August 21, 2015


Opening faculty meeting 9 a.m., Friday, Aug. 21

The annual fall semester faculty meeting will be held Friday, Aug. 21, at 9 a.m. in the Creative Arts building's McKenna Theatre. Coffee and tea will be available prior to the meeting, beginning at 8:30 a.m., and a reception will follow from 11 a.m. to noon in Jack Adams Hall, located inside the Cesar Chavez Student Center.

Way named associate dean of academic planning

Following a national search, Lori Beth Way was appointed as associate dean of academic planning in the newly named Division of Undergraduate Education and Academic Planning (formerly Undergraduate Studies).

Way comes to SF State most recently from Emerson College, where she served as the senior advisor for undergraduate education. In this capacity she worked closely with chairs and faculty on campus-wide assessment, program review and curriculum development.

Prior to her work at Emerson, Way was a faculty member for 14 years in the Department of Political Science at California State University, Chico, where she exercised leadership in the Academic Senate and played an instrumental role in the design and implementation of Chico's new General Education Program. She earned her bachelor's degree in communication from the College of New Jersey and her master's degree and Ph.D. in political science from the Maxwell School of Public Affairs at Syracuse University.

At SF State, Way will oversee assessment, program review and curriculum development while supporting general education and Writing Across the Curriculum/Writing in the Disciplines.

"This is an important position in the division, supporting the key functions of curriculum development, accreditation, assessment and program review," said Dean of Undergraduate Education and Academic Planning Jennifer Summit. "Lori Beth Way will bring considerable energy, expertise and fresh thinking to the job. I know that we will benefit greatly from her presence."

John Elia, interim associate dean in the College of Health & Social Sciences, chaired the search committee. Other members of the search committee included Robert Keith Collins, associate professor in American Indian Studies; Gail Dawson, chair/associate professor of Art; Darryl Dieter, director of Academic Institutional Research; Alexandra Katz, curriculum coordinator in the Division of Undergraduate Education and Academic Planning; Genie Stowers, professor of Public Administration; and Jo Volkert, senior associate vice president of Enrollment Management.

Bee named interim AVP of University Communications

Adrianne Bee was appointed interim associate vice president of University Communications effective July 1. She joined the department in 1999 and became editor of SF State Magazine before stepping into the larger role of director of creative services. The magazine and other publications produced by the creative services team have won a number of honors from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), including the Gold Award for University Magazines and the Gold Award for Individual In-House Publications. Bee began her career as a reporter for The Roanoke Times. She later worked as a technology reporter, elementary school teacher and writing instructor before becoming a publicist/staff writer for the California Medical Association. She earned her B.A. in English literature from Virginia Tech. 

Esquibel to serve as director of General Education

Associate Professor of Race and Resistance Studies Catriona Rueda Esquibel will serve as the new director of General Education in the Division of Undergraduate Education and Academic Planning. In this role, she will work closely with the Academic Senate, academic programs and faculty, and University-wide committees to lead the University's new General Education (GE) program. Esquibel has served on GE committees both at SF State and at New Mexico State University, and she has taught extensively in GE courses. As well as coordinating the submission and approval of new GE course proposals, Esquibel will support the existing GE program through faculty outreach and development and student learning assessment.

CalPERS open enrollment starts Sept. 14

Open enrollment for benefits will start Sept. 14 and end Oct. 9, 2015. During open enrollment, eligible faculty and staff may:

  • Change health and/or dental plans
  • Add eligible dependents to new or existing health and/or dental plans
  • Renew or enroll in flexible spending programs
  • Update their Health Care Reimbursement (HCRA) or Dependent Care Reimbursement (DCRA)

Note that currently enrolled employees MUST submit new enrollment forms for HCRA/DCRA during open enrollment to continue deductions for 2016.

New rate information and enrollment forms will be posted on the Human Resources website starting Sept. 14.

Employees are urged to carefully review their health plan's Evidence of Coverage (EDC) publication for a complete explanation of the benefits covered, as well as limitations and exclusions that may apply, before deciding to retain their existing plan or make a change.  Eligible employees should receive a CalPERS open enrollment brochure in the mail soon. The brochure may also be downloaded from the CalPERS website once available on Sept.14.

Benefit & Retirement Services staff will be available for drop-in visits and appointments regarding open enrollment during the following hours:

  • Mondays: 2-4 p.m.
  • Tuesdays: 8-10 a.m.
  • Wednesdays: 8-10 a.m.
  • Thursdays: 2-4 p.m.

Benefits Fair, Sept. 16

Human Resources will host the 34th Annual Benefits Fair on Wednesday, Sept.16, from noon to 2 p.m. in the first floor lobby of the Administration Building. The fair provides faculty and staff an opportunity to explore the range of available employee benefits and speak with representatives from University-sponsored health, dental, life and vision plans.

Employee University open house and registration, Sept. 10

The campus community is invited to the Employee University Open House on Sept. 10 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in LIB 121. Participants will have an opportunity to learn more about Employee University. Refreshments and pastries will be served and a raffle will be held. 

Beginning Thursday, Sept. 10, staff and faculty can register for Employee University's fall/winter 2015-16 courses, which include the following titles:

  • Active Shooter
  • Applied Leadership
  • Basics of Legal Analysis
  • Budget Basics for Public Universities
  • Disaster Service Workers
  • Engaging the Six Cultures of the University
  • Excel – Managing Data on a Mac Computer
  • Facilitating Change
  • Leading Teams
  • Pronunciation & Communication
  • Simon Sinek's "Golden Circle" Workshop
  • True Colors & Diversity Workshop
  • Verbal Skills for Limited English Speakers, Level I
  • Verbal Skills for Limited English Speakers, Level III

For further details, visit or email questions to

Construction begins on Mashouf Wellness Center

Work has begun on the Mashouf Wellness Center, a 118,700-gross-square-foot student recreation facility located at the corner of Font and Lake Merced boulevards. The project site is currently being cleared to prepare for grading and excavation. Visit the Mashouf Wellness Center project page for more information and a blog chronicling construction progress.

Course Reserves in the Library

Faculty who want to put physical or digital materials on reserve for students now have several options:

  • Submit books, media and other physical items to the Book Checkout & Pickup Desk, where they will be placed on reserve for students to check out for the specified loan period.
  • Embed links to articles and books available electronically directly into iLearn.
  • Scan and upload materials into iLearn:
  • Use the high-speed document-scanning station in the Digital Media Studio in LIB 260 or scanners available on a first-come, first-served basis in the Research Commons on the first floor and the Study Commons on the ground floor.
  • Ensure accessibility of scanned materials by submitting them to the Accessible Media Quick Converter, an online service designed to produce simple and quick file conversions from PDF and MS Word files into accessible formats, including audio files.
  • Learn how to use a scanner and various methods to create instructional materials by watching scanning tutorials such as "Scanning a Document," "Scanning Photos," "Scanning Techniques for Business and Home" and "Scanning Techniques for Photography, Art, and Design." online video tutorials are available free to faculty, staff and student employees, simply sign in to and click on the "IT Services" link in the left column, then on the next page click the "Online Training (" link in the right column.
  • Obtain guidance on copyright compliance.
  • Get help with iLearn by sending an email to, calling ext. 5-5555, using the built-in chat in many iLearn courses or by dropping by the iLearn Services Help Desk in LIB 220 during office hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

For help making electronic reserve material available online, contact the Digital Scholarship Center staff at or at ext. 8-1881.

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University smoking policy change

According to SF State's Policy Statement on a Smoke-Free Campus, the use of nicotine products not regulated by the FDA for cessation is prohibited on campus. Nicotine products -- now including e-cigarettes and vape pens -- are permitted only in the officially designated smoking areas and are otherwise prohibited on campus grounds or in campus buildings.

Enforcement starts Tuesday, Sept. 8. There will be a fine of $58 for violation of the smoking and vaping ban. For more information on SF State's smoking policy, go to

E-cigarettes are not FDA approved or regulated, and the long-term health effects remain unknown. The San Francisco Department of Public Health and SF State's Student Health Center offer programs to assist with quitting smoking.

Use tobacco or vapes and want to quit? Go to

Muni Metro nighttime service changes

On July 31 the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which operates Muni, began upgrades in the subway between Embarcadero and West Portal stations. The work is being done between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., and bus shuttle service is in place during nighttime service hours. The project is scheduled for completion in January 2016. Underground train service closing times will vary by station, beginning as early as 9:30 p.m. Visit the SFMTA project service alert page for more information.

BARI offers survey support, training

The Bay Area Research Initiative (BARI) -- a polling center housed at SF State that focuses on the Bay Area -- seeks to support the faculty and community by making methodological training and survey resources available to both students and faculty. Faculty who are interested in fielding survey questions or having students trained in social science research methods or students who are interested in course credit, social science methodology or survey work are encouraged to contact Assistant Professor of Political Science Marcela García-Castañon at for opportunities for the upcoming fall semester. For more information, read "New polling project releases first results."

Return of the food trucks, Aug. 24

Food trucks will return to campus beginning Aug. 24, just in time for the fall semester. Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., a food truck will be parked between Hensill Hall and the Science Building to satisfy the campus community's hunger and culinary curiosity. For an up-to-date schedule of trucks, visit the SFSU Gator Group on Facebook, Twitter, Wordpress and Instagram.

Sodexo Dining Services open house, Aug. 31

SF State Dining Services will host an open house/grand opening celebration for the campus community Aug. 31 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at City Eats. During that time, faculty, staff and students who make a donation to the nonprofit SF-Marin Food Bank may enjoy a complimentary meal in City Eats. Space is limited.

Sodexo was selected as the new on-campus operator of City Eats, Café in the Park, Bricks and on-campus catering following a competitive bid process. The Sodexo team is led by Resident District Manager HeeBong Hyun, M.S., R.D. and includes Executive Chef Gerard Rangel, Catering Manager Betsy Ellwanger and Operations Manager Jeffrey Shaffer. Throughout the academic year, the team will work to revitalize City Eats, which offers an array of all-you-care-to-eat selections at seven dining platforms, including Ignite Grill, Fresh Inspirations and the all-new Teppan Eats, where guests may choose health conscious meals, such as hot entrees, grill favorites, vegan, vegetarian, allergen-free and mindful entrees. SF State Hospitality Services, a department of Sodexo, will provide catering, from breakfast baskets to casual dinner feasts to hors d’oeuvres.

Weight Watchers @ Work to meet Sept. 10

A new session of Weight Watchers @ Work starts Sept. 10 in the Cesar Chavez Student Center. All faculty, staff and students are welcome to join. A minimum of 20 participants is required to begin on Sept. 10, so those interested should contact group organizers Linda Bowles-Adarkwa at or Fran Barron at as soon as possible.

SF State night at AT&T Park, Sept. 16

The San Francisco Giants have invited the campus community to their first-ever San Francisco State University Night at AT&T Park with specially priced tickets. The special event tickets include admission to the ballgame and a limited edition SF State/Giants hat. A portion of the special event ticket proceeds will go to an SF State-affiliated nonprofit. Wearing the school colors of purple and gold is encouraged. Tickets are priced dynamically, so those interested in attending are encouraged to get them early. Currently, the most affordable tickets are $14 each.

Students, faculty, staff and alumni who wish to take part in this event should contact San Francisco Giants Sales Consultant Jessica Daut at (415) 972-2285 or to purchase tickets without the usual online convenience fee.

iLearn Improvements for Fall 2015

The new academic year brings exciting new improvements to iLearn including:

  • More mobile-friendly look and feel
  • Simplified gradebook
  • CourseStream integration
  • Turnitin's Peermark student peer review functionality

Learn more about these iLearn improvements.

Campus Recreation faculty and staff memberships

Campus Recreation welcomes back faculty and staff with membership packages for varying levels of use of their facilities, which include a pool, strength and conditioning rooms and Group Fitness classes during the fall and spring semesters. Campus Recreation is located in the Student Services Building (SSB 206). Faculty and staff with University ID may use the facilities free of charge during the first week of school, Aug. 24 - 28, and are encouraged to bring a colleague who may be interested. Visit for more information or to sign up.

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Asian American Studies

Professor and Chair of Asian American Studies Grace J. Yoo received the 2015 outstanding book award on Asian America from the American Sociological Association Asian/Asian American section for her co-authored book "Caring Across Generations: The Linked Lives of Korean American Families" published by NYU Press. Also, Yoo was interviewed for a feature story in the June/July edition of the journal KoreAm.

Associate Professor of Asian American Studies Jonathan H. X. Lee was selected as an editor for the Routledge Series on Asian Migration. The new series is designed to address various imminent trends of international migration in Asia and the development of diaspora communities while broadening discussions of the relationship between migration and globalization, transnationalism, development, intercultural studies and identity and diaspora.

Communication Studies

Professor of Communication Studies Gust A. Yep was presented the Leroy F. Aarons Award for "significant contributions to LGBTQ media education and research" at the Annual Conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) on Aug. 8. Founded in 1912, AEJMC is a national nonprofit educational association of journalism and mass communication educators, students and media professionals whose mission is to advance education, foster scholarly research, cultivate better professional practice and promote the free flow of communication. In his acceptance speech, "Immortalizing the Legacy of Roy Aarons," Yep discussed the role of intellectual activism in his teaching and research as a means to bring awareness to the symbolic and material violences of social hierarchies based on sexuality, culture, race, class, gender, nation and the body.


Professor of Economics Sudip Chattopadhyay is the recipient of the ORISE Fellowship for the year 2015-16. The fellowship program is funded and administered by the Oak Ridge Institute of Science and Education (ORISE). The goal of the ORISE Fellow program is to enhance the educational programs offered by academic institutions, strengthen the scientific and technical manpower base, transfer knowledge and technology to the academic community and support a growing national commitment to science education. As the ORISE Fellow, Chattopadhyay will be on professional leave from SF State to engage in establishing a research agenda for the Health Resources Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Health Education

Professor of Health Education Erik Peper co-authored the book "Cerebral Investigation of a Yoga Master During Meditation -- Findings from Collaborative Research," which was published by Showado Publisher, Fukuoka, Japan.

Health & Social Sciences

Interim Dean of the College of Health & Social Sciences Alvin Alvarez received the Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award from the American Psychological Association's Society of Counseling Psychology earlier this week. The award was given in recognition of Alvarez's work as the founder and director of the Leadership Development Institute for the Council of National Psychological Associations for the Advancement of Ethnic Minority Interests, which promotes diversity in the field of psychology. Read more about Alvarez on SF State News.


Professor Emeritus of Journalism John Burks is the president of the board of Study Center, which provides research, editorial, graphic arts and fiscal sponsorship services to Bay Area nonprofits, foundations and public agencies. Burks is also a frequent contributor to the group’s monthly publication, Central City Extra.


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Mission control, we have a lag

A July 14 article reported on protocols developed for NASA by Professor of Psychology Kathleen Mosier and her team of student researchers to address long-distance communication delays. "We're assessing the impact of the time delay on performance effectiveness and developing protocols and procedures that astronauts will eventually use to counteract the negative effects," Mosier said. "Most students don't get the opportunity to do research that has such immediate applications."

Generational dreams and duties

Professor and Chair of Asian American Studies Grace J. Yoo was interviewed for a July 14 KoreAm feature story about the book "Caring Across Generations: The Linked Lives of Korean American Families," which she co-authored with Barbara Kim (CSU Long Beach). "Children of immigrants of many varied backgrounds may experience this kind of 'care work' [responsibility] over a lifetime as they straddle language, culture and worlds for their parents, but also navigate the structural constraints immigrants face, including everyday racism," Yoo said. "The 1.5- and second-generation Korean American experience is unique to this generation. We are the 'dream' generation -- immigrant parents put their hopes and dreams onto us. The next generation doesn't need to fulfill another generation's dreams, but just their own. In some sense, this is a privilege. The ability to not think about another generation. The third generation has privilege. They can just be."

Urgent action needed, still waiting

On July 30, The New York Times and other major outlets reported on a warning by Associate Professor of Biology Vance Vredenburg and fellow biologists that urgent action is needed to protect North American salamanders from a deadly fungus. "People really didn’t believe that something could happen that was so bad [as the decimation of North American frog populations by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, or Bd], I really don’t want to see that happen again," Vredenburg said. "You would think there would be something in place. We really need a government agency at some level to take action and do something [to stop or regulate importation of salamanders]."

Fortuitous timings a teachable moment

On Aug. 10, The Washington Post, NBC News, The San Francisco Examiner and others reported on the discovery by Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy Stephen Kane and a team of astronomers of Kepler-453b, a planet orbiting in the habitable zone of two stars. "If we had observed this planet earlier or later than we did, we would have seen nothing and assumed there was no planet there," Kane said. "That suggests that there are a lot more of these kinds of planets than we are thinking, and we're just looking at the wrong time."

Corporate culture clash?

Professor of Management Sally Baack commented on a New York Times article about working conditions at Amazon for an Aug. 17 KCBS radio report. "In the startup culture [and] the high-tech culture we see a lot of disgruntled employees who have left the company use those kinds of descriptions to describe the environment that they've been in, so you might expect that of very early-stage companies or very early-stage career employees," Baack said. "It's less common to see this kind of description in more established companies and with employees that are at a later stage of their career at a higher level, so that's interesting too."


For more media coverage of faculty, staff, students, alumni and programs, see SF State in the News

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SF State received $1,150,682 in grants and contracts in July 2015.

Kelvin Billingsley, Chemistry & Biochemistry, Novel Hyperpolarized Agents for Metabolic Imaging of Cancer, National Institutes of Health, $462,000

Zhigang Chen, Physics and Astronomy, Generation and Control of Pseudospin-mediated Vortices in Photonic Graphene, U.S. Army Research Office, $597,874

Christopher McCarthy, Physics and Astronomy, 2015 STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Program, Cal Poly Corporation/Prime: Chevron, $6,148

Judith Munter, Education Dean's Office, California Teacher Convening, CSU Fullerton/Prime: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, $47,344

Peter Palmer, Chemistry and Biochemistry, XRF (X-Ray Fluorescence) Analysis of Arsenic and Mercury Contamination on Karuk, Karuk Tribe, $7,807

Pleuni Pennings, Biology, Cityscape Genomics of Rats in New York City, Fordham University/Prime: National Science Foundation, $29,509


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