August 29, 2022

News & Announcements

Kimberly Brandon (left) and Michael Richman (right)

For 28 years, SF State has recognized outstanding alumni for their countless contributions to Bay Area life and beyond. This year’s Alumni Hall of Fame inductees are leaders in their fields and examples of the varied paths that can be taken with an SF State degree. President Lynn Mahoney and the University community will honor the new inductees at a celebration and dinner Thursday, Oct. 13, at Chase Center in San Francisco. Rock journalist and author Ben Fong-Torres (B.A. '66) will be the emcee for the night.

This year’s Alumni of the Year are:

Kimberly K. Brandon
B.A., ’84, Psychology

Kimberly K. Brandon has led a flourishing career in the financial services industry along with extensive engagement in public service. She was senior vice president with the Brandon Group at Morgan Stanley, where she oversaw a portfolio of assets of high net worth individuals, foundations, endowments and public entities. She’s the first African American woman to serve as a commissioner for the Port of San Francisco and currently serves as its president.

Michael S. Richman
M.S., ’93, Business Administration

Michael S. Richman is co-founder, president and CEO of NextCure, a biopharmaceutical company founded in 2015 committed to discovering and developing immune medicines to treat cancer and other immune-related diseases. Richman has worked in the biopharmaceutical sector since 1985, holding senior leadership positions at companies such as Amplimmune, MacroGenics, MedImmune and Chiron (now Novartis).

This year’s Alumni Hall of Fame inductees are:

Dalia Ceja
B.A., ’08, Marketing and Communications
Dalia Ceja followed her family into the wine business and is now the sales and marketing director at Ceja Vineyards, one of the few Latino-owned wineries in the Napa Valley. After earning a degree from SF State, she helped transform her family’s winery into an internationally recognized brand.

Gulshan Kumar
B.S., ’16, Business Administration

Gulshan Kumar is partner and vice president of sales of PATH (formerly PathWater), a producer of responsibly and locally sourced purified water in refillable aluminum water bottles. He hopes the company’s product will help phase out single-use plastic water bottles.

SF Sketchfest founders and directors
David Owen, B.A., ’99, Drama; Cole Stratton, B.A., ’99, Drama; Janet Varney, Drama

David Owen, Cole Stratton and Janet Varney forged a friendship at SF State and began performing together in their comedy group Totally False People alongside Gabriel Diani (B.A., ’00). In 2002, the trio founded SF Sketchfest to showcase Bay Area comedy. Twenty years later, the festival has grown into a nationally recognized, monthlong festival that’s featured some of the biggest names in comedy.

More details about inductees and tickets for the event are available online.

Welcome to the new CampusMemo! The redesigned webpage, necessitated by the University-wide website migration to the Drupal 8 platform, is based on feedback from the nearly 300 CampusMemo readers who responded to a poll earlier this year. Strategic Marketing and Communications thanks everyone who helped guide the creation of this new version of the University’s staff and faculty newsletter.

Interested students, staff and faculty are invited to meet with Provost Amy Sueyoshi in the Fall 2022 semester during her open office hours. Meetings will occur 8 – 9 a.m. on the first or second Thursday of each month. Please reserve your time to discuss any topics. All meetings will be at the Provost’s Office in Administration Building Room 455. Please reserve your meeting via Qualtrics. Breakfast refreshments will be provided.

The Disability Programs and Resource Center (DPRC) is available to consult with faculty on all student accommodation and accessibility topics. DPRC staff are available to assist instructors who have questions about a specific accommodation, need assistance in using the myDPRC faculty portal or need further information on how to make their instructional materials more accessible. Drop-ins are held via Zoom every Friday from 10 a.m. to noon beginning Friday, Sept. 2. For further information, please visit the DPRC faculty drop-in page.

All represented and non-represented University Staff are invited to participate in the election of the inaugural Staff Council. The 2022 Staff Council election ballot is live and will remain open from Aug. 29 until 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9. Staff may vote in every election category even if they are not a representative of that unit. Staff are not required to vote in every election and may only submit one ballot.

Congratulations to all the candidates and thank you for your participation. Electors will be notified and announced in CampusMemo.

Access your ballot on Qualtrics. Questions or concerns? Email the Staff Council Elections Committee via

2022 Open Enrollment will take place Sept. 19 – Oct. 14. Changes made during 2022 Open Enrollment will take effect on Jan. 1, 2023. During this time, you can enroll or change health plans, add eligible dependents, delete dependents or cancel coverage. Go to the CalPERS website for details on health plans, service areas and benefit design changes for 2023 or review a 2023 CalPERS Health Benefits Basic Plan Rates chart on Box. Watch the CSU Open Enrollment website as the countdown begins.

This year’s SF State Benefits Fair will be virtual. More information will be available in CampusMemo soon.

Human Resources is looking for a professional development coordinator. This position will report to the executive director of organizational development. Read more about the position on the HR website.

The University is also recruiting for other amazing positions. Visit the Job Opportunities listings on the HR website to learn more.

SF State Transforms will host a Fall 2022 Faculty Scholars’ Writing Meet-up twice a month in the library commons. Please mark your calendars for group writing time with other faculty members. Faculty Scholars’ Writing Meet-ups are scheduled for 1 – 3 p.m. the first Tuesday and third Friday of each month. They will be held in the library, 2nd Floor Faculty Commons (LIB 286). The opening session, Tuesday, Sept. 6, will be a meet and connect event with SF State Transforms. Writing will begin on Friday, Sept. 23. For specific dates see the Workshops & Events page on the Transforms website. Writing sessions will be hybrid: in person and on Zoom. For information contact Ilse Gonzalez at

Food+Shelter+Success invites staff and faculty to attend Tuesday, Aug. 30, at 2 p.m. when it hosts the San Francisco Human Services Agency for an hour-long online workshop on eligibility requirements for students to qualify for CalFresh, Medi-Cal, CalWORKs and JobsNOW programs. “Eligibility Basics: Am I Eligible?” will be a helpful tool to refer to if a student asks general questions about public benefits. The workshop will go into detail about eligibility requirements and offer time for questions afterwards. Register via Zoom.

CalFresh is for people with low income who meet federal income eligibility rules and want to add to their budget to put healthy and nutritious food on the table. Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid health care program. This program pays for various medical services for children and adults with limited income and resources. CalWORKs is a public assistance program that provides cash aid and services to eligible families with children in the home. JobsNOW! matches people looking for jobs with open positions while helping employers fill positions by paying employees’ wages for up to six months.

SF State Transforms invites all faculty to “Connect and Celebrate for Faculty Equity and Advancement,” an open-house style event to be held from 1 to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6, in the Faculty Commons, LIB 286. Come meet the PERC fellows and Faculty Scholarship Hub alums. Join us to learn more about Transforms and upcoming programs and opportunities for faculty equity and advancement. RSVP via Qualtrics to assist with planning for food and drinks. Drop in any time. For additional information contact Ilse Gonzalez at

SF State alums — join your fellow Gators (Classes of 1991 to 2003) on Saturday, Sept. 10, for an alumni luncheon back on campus. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to reconnect, network and swap stories with old and new friends from SF State. This will also be a chance to hear campus updates and the latest news from leaders in the College of Ethnic Studies.

The luncheon will be held 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Malcom X Plaza. Admission is $25. This includes lunch, SF State T-shirt, mask and campus tour. Space is limited. Please register by Tuesday, Aug. 30.

Proceeds from this luncheon will support the D. Phillip McGee Memorial Scholarship Fund. Questions and comments can be emailed to Lee Twyman at

Join the Alumni Association and SF State historian Mark Sigmon for a fun-filled virtual history lesson about America’s favorite pastime, a sport that’s reflective of the cultural heritage and social themes of the times. Topics include the 50th anniversary of the 1972 World Series between the A’s and Reds, Jackie Robinson, cheating in baseball and in society, Barry Bonds, Ty Cobb and Bryce Harper (is he worth $248 million?). Live Q&A to follow.

This event will take place 6 - 7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 14, via Zoom. Admission is free, but registration is required. Register via the Alumni & Friends Community website. The deadline to register is Friday, Sept. 9. If there is a baseball subject you would like Sigmon to discuss, please add it to the registration form. If you have any questions, please contact Ken Maeshiro at

Are you an SF State alum that works on campus? Then join your colleagues and fellow alumni for the 2022 Campus Alumni Luncheon on Thursday, Sept. 15. Enjoy mixing and mingling with fellow Gators and hear what’s new on campus. The luncheon will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Fifth Floor Patio of the Administration Building. Please RSVP before 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 2. Questions can be sent to Ken Maeshiro at

SF State received $562,584 in grants and contracts in July 2022.

  • Blake Riggs, Biology, American Society for Cell Biology, Faculty Research and Education Development Program II, $164,750
  • Allen LeBlanc, Health Equity Institute, Columbia University, Project AFFIRM II (Impact of minority stress on cardiovascular disease risk and resilience), $41,458
  • Charles Egan, Modern Languages and Literatures, Institute of International Education, Chinese Flagship Program 22-23, $324,834
  • Yue-Ting Siu, Special Education, Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, Tangible Programming Environment Targeted for Students Who Are Visually Impaired (tScratch), $24,042
  • Camille Antinori, Economics, CSU Council on Ocean Affairs, Science & Technology, Valuing Public Access to Recreational and Subsistence Fishing along the Berkeley Waterfront, $7,500


An Aug. 22 story from the California State University Chancellor’s Office features Summer Bridge, a transitional program for first-generation college students from historically disadvantaged backgrounds. Summer Bridge provides an opportunity to adjust and transition to a university environment and an introduction to an extensive educational support network. 

“Summer Bridge celebrates first-generation students and encourages participants to be their authentic selves by creating intentional space for them to learn and support each other,” said Oscar Gardea, director of the Educational Opportunity Program at SF State. “Doing so creates a strong community of learners who are engaged, connected and believe in each other and themselves.” 

Associate Professor of Economics Venoo Kakar wrote a blog post for Policies and Action on Aug. 17 with Howard University Associate Professor Gerald Daniels and Howard University doctoral student Jeffrey Galloway. Their research findings project the benefits for the federal government’s proposed student-debt relief plans across income and racial lines. 

Creating an income cap for debt relief eligibility would have a disproportionately negative effect on Black and Hispanic households, they write: “Studies, such as one published in the Journal of Consumer Affairs, have shown that student debt contributes to racial wealth gaps, and these effects are exacerbated at the upper end of the wealth distribution. Thus, the impact of means-tested eligibility on minority borrowers should be considered when crafting broad-based student debt relief policies. Finally, debt relief policies alone cannot address the well-documented structural issues associated with student loan debt burdens.” 

Lecturer of Public Health Deborah Craig received the Berkeley Film Foundation’s 2022 Saul Zaentz award, named after the Academy Award-winning producer of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “Amadeus” and other works.  

Craig’s feature documentary about Communication Studies Professor Emerita and lesbian activist Sally Miller Gearhart is in post-production. 

Scott Patterson, professor of Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts, is on his third term of service on the San Francisco Ballot Simplification Committee (BSC). He was nominated by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and confirmed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. 

The committee is responsible for writing a substantial amount of the content of the Voter Information Pamphlet distributed to all San Francisco voters before every election. 

“I’m serving on the committee because I believe voting is one of the essential activities of democracy,” Patterson said. “I am so disappointed turnout in San Francisco elections can be so very low. I see my work on the BSC as helping people understand the ballot so they become motivated to vote.” 

In July, Criminal Justice Studies Lecturer Jim Dudley presented a two-day workshop with Janay Gasparini from Shepherd University on “Bringing University Level Pedagogy to Law Enforcement Training” at the National Association of Field Training Officers Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. The presentation shows law enforcement training officers how to use university-level pedagogy to help with recruitment and retention. 

Dudley also wrote an Aug. 15 opinion piece for Police1 outlining a 13-step plan for accelerating the process of hiring officers.  

Associate Professor Linda M. Platas and Lecturer Yasmin Sitabkhan of the Department of Child and Adolescent Development co-wrote an article, “School-entry predictors of lower primary reading and mathematics achievement in Kenya,” in the journal Research in Comparative and International Education. 

Controlling for socioeconomic status, intervention status, rural versus urban settings and parental literacy, the findings revealed that school-entry mathematics skills were significantly predictive of students’ end of Grade 2 mathematics and reading achievement in English and Kiswahili. Likewise, school-entry English early literacy skills predicted students’ end of Grade 2 mathematics and reading achievement in English and Kiswahili.  

As one of the first articles in this area of research in a low-income country, this article extends earlier research on links between elements of school readiness and later achievement in high-income countries. 

Assistant Professor of Anthropology Martha Lincoln wrote an Aug. 18 op-ed for The Nation about the federal government’s decisions to loosen public health guidelines during the Omicron wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Rather than make the case for renewed COVID protections, the Biden administration has normalized illness, avoided telegraphing a sense of urgency to the public and stayed mostly silent about long COVID and COVID mortality,” Lincoln wrote. “Repeating the catchphrase ‘We have the tools’ — yet not working to make sure everyone has those tools — public health leaders have been resting on unearned laurels.” 

Professor Emerita of Creative Writing Frances Mayes’ new book is “A Place in the World: Finding the Meaning of Home” (Crown Publishing Group). It explores her passion and obsessions with houses and the things that inhabit them — old books, rich food, beloved friends, transportive art. 

“I’m always writing about travel and Italy,” Mayes said in a Q&A with Shondaland on Aug. 23. “And as I was looking back, I thought, as much as I’ve written about travel, I’ve always written about home, and a lot of my travel has centered around what is it like to be at home in this place.” 

On Aug. 18, The New York Times published an interview with Mayes for the By the Book feature.  

Professor and Chair of Labor and Employment Studies John Logan commented to The Daily Beast on an allegation that union organizers at a Starbucks in South Carolina kidnapped their store manager.  

The Daily Beast reports that the National Labor Relations Board has found merit in 87 allegations of unfair labor practices against Starbucks since the union organizing campaign began.  

“It really is kind of an amazing anti-union crime wave from this company that professes to be a progressive employer and to care about its people,” Logan said in the Aug. 19 story.