December 4, 2017


College of Ethnic Studies transition

Kenneth Monteiro will be ending his term as dean of the College of Ethnic Studies effective spring 2018. Monteiro held the position for 11 years. He will continue his teaching and research as an SF State faculty member. An interim dean, to be named soon, will ensure a smooth transition while the University conducts a national search for a successor.

SF State still #1 for Gilman Scholarships

SF State maintains its lead in the nation for winning Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships. The scholarship -- which supports undergraduate students of limited financial means who wish to study abroad -- has been awarded to 24 SF State students for spring 2018 by the U.S. State Department, building upon the record-breaking number of 44 students who received the scholarships to study abroad this fall. That means that this academic year 68 students have now received the scholarship, earning collectively $326,500.

All of the SF State Gilman Scholarship winners are Pell Grant recipients. They will receive scholarships ranging from $3,500 to $8,000. The University and the Office of International Programs congratulates them on this honor and wishes them the best as they begin their overseas learning adventures.

For a complete list of spring 2018 Gilman awardees, visit the Gilman Scholarship Program website.

Campus hosts attorney general news conference

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra came to SF State last Wednesday to announce that his office had filed suit against a for-profit online university. The suit alleges that San Diego-based Ashford University engaged in illegal business practices to exploit vulnerable students, many of them economically challenged or veterans.

Becerra said he wanted to announce the lawsuit at SF State because it represented how an institution of higher learning ought to serve its students, particularly those who, like him, are the first in their families to go on to college. According to Becerra, the average Ashford University student's loan debt is about $34,000, twice the amount of the average San Francisco State University student.

SF State President Les Wong also addressed reporters at the news conference.

"This announcement today underscores the importance of access to higher education for all Californians and the role of universities like San Francisco State in providing an affordable and high-quality education," he said. "Students, not profits, are our priority."

California Attorney General speaks by staff members, other attorneys and SF State President Les Wong

California Attorney General speaks at the Nov. 29 press conference backed by staff members, other attorneys and SF State President Les Wong.

You're Invited! President and Mrs. Wong would like you to join them for a Faculty & Staff Holiday Reception When: 3 to 6 p.m., Monday, Dec. 4 Where: Seven Hills Conference Center What: A fun-filled celebration of all the hard work you do for the University In keeping with an SF State tradition, guests are invited to bring canned goods for donation to individuals and families in need.

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Call for applications for spring 2018 GWAR Mentoring Program

The Division of Undergraduate Education and Academic Planning (DUEAP) invites applications for the spring 2018 GWAR (Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement) Mentoring Program. The GWAR Mentoring Program is a learning community designed to provide support and an opportunity for growth and development to both new and experienced GWAR faculty. Through regular group meetings with fellow mentors, participating faculty will share ideas and insights, discuss writing pedagogy and learn about best practices in disciplines across campus. Faculty work as a group and in pairs throughout the semester to provide each other support in GWAR course design, effective strategies for teaching writing and assessment of student learning.

All faculty (tenured, tenure-track and lecturers) interested in joining this program for the spring of 2018 are encouraged to apply. Eligible mentors should have an interest in intra-disciplinary writing and will either be teaching a GWAR course in the spring 2018 semester or will have recently taught GWAR courses for two to three semesters and intend to continue teaching GWAR in the future. New faculty and those new to teaching GWAR are welcome to apply. Proposals from teams (mentor pairs) within and across disciplines are highly encouraged.

Those interested in applying should email Juliana van Olphen, professor of health education and director of WAC/WID (Writing Across the Curriculum/Writing in the Disciplines), or Jennifer Swanson, associate director of WAC/WID. Please complete the application form (available online) and submit it by Friday, Dec. 15. Stipends will be provided to participating faculty. Successful applicants will be notified in the beginning of January.

Study abroad sendoff, Dec. 6

Faculty and staff are invited to help recognize SF State students who are about to study abroad. The Office of International Programs is holding a Study Abroad Ceremony on Wednesday, Dec. 6, in the Student Life Event Center (Annex) from 3 to 5 pm. This is the final sendoff for students who will be participating in the CSU International Program or an SF State exchange program starting in the spring. The event is open to the public.

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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:


  • Norma Salcedo, AB 540 Dream Coordinator (Approximate time: 2:45 p.m.)
  • Nish Malik, CIO and associate vice president of Information Technology Services (Approximate time: 3 p.m.)
  • Brian Beatty, associate vice president of Academic Technology (Approximate time: 3:30 p.m.)

Agenda items:

  • Proposed minor in computing applications (first reading)
  • Proposed changes to the hiring policy for tenure-track faculty (first reading)
  • Proposed Student Health Advisory Committee (first reading)
  • Proposed master of science degree program in Interdisciplinary marine and estuarine sciences (first reading)
  • Proposed minor in comic studies analytics (second reading)
  • Proposed changes to the retention, tenure and promotion policy (second reading)

The complete agenda and support documents for the meeting are available online.

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

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"Victor Arnautoff and the Politics of Art"
Through Dec. 12 in the Special Collections Gallery, LIB 460


Monday, Dec. 4

Theatre: "Fiery Truth: Addiction by Design -- A Fiery Play": 10 a.m. in HUM 587

Lecture: Facebook Computational Linguist Yuri Yerastov: noon in the Faculty Commons (LIB 286)

Master class: Morrison Artists Series -- Verona Quartet: noon in room 153, Creative Arts building

Once Upon a Time: Writing Your Family History: 12:15 p.m. in the Sutro Library Reading Room on the fifth floor of the J. Paul Leonard Library

Recital: classical voice: 1:10 p.m. in Knuth Hall, Creative Arts building

Video: "Resist: Documenting the Undocumented": 3 p.m. in Jack Adams Hall, Cesar Chavez Student Center

Tuesday, Dec. 5

Presentations: Anthropology Master of Arts Expo: 5:30 p.m. in room 525, Fine Arts building

Victor Arnautoff exhibition closing event: 5:30 p.m. in LIB 460

Concert: SF State Wind Ensemble, Skyline College Concert Band and Travis Brass Quintet: 7:30 p.m. in Knuth Hall, Creative Arts building

Wednesday, Dec. 6

Recital: chamber music ensembles: 1:10 p.m. in Knuth Hall, Creative Arts building

The Best of Soviet and Russian Cinema: Sergei Parajanov's "The Color of Pomegranates": 7:10 p.m. in the Coppola Theatre, Fine Arts building

Concert: chamber music ensembles: 7:30 p.m. in Knuth Hall, Creative Arts building

Thursday, Dec. 7

Theatre: "Lysistrata": 7:30 p.m. in the Little Theatre, Creative Arts building

Recital: Afro-Cuban Jazz Ensemble of SF State: Knuth Hall, Creative Arts building

Friday, Dec. 8

Recital: piano students: 1:10 p.m. in Knuth Hall, Creative Arts building

Nonprofit Management Certificate Program: Volunteer Management Course: 6 p.m. at the Downtown Campus

Theatre: "Lysistrata": 7:30 p.m. in the Little Theatre, Creative Arts building

Opera Scenes Workshop: 7:30 p.m. in Knuth Hall, Creative Arts building

Saturday, Dec. 9

Theatre: "Lysistrata": 7:30 p.m. in the Little Theatre, Creative Arts building

Sunday, Dec. 10

Theatre: "Lysistrata": 2 p.m. in the Little Theatre, Creative Arts building

For more upcoming events, see the University Calendar.

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College of Health & Social Sciences

Professor of Health Education Erik Peper and Associate Professor of Health Education Richard Harvey co-authored two articles recently published in the journal Biofeedback: "How Posture Affects Memory Recall and Mood" and "Posture and Mood: Implications and Applications to Therapy."

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Forging Ahead

San Francisco State Creative Writing Assistant Professor Chanan Tigay wrote a piece for the BBC's travel page about his attempts to track down a collection of forged biblical scrolls. His quest (also the subject of his book "The Lost Book of Moses: The Hunt for the World's Oldest Bible") took him from Jordan to Jerusalem to London to Germany to Australia. But the key to solving the mystery, he eventually discovered, had been in his backyard the whole time. The fraudulent scrolls had been "discovered" by an antiquities dealer named Moses Wilhelm Shapira. "Back in March 2012 I had received a tip from a rabbi in Cincinnati that more than 100 manuscripts once owned by Shapira resided in the collection of the late San Francisco mayor, Adolph Sutro," Tigay writes. "An avid book collector, Sutro had been in Jerusalem at the time of Shapira's death and had scooped up his remaining manuscript stock. Today, by a bizarre coincidence, this little-known Shapira collection is held in the library building at San Francisco State University, where I am an assistant professor of creative writing." To find out what happened next, read Tigay's account.

In Trust They Trust

Ethnic Studies Associate Professor Melissa Nelson was quoted in a San Francisco Chronicle article about a women-led land trust intended to reclaim indigenous land in the East Bay. "To have it women-led and urban-centered is really unique, innovative and pretty revolutionary," said Nelson, who is Anishinaabe/Metis/Norwegian and an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians. She's also president of the Cultural Conservancy, an indigenous rights organization that she has directed since 1993. "It's really unjust that a lot of tribes have to buy back their own land," she said. "But it's definitely a step in the right direction."

Space Man

A lengthy piece in the Skeptical Inquirer, the magazine of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, pays tribute to late SF State Professor of Physics Dan Q. Posin. Posin, who taught at the University from the late '60s through the mid '90s, worked with KQED and the National Educational Television Network (a predecessor to PBS) to create groundbreaking programs about science and space exploration. "Long before Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson or Brian Cox, Dan Q. Posin was a very energetic popularizer of science who saw the power of television for education and inspiration," writes the article's author, psychologist and author Stuart Vyse. "He played an important role in developing my interest in science, and he was a beloved figure for many other people my age. Back then, "Watch Mr. Wizard" was also on the air, and I have some memories of that show. But it was Posin's programs and books that fueled my curiosity about space and science."

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

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Emeritus Professor of Comparative Literature, Classics and Creative Writing and founding Director of the Center for Modern Greek Studies Thanasis ("Thomas") Maskaleris passed away Nov. 23 at the age of 87.

Maskaleris was born in Arcadia, in Greece, in 1930. He immigrated to the United States at the age of 17 and went on to earn a bachelor's degree in philosophy and English at the University of Oklahoma and a master's degree in comparative literature at Indiana University. He taught as a lecturer at Wayne State University, Ohio Wesleyan University, St. Mary's College in Moraga and UC Berkeley before taking up a tenure-track position at SF State in 1967. In 1981, he founded the Center for Modern Greek Studies and, as its inaugural director, raised the money to endow it in perpetuity (under the name "Kazantzakis Chair in Modern Greek Studies"). He became professor emeritus in 1992.

During his long and distinguished career, he published a number of books, including "The Terrestrial Gospel of Nikos Kazantzakis" and "My Life on the Ragged Paths of Pan: Selected Poems and Translations."

Psychologist and activist Joseph L. White, an alumnus and former faculty member who helped establish the University's Black Studies Program in the last 1960s, died Nov. 21 at the age of 84. White revolutionized the way people of color are understood in psychology and worked to improve diversity on college campuses. He was SF State's Alumnus of the Year in 2008.

At the height of the civil rights movement, White emerged as a powerful voice of change: challenging psychologists to understand better the unique experiences of ethnic minorities. In 1968, he helped found the Association of Black Psychologists and his seminal article in Ebony magazine in 1970 laid the foundations of black psychology, which introduced black perspectives into mainstream psychology. During his time at California State University, Long Beach, White helped found the Educational Opportunities Program (EOP), which grew into a statewide program providing supportive pathways for disadvantaged students to study at CSU campuses.

White was an SF State professor of psychology and dean of undergraduate studies during the 1968 student strike. In response to the strike, he helped launch the Black Studies Program, the first of its kind on an American four-year college campus. He later joined the faculty at California State University, Long Beach.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any memorial contributions be made to either of the following:

African American Alumni Council of UCI
5319 University Dr. #3
Irvine, CA 92612
(Please put "Joe White Scholarship" in the memo line of the check.)

UC Irvine Cross Cultural Center
UCI Foundation
UC Irvine Gift Administration
555 Aldrich Hall
Irvine, CA 92697-5600

(Make check payable to the UCI Foundation and please put "Cross Cultural Center/Dr. Joseph White" in the memo line.)

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