December 4, 2015


Campus safety reminder from the dean of students 

In the wake of recent acts of violence across the world, the campus community is reminded to remain alert to surroundings, take proactive steps to ensure safety and to act with compassion toward community members who may be experiencing stress resulting from the semester's end and the holiday season. Demonstrating care for a fellow community member can often make a notable difference. It is also important to "say something if you see something." Trust intuition and instinct when in doubt.

Because danger cannot always be foreseen or prevented, it is important to be prepared for possible emergencies, such as knowing to dial 911 from a campus phone to reach emergency personnel. Another simple step is to enter the University Police emergency telephone numbers in personal cell phones:

  • (415) 338-2222 for an immediate emergency
  • (415) 338–7200 for less urgent matters

For more information and preparedness tips, visit the Office of Emergency Preparedness website at

Alvarez named dean of Health & Social Sciences

Alvin Alvarez was appointed dean of the College of Health & Social Sciences (HSS). He has served as the college's interim dean since 2014.

Alvarez's academic work has focused on Asian-Americans, racial identity and the psychological impact of racism. His widely published research has looked at the ways in which Asian-Americans cope with racism and how to develop interventions to help them do so in constructive ways. Prior to his tenure as interim dean of HSS, Alvarez served as associate dean from 2011-2014 and a professor in the Department of Counseling since 1997.

Since 2008, Alvarez has served as director of the Leadership Development Institute for the Council of National Psychological Associations for the Advancement of Ethnic Minority Interests, an organization that provides training, mentorship and networking opportunities to psychologists of color. He is also a past president of the Asian American Psychological Association. In August, Alvarez received the Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award from the American Psychological Association's Society of Counseling Psychology, in recognition of his work to promote diversity in the field of psychology.

"In addition to his excellent academic credentials, Dr. Alvarez has been a national leader in ensuring individuals from underrepresented backgrounds have a voice in the health and social science fields," said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Sue V. Rosser. "I am so pleased that he will continue to lead the college's efforts to develop a diverse, talented and critically thinking workforce for our community and beyond."

Alvarez received bachelor's degrees in psychology and biological sciences from the University of California, Irvine, and earned his master's degree and doctorate in counseling psychology from the University of Maryland.

New Academic Technology website to launch January 2016

The new Academic Technology (AT) website that will launch in January 2016 will make it easier for faculty and staff to get involved in AT's engaging campus initiatives, request a service, learn about supported technologies and access help and support resources. Visit the current site at for more information and return to the same address in January to see the new site.

Mini-sites for AT initiatives

There are four AT initiatives, and each will have a unique mini-website that links to the main AT site: Affordable Instructional Materials; ePortfolio; Quality Online Learning and Teaching; and Course Redesign.

Easy access to all AT services

AT offers a variety of services and resources including: troubleshooting computer and equipment issues; audiovisual and classroom equipment loan and support; workshops on teaching with technology; one-on-one instructional design services; iLearn help-desk services; digitization and media conversion; graphics, video and photography production; and AT meeting rooms.

AT tools and technologies

Tools and technologies supported by AT include: iLearn; CourseStream; Web Conferencing; Labspace; Clickers; Turnitin; ePortfolio; and Student Evaluations of Teaching Effectiveness (SETE).

New support documents site

Users will be able to easily access, search and browse AT's comprehensive collection of support documents and guides through a single support website that connects seamlessly with the main AT website.

Academic Technology Winter Events 2016

Academic Technology Winter Institute 2016: Jan. 12 and 13 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Explore campus-supported technologies and strategies for integrating technology into courses. Designed for newcomers to iLearn and those who wish to learn more about available technology tools and services.

Advanced Quality Online Learning and Teaching (QOLT) Institute: Jan. 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Learn effective teaching strategies and design best practices for hybrid and fully online courses, including specific, concrete ways to quickly evaluate and improve courses.

Quality Online Learning and Teaching (QOLT) Peer Review Institute: Jan. 15 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Learn about campus- and system-wide initiatives that support quality online courses, gain valuable skills and join the faculty learning community to take online courses to the next level.

Quickstart Webinar: Jan. 19 from noon to 1 p.m.

This webinar will orient participants to campus course technologies and the basics of using iLearn and explore tools to make iLearn courses more interactive inside and outside of the classroom.

Register Online

Complete the AT Institutes Registration Form. Enrollment is limited. Those who register by Dec. 10 will receive priority. Lunch and refreshments are included.


Persons with disabilities are welcome, and reasonable accommodations will be arranged upon request. To request reasonable accommodations, contact Nora Scully by Dec. 10 at ext. 5-5539 or


For more information, email or call ext. 5-5550.

AmazonSmile to support SF State

Alumni Relations has partnered with the AmazonSmile program to make raising funds for SF State as easy as 1-2-shop. Once set up, shoppers will see half of a percent of the cost of their eligible purchases donated to the charitable organization of their choice, such as SF State.

Visit, search for "SFSU Foundation" and select it. Amazon will remember your selection, and every eligible purchase made using AmazonSmile will result in a donation by Amazon to SF State.

Register now for AmazonSmile.

For additional information, contact Senem Ozer at ext. 8-2217 or

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CampusMemo schedule

The Dec. 18 CampusMemo will be the last issue for the fall 2015 term. Publication will resume with the Jan. 22, 2016, issue.

Qualitative Research Methods, Dec. 7

A Stat CORR Methodology and Multivariate Analysis (MAMA) presentation will be held Monday, Dec. 7, from noon to 1 p.m. in LIB 286. Lunch will be provided. Associate Professor of Health Education Richard Harvey will introduce some approaches to qualitative data gathering and analysis. Participants are asked to bring data to analyze, as the group may be able to perform analysis during the meeting.

Can't attend the full meeting? Drop in any time, early or late. RSVP to Julie Paez at ext. 5-3995 or and indicate whether attending the full meeting or dropping in. For more information, contact Richard Harvey (ext. 8-3478 or or Edward Connor (ext. 8-6997 or

This "come to 'MAMA'" presentation is sponsored by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs through its funding of the SFSU Statistics Community of Representative Researchers (CORR) Research Cluster. Stat CORR hosts meetings, workshops and training clinics to foster and promote the dissemination of quantitative and qualitative research skills. Stat CORR aims to connect faculty and staff with specialized methodological knowledge to those who seek assistance designing new research projects, completing data analysis or developing, submitting and revising extramural grants.

ePortfolio Town Hall with Academic Technology Dec. 10

Academic Technology has good news for SF State faculty, students and alumni: Starting with the spring 2016 term, they will all have free access to an easy-to-use, robust ePortfolio solution called Portfolium. This campuswide ePortfolio platform will allow students to cultivate and share their academic, personal and professional accomplishments and build a professional online presence while at SF State and after graduation. Academic Technology, in collaboration with Career Services and Alumni Relations, will launch this campuswide initiative at an ePortfolio Town Hall meeting on Thursday, Dec. 10, from 2 to 3 p.m. in LIB 244.

All faculty and staff are invited to attend. Anyone who has questions about the ePortfolio program should contact Andrea Taylor with Academic Technology's ePortfolio program at

GWAR Mentoring Program seeks applications

The Division of Undergraduate Education and Academic Planning (DUEAP) invites applications for the GWAR (Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement) Mentoring Program, a faculty development program that will be piloted in the spring semester. The program is designed to provide support to those new to teaching GWAR while giving experienced GWAR instructors an opportunity for growth and development. Eligible mentors will have taught GWAR courses for several semesters and will be expected to provide support for GWAR course design, effective GWAR teaching strategies and assessment of student learning.

Eligible mentees will teach a GWAR course in the spring and will be expected to collaborate with mentors throughout the semester. All faculty (tenured, tenure-track and lecturers) who are interested in being paired to collaborate closely in the spring of 2016 are encouraged to apply. Proposals from teams (mentor and mentee) within and across disciplines are highly encouraged.

Those interested in applying should email Jennifer Swanson, associate director of WAC/WID. Visit for application guidelines. Applications are due Dec. 14. Stipends will be provided to participating faculty. Successful applicants will be notified by Jan. 8, 2016, and will be expected to attend an orientation at the faculty retreat on Jan. 25.

Campus cats chow volunteers needed

The campus cat committee is seeking new volunteers to feed the small, friendly cat population on campus. Volunteering is easy: Choose a weekday or a once-a-month weekend rotation at one of two nature-friendly, ecological feeding sites. The food is provided. Can't volunteer? Donations of food, water and cash are also welcome. Email Irene Donner at or call ext. 8-2763 to volunteer and for additional information.

SF State World AIDS quilt on display through Dec. 18

To commemorate the 27th World AIDS Day, the University's AIDS quilt will be displayed in the lobby of the Cesar Chavez Student Center through Dec. 18. Sewn in the late 1980s by 25 SF State faculty and staff to honor members of our community lost to HIV/AIDS, it was the first AIDS memorial quilt at any college or university in the country and has been displayed on campus each year on World AIDS Day to acknowledge the impact that HIV/AIDS has had on the University family. For more information contact Michael Ritter at or visit

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The Academic Senate will meet Tuesday from 2 to 5 p.m. in the Nob Hill Room of the Seven Hills Conference Center. An open-floor period from 2 to 2:10 p.m. will provide an informal opportunity to raise questions or make comments to Senate officers or University administrators. Please arrive promptly at 2 p.m. The agenda will include:

  • Chair's report.
  • Report from Provost Sue V. Rosser (2:25 p.m.).
  • Recommendation from the Executive Committee regarding approval of Standing Committee appointments, consent item.
  • Recommendation from the Faculty Affairs Committee regarding a proposal for the revision of Senate Policy #S10-160: Temporary Faculty, first reading.
  • Recommendation from the Curriculum Review and Approval Committee regarding a revision to the B.A. and minor in Classics, first reading.
  • Recommendation from the Curriculum Review and Approval Committee regarding a new M.A. in East Asian Languages and Literatures, first reading.
  • Recommendation from the Curriculum Review and Approval Committee regarding a new M.A. in Modern European Languages and Literatures, first reading.
  • Recommendation from the Academic Policies Committee regarding a proposal for the revision of Senate Policy #S09-196: Withdrawals from Courses, first reading.

Nomination applications for distinguished faculty awards 2016

SF State annually acknowledges outstanding faculty members for their extraordinary, meaningful and lasting contributions in the areas of teaching, professional achievement and service.

The awards, which were first instituted in 2007, are designed to highlight the outstanding accomplishments of faculty members. By recognizing the achievements of distinguished faculty in the areas of teaching, professional achievement and growth, and University service, the campus community celebrates the University's climate of excellence.

Download the nomination form, which includes details about eligibility and the application process.

Visit the Academic Senate website and Faculty Honors and Awards Committee (FHAC) website.

Wish to learn more about previous winners to aid in nominating outstanding faculty? Read the profiles of the award winners for the past five years:

The chair of the 2015-16 Faculty Honors and Awards Committee is Professor of Decision Sciences Ramesh Bollapragada.

Senate meeting dates are posted on the University Calendar and on the Senate website at

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Asian American Studies

Associate Professor of Asian American Studies Jonathan Lee edited the book "Chinese Americans: The History and Culture of a People," which was published by ABC-CLIO on Nov. 30. The book takes a global view of the Chinese experience in the Americas, why they left China, where they settled and how their distinctive identity was formed.

Also, Lee was commissioned by the Chinese Historical Society of America in San Francisco to author a report on the historic Kong Chow Temple in San Francisco's Chinatown and the public art commemoration planned as part of the construction of a new building. The report will be submitted to the law firm that represents the construction firm and will be used in public hearings regarding the public art commemoration at the site.

Family Acceptance Project

The "Families Are Forever" family education films -- part of the evidence-based family intervention model developed by the Family Acceptance Project to prevent health risks such as suicide and homelessness and promote well-being for LGBT children and youth -- were shown across Turkey as part of a major festival in November. The films were shown as part of the Sürdürülebilir Yaşam Film Festivali (Sustainable Living Film Festival), which presents films from around the world that offer sustainable solutions to pressing environmental and social issues. View film trailers in Turkish.

Health Education

Professor of Health Education Erik Peper authored the article "Pain as a contextual experience," which appeared in the November 2015 issue of the journal Townsend Letter: The Examiner of Alternative Medicine.


Professor of Physics Zhigang Chen was named a fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) by the APS Council of Representatives in September on the recommendation of the organizations' Division of Laser Science. The honor was bestowed "For seminal contributions on spatial solitons, photonic lattices, and beam shaping, and for promoting world-class research at an undergraduate institution."

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We can figure it out

Professor of Geography and Environment Jason Henderson, who sits on an advisory committee examining issues related to rezoning and development of the area around Market Street and Van Ness Avenue, commented for a Nov. 22 San Francisco Chronicle article on current efforts. "At a regional level, you can't get any better than this in terms of locating housing, but the level of affordable housing is going to be the biggest concern," Henderson said. "Everybody wants to be here and live car free in San Francisco, so let's do it. The developers can figure it out. The financial people can figure it out."

El Niño facts

Professor of Meteorology John Monteverdi dispelled common myths about the El Nino phenomenon for a Nov. 24 PhysOrg report. "The reservoirs are so low that we need at least a few years of normal rainfall beyond this year to get our resources back to normal. It will take two years if we have 60 inches of rain this year and 60 inches next year," Monteverdi explained. "Even without global warming, we'd have El Niño patterns once in a while. Today, the issue is that climate change scientists say it will become more frequent and more intense due to global warming."

Broad benefits

Associate Professor of Economics Michael Potepan commented on the booming San Francisco economy for a Nov. 24 San Francisco Examiner article. "There's a lot of general economic research that suggests when cities are growing faster and their unemployment rates are lower that the benefits do spill out," Potepan said. "People who [don't] necessarily have highest education levels or incomes do benefit indirectly from the job growth."

Saving the most

Research by Professor and Associate Dean of Business Kathleen O'Donnell and Professor and Chair of Marketing Judi Strebel that defines what it means to be a "sport shopper" was the subject of a Nov. 24 San Francisco Business Times article. "This is somebody who takes great pride in their ability to get the thing they want at a discount," lead author O’Donnell said. "It is not about spending the least, it is about saving the most."

Earth as a model

Nov. 25 Space Flight Insider report on the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), launched in February, included comments by Assistant Professor of Physics Stephen Kane. "It can be used to indirectly study exoplanets by allowing us to study how to extract various important planetary parameters," Kane said. "What we are doing is using the data from DSCOVR to learn more about how we can retrieve these parameters for exoplanets by using the Earth as a well-understood planet and degrading the DSCOVR data to what we would expect to acquire from an exoplanet mission. If we can accurately determine the Earth's parameters from these degraded data, then we can also determine the minimum requirements for an exoplanet imaging mission to be successful."

Warming slows restoration

A Nov. 26 Marin Independent Journal article about the decline in eelgrass included an interview with Professor of Biology Kathy Boyer. "It has not been a good year for eelgrass," Boyer said. "It seems to have eroded away within the oyster reefs. The warmer temperature in the bay is probably a cause. But all this work does help us better understand the restoration of eelgrass."

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

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SF State received $177,822 in grants and contracts in November 2015.

Jeff Duncan-Andrade, Raza Studies/Equity Leadership Studies and Instructional Technologies, Evaluation of Community Responsive Teaching, Mind Power Collective, $45,514

Eric Hsu, Mathematics, Math Capstone Course Resources, WestEd/Prime: National Science Foundation, $75,000

Hamid Mahmoodi, Engineering, Hybrid Spin Transfer Torque-CMOS Technology, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, $57,308

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