students.

Associate Professor for the School of Design Hsiao-Yun Chu: Excellence in Teaching for Tenured Faculty

Chu demonstrates a remarkable teaching philosophy which she developed through methodical examination and improvement of teaching and learning. She has influenced student learning in and out of the classroom, and her innovative methods and commitment to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion inspire her fellow faculty members.

The SF State Foundation is providing financial support of $25,000 per year in perpetuity for these awards as well as a celebratory reception. 

The Institute for Civic and Community Engagement (ICCE) is now accepting nominations for the 2023 Annual Civic & Community Engagement Awards. 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. Know of students, faculty members or community partners who have made outstanding contributions to our communities through service and community-engaged scholarship? Nominate them for an award. Nominations are sought for the following categories:

  • Faculty Award for Excellence in Service Learning
  • Staff Award for Excellence in Community Engagement
  • Community Partnership Award for Excellence in Campus Collaboration
  • Student Award for Excellence in Service Learning
  • Student Award for Excellence in Community Engagement

Nominations for this year’s award ceremony can be submitted via Qualtrics. Deadline for submission is 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4. Information about award criteria, guidelines and nomination forms are available on the ICCE website.

The Department of International Relations (IR) is home to a new undergraduate certificate on Migration and Refugee Studies (MRS). Connecting a sample of migration-related courses at SF State, the certificate aims to help students gain knowledge and employment potential in this important field so close to their lived experiences. The MRS certificate provides a foundational and interdisciplinary framework for understanding economic, political and environmental displacement of people within countries and across state borders. The goal of the certificate is to provide professionally relevant coursework about the global impact of migration and refugee movements as well as an understanding of immigrant and refugee integration.

The MRS certificate (14-18 units) includes foundational courses on migration and refugees as well as a culminating internship experience. Electives constitute three clusters: Politics of Migration in the U.S.; Migrant and Refugee Experiences: Equity, Dignity and Community; and Cultures of Migration and Diaspora. Please contact IR at for more information.

Employees seeking therapy/counseling options can access up to eight free visits as part of their SF State benefits package. The University’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can help employees and their family members with any issues affecting mental health, including stress, crisis situations, depression and anxiety, chemical dependency, family difficulties and other personal or family concerns. Options are available by phone, Zoom and in-person. These sessions are with professional, licensed providers. EAP also has resources for legal or financial consultations. Take the first step and call (800) 367-7474 or access via the Human Resources website using password “sfsu.” Questions? Contact the Human Resources Benefits department at or schedule a visit in ADM 252.

A generous gift from the Anderson Family Trust has been received by the Labor Archives and Research Center (LARC) at SF State to support the digitization of over 17,000 items from the Henry P. Anderson Papers. Anderson devoted most of his career to documenting agricultural labor conditions, including pesticide use and its effects on workers, which began with his graduate research at UC Berkeley into the California Bracero program, a binational agreement between the U.S. and Mexico to import temporary agricultural workers to fill labor shortages, which was rife with abusive practices. The collection includes correspondence, manuscripts, audio interviews, reports, photographs and news clippings. The donation will amount to over $250,000 and enable LARC to hire a dedicated digital archivist, Leah Sylva, to select and describe the materials, which will then be digitized and made available freely online. The project is expected to span two years and will contribute significantly to documentation of the Bracero program and conditions faced by agricultural workers in California during the 1940s through 1960s.

Academic Technology (AT) is providing a range of support options and resources to help faculty and other campus users make the transition from iLearn to Canvas over the coming academic year. In early 2022, CSU campuses were required to move to Canvas as part of a common learning management system (LMS) initiative.

Please visit AT’s Canvas Support website to learn about training opportunities, access support materials and learn more about this campus-wide project. Offerings include: live workshops via Zoom scheduled throughout the fall semester; one-on-one meetings via Zoom with AT staff; a wide range of AT-generated and Canvas support documents, videos and trainings; instructions to request a sandbox and get familiar with Canvas; and periodic newsletters providing the latest updates and tips for using Canvas.

AT staff are also prepared to support faculty through regular support channels including by phone (415-405-5555) and via email (

The Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences is pleased to offer both the Gender Affirming Voice and general voice clinic again this semester. This is a class clinic that meets for 10 weeks. Participants will meet online every Monday from 4 to 6 p.m. via Zoom from Sept. 19 to Nov. 28 (except on Nov. 21). In order to make it a confidential safe space, you would need a private location and a good Wi-Fi connection and be able to see one another. There are six to eight graduate student clinicians this year, and you’ll be assigned a clinician to work with individually. Additionally, there are two clinical aides who will be assisting with the clinic, emails and logistics.

Please email Anusha Sundarrajan at or if you’re interested and available to attend. The Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences looks forward to working with you.

SF State is partnering with other CSU campuses (Bakersfield, Chancellor’s Office, Channel Islands, Chico, East Bay, Fresno, Humboldt, Long Beach, Northridge, Pomona, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, San Marcos and Stanislaus) to provide you with workshop offerings. Partnering with campuses that have volunteered to participate in the CSU cross-campus collaboration provides a unique opportunity to extend campus workshops beyond campus borders and offers a new way to share professional development across the CSU. In order to sign up for a workshop, select a link to register through CSU Learn. (The links will not work until registration opens Monday, Aug. 29.) Registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

The September class schedule includes:

If a reasonable accommodation is needed, please contact L& in advance (a minimum of 72 hours is requested) and you will be connected with the workshop facilitator.

The Office of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development invites tenure-track faculty and associate professors preparing for promotion to participate in one of the following workshops this semester to help prepare for retention, tenure and promotion. Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development Todd Roehrman will lead the retention workshops. Associate Dean Roehrman and Professor and Chair of the University, Tenure and Promotion and Committee (UTPC) Larry Hanley will co-lead the tenure and promotion workshops.  

Faculty who will be reviewed in the next few years are encouraged to attend.

The workshops have been organized according to different phases of faculty 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 to receive a link for the workshop of your choice. An invitation link will be sent to your University email address the day before the workshop.  

The workshops will be offered: 

  • Tuesday, Sept. 6, 3:30 – 5 p.m.: faculty preparing for tenure and promotion 
  • Wednesday, Sept. 7, 3:30 – 5 p.m.: faculty preparing for any retention review 
  • Friday, Sept. 9, 2 – 3:30 p.m.: faculty preparing for promotion to professor 
  • Thursday, Sept. 15, 1:30 – 3 p.m.: faculty preparing for any retention review

Should you have questions or require additional information, please contact Associate Dean Roehrman at

Professor Emerita of Journalism Yvonne Daley, who touched countless lives as a writer and teacher, died Aug. 9 at a Vermont hospital. She was 77.

Daley, who retired from SF State in 2015, had a rare bone marrow cancer requiring frequent blood transfusions. Family members reported she was surrounded by her husband, children and friends in her final hours.

“Yvonne was a pioneering and relentless reporter; a lyrical, poetic writer; and an inspiring teacher,” said Associate Professor of Journalism and incoming department Chair Jesse Garnier. “She motivated me and others to be our very best, offering positivity and praise while holding us to the highest of standards. I will miss her distinctly Vermont timbre, her bluntly direct opinions, her persistent curiosity and her vocal, supportive compassion.”

Daley won more than 50 regional and national journalism awards, including Vermont Reporter of the Year (multiple times); the Vermont Press Association’s Mavis Doyle award (multiple years); the New England News Editors Community Service Award (multiple years); and the New England Associated Press News Editors Master Reporter Award.

Daley wrote six non-fiction books, including “A Mighty Storm,” about Tropical Storm Irene; “The Bend in the Road: The Lenny Burke Story”; “Vermont Writers: A State of Mind”; “An Independent Man,” a biography of Senator Jim Jeffords; and “Octavia Boulevard,” a memoir that explores the ways in which money and technology transformed San Francisco during the years she lived there.

In addition to her husband Chuck, Daley leaves two sons, Geoff Gallo of Claremont, New Hampshire, and Erik Gallo of Rutland, Vermont; two daughters, Dawn Carlson of Rutland and Shanti McKenna of Clarendon, Vermont; two sisters, Sally Bailey of Augusta, Georgia, and Lee Daley of Mill Valley, California; a brother, Robert Daley of Orlando, Florida; and six grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Foley Cancer Center at 160 Allen St. Rutland, Vermont 05701 and the Chaffee Art Center at 16 S. Main St. Rutland, Vermont 05701.

Read more on the Journalism Department website.

Novelist Elana Dykewomon, an alumna and former English Language and Literature lecturer, died of esophageal cancer Aug. 7 in Oakland. She passed away just minutes before a play she’d authored about the death of her wife, Susan Levinkind, was to be livestreamed as part of the Bay Area Playwrights Festival.

Born in New York City in 1949, she published her debut novel, “Riverfinger Woman,” in 1974. It was the first novel to be advertised in The New York Times as a lesbian book.

“It was important at the time to publish things for lesbians, so lesbians would know that lesbians were out there who loved them and cared about them,” she said in a 2004 interview with Lodestar Quarterly.

Dykewomon went on to publish many more books exploring lesbian experiences and identity. She entered the MFA program at SF State in the 1990s and was a graduate teaching assistant from fall 1995 to spring 1997. Her thesis novel, “Beyond the Pale,” would win the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction. Soon after receiving her MFA in 1997 she was hired as an English Language and Literature lecturer, and she held the position until her retirement 14 years later.

Read Dykewomon’s obituary in The New York Times.


Physics and Astronomy Professor Kimberly Ann Coble will receive the 2023 John David Jackson Excellence in Graduate Physics Education Award from the American Association of Physics Teachers

Throughout Coble’s career she has created opportunities for graduate students and beyond to become involved in research in meaningful ways and to engage in the academic work, such as presenting at conferences and writing manuscripts for publication, and supporting their success. When these students attend conferences, Coble goes out of her way to help them network, identify learning opportunities and model academic engagement so that they get the most out of their experience. 

Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts faculty members Misha Antonich and Christopher Clemens are among the authors of the new Video Production Handbook, available online for free. The book is funded by a $30,000 grant from the Open Educational Resources Initiative from the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges. 

The book’s other authors are Steve Shlisky, Vina Cera and Jennifer Vaughn. 

Associate Professor of Economics Sepideh Modrek is co-author of “Long-Term Effects of Local-Area New Deal Work Relief in Childhood on Educational, Economic and Health Outcomes Over the Life Course: Evidence from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study,” a paper published Aug. 1 in Demography

The findings provide some of the first evidence of the long-term consequences of New Deal policies on children’s long-term life outcomes. 

Political Science Professor James R. Martel’s latest book is “Anarchist Prophets: Disappointing Vision and the Power of Collective Sight” (Duke University Press). It juxtaposes anarchism with what he calls archism — a centralized and hierarchical political form based in ancient Greek and Hebrew prophetic traditions — in order to theorize the potential for a radical democratic politics. 

Martel discussed the new book on KPFA-FM’s “Against the Grain” on Aug. 16.  

City Lights Books presents the San Francisco virtual book launch for “Tomorrow in Shanghai and Other Stories” by Associate Professor of Creative Writing May-lee Chai on Sept. 1. Chai will be in conversation with Assistant Professor of Creative Writing Tonya Foster

The new short story collection, published by Blair, explores cultural complexities in China, the Chinese diaspora in America and the world at large. 

Ms. Magazine writes: “Set in China and across its diaspora, the latest collection by award-winning writer May-lee Chai is complex and courageous, inspiring and insightful.” 

Journalism Professor Cristina Azocar is taking on Indigenous tribes’ fight for federal recognition. In a San Francisco Public Press story on Aug. 11, she discussed the issues, challenges and benefits involved in receiving recognition from the federal government.  

“It means that tribes have the ability to take care of their community members through health, through education and through other services that the government promised us when they stole our land hundreds of years ago and continue to steal our land now,” Azocar said. 

Professor of Nursing Fang-yu Chou recently gave two virtual presentations.  

She discussed self-care and stress reduction strategies for family caregivers of cancer patients in the Chinese American community in a lecture titled “Self-Care and Stress Reduction,” part of the Mindful Caregiving Stress Reduction Lecture Series of the Chinese American Coalition for Compassionate Care.  

She also virtually presented “Introduction to Global Nursing” to the College of Nursing, Kaohsiung Medical University, Taiwan, on Aug. 3, to enhance graduate students’ understanding of global health and global nursing and increase their global view. 

National Public Radio’s “Code Switch” interviewed Professor of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences Betty Yu for her expertise in bilingualism and language development. 

“The U.S. situation is that you really need to prove yourself with English before your multilingualism is seen as an asset,” Yu said. “It’s tied up a lot with views on immigration, on race. Language can’t be divorced from those things. Bilingualism is often seen as a barrier to the achievement of a norm. So when we’re talking about disability, disability as something that’s seen as abnormal, those two things sort of mutually enforce each other.” 

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History has added Professor Emerita of Geography and Environment Barbara Holzman to its board of trustees.  

“The museum is part of the heritage of Santa Barbara, and I feel our job is to help show the importance of local nature in our everyday lives and our survival as a species,” Holzman said in a Noozhawk story on June 20. 

Holzman is a docent for the Museum of Natural History and a volunteer in the Butterfly Pavilion. 

The Strategic Marketing and Communications office recently won two awards from the University and College Designers Association. The judges evaluated 775 print and digital entries for 151 awards.  

An illustration of SF State President Lynn Mahoney (created by designer and illustrator Karen Q Kemp to accompany an article in the Fall/Winter 2021 issue of SF State Magazine) won an Excellence Award in the People and Places category. And “The Bay Area and Beyond,” a graphic map of Northern California created by artist Drew Lytle, won an Excellence Award in the Other Illustrations category.