January 20, 2017


Cortez announces departure from SF State

Vice President of Administration and Finance Ron Cortez will be leaving the University Jan. 31. Cortez is returning to the University of California system as vice chancellor for administrative and business services at UC Irvine. During his time here, he significantly improved the transparency of the $525 million campus budget through enhanced communication and allocation practices, used an “all funds” approach to eliminate a $7.5 million structural deficit and oversaw the development of numerous new and renovated facilities projects. Senior Associate Vice President of Human Resources Ann Sherman will take over as interim vice president while the University conducts a national search for a replacement.

Campus budget input sought

The Strategic Issues Committee (SIC) of the Academic Senate has been charged this year with examining the University budget with the goals of creating greater transparency, increasing budget literacy and providing insightful feedback on the alignment of future budget models with SF State's priorities and values. To that end, the SIC is requesting that any and all interested members of the campus community provide feedback and questions regarding the 2016-17 Operating Budget Plan online.

The SIC would like to discuss the Operating Budget Plan, including anonymous feedback, at the Jan. 31 meeting. Email djmooney@sfsu.edu with the subject line “SIC Budget Questions.”

Peer reviewers sought for AASHE STARS report

SF State will submit its first application to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education's (AASHE) Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS) on Feb. 1. The Office of Sustainability is seeking peer reviewers for the report, which includes credits for sustainability practices in academics, investment, outreach, operations and administration. Interested parties should email Nick Kordesch.

Annual CSU Student Research Competition

The 31st Annual California State University Student Research Competition will be held April 28-29 at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Undergraduate and graduate students selected from the 23 campuses will give 10-minute formal presentations that will be judged by experts from corporations, foundations, public agencies, and colleges and universities in California.

The SF State competition will be held Feb. 20, 2017. View the competition guidelines on the Division of Graduate Studies website. Entries are due by Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017.

Faculty and staff are asked to encourage promising students to participate in this competition. SF State will select up to 10 campus winners to compete at the systemwide competition.

Contact Britney Stewart in the Division of Graduate Studies with questions at britneys@sfsu.edu or ext. 5-4391.

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Mbongi Talks continue

The Department of Africana Studies is continuing its "Mbongi Talks" discussion series in 2017. (Mbongi is a Kikongo word that refers to the coming together of community members to explain and describe the issues and challenges faced by the community and to explore solutions.) All “Mbongi Talks” sessions are held from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in room 116 of the Ethnic Studies and Psychology building. Currently scheduled:

“Mbongi and Skh Djr: Illumination vs. Infection in Africana Studies,” Feb. 1

Using his book “The Island of Memes: Haiti’s Unfinished Revolution” as a platform, Africana Studies Professor Emeritus Wade Nobles will discuss the original purpose of Mbongi and the concept of “Skh Djr.” He will introduce the notions of “shattered African consciousness” and “fractured Black identity” as resultant mental conditions stemming from Westernization that, in turn, serve as an invisible intellectual dilemma for Africana Studies. He will further suggest that the adoption of an African grand narrative can serve to inoculate the discipline from “epistemicide.” 

“A Portrait of African American Political Consciousness,” Feb. 9

This discussion by Assistant Professor of Africana Studies Ifetayo Flannery will provide a biographical overview of activist Assata Shakur, including analysis of her perspectives on political agency for people of African descent and her work dedicated to “consciousness” in the African diaspora. Most importantly, the urgency and contemporary relevance of Shakur's message to Africans in diaspora will be explored in tandem with the political shifts in the U.S. today.

“Decoding ‘Afro-Asia’ in Hiphop Anime and Manga,” Feb. 28

When hiphop intersects with other global popular cultures, representations of Blackness and Africana identities often abound, even in genres that may have historically marginalized or rendered these identities invisible. Japanese anime and manga are no exception. Associate Professor of Africana Studies Dawn-Elissa Fischer will shed light on how Black and queer characters proliferated in series that were marketed to presumably non-queer, gender-specific, adolescent niche markets. 

“Africana Studies: An Intellectual and Ontological Compass,” April 13

Africana Studies Assistant Professor Doñela Wright will explore the discipline of Africana Studies as a valid epistemological benchmark that should be used while navigating through the academic and social landscape.

Faculty Experts

University Communications is updating its faculty experts list. Experts provide background and insights on current events and topics of interest to the news media. Interested in becoming a faculty expert? Complete the “Be an Expert Source” form.

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Nomination applications for 2017 distinguished faculty awards

SF State annually acknowledges outstanding tenured faculty and full-time lecturers for their extraordinary, meaningful and lasting contributions in the areas of teaching, professional achievement and service. These awards are an opportunity for our campus to recognize and honor outstanding tenured faculty and full-time lecturers who have demonstrated significant, long-term contributions to the University and to their disciplines. By recognizing the achievements of distinguished faculty in the areas of teaching, service, and professional achievement and growth, 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 website.

Wish to learn more about previous winners to aid in nominating outstanding faculty? Read the profiles of the 2015 award winners.

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Health Education

Health Education Lecturer Kenn Burrows co-authored with his students several contrasting chapter segments for the book “Censored 2017: The Top Censored Stories and Media Analysis of 2015-2016” (Seven Stories Press).

Professor of Health Education Erik Peper co-authored the article “A guide to cleaner skin temperature recordings and more versatile use of your thermistor,” which was published in the journal Biofeedback. Peper and Associate Professor of Health Education Richard Harveys (with undergraduate student Brandy Miceli) authored the article “Educational model for self-healing: Eliminating a chronic migraine with electromyography, autogenic training, posture, and mindfulness,” which also appeared in the journal Biofeedback. Peper and Harvey also co-authored the article “Breathing and math performance: Implications for performance and neurotherapy,” which appeared in the journal NeuroRegulation.

Associate Professor of Health Education Vivian Chavez presented best practices for dissemination and implementation of cultural humility at the eighth annual Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education (ACMHE) conference held Oct. 7-9 at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The conference theme was “Transforming Higher Education: Fostering Contemplative Inquiry, Community & Social Action.” Combining experiential learning and mini-lecture, Chavez’s workshop used somatic and contemplative practices to introduce learning that happens inside the student, the location of the learning being in the experience and the body, not simply in the transference of information to the mind. At the end of the workshop, Chavez was asked to develop a webinar for ACMHE around the theme “Incorporating Contemplative Pedagogy Across the Disciplines with Cultural Humility.”


Associate Professor of Kinesiology Charmayne Hughes and master’s student Alisa Aguirre presented their paper “Community-based neurorehabilitation in underserved populations” at the Global Humanitarian Technology Conference held Oct. 13-16 in Seattle. Sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the conference focused on the critical issues facing the world’s most vulnerable populations. Hughes is also an author of “Self-paced reaching after stroke: A quantitative assessment of longitudinal and directional sensitivity using the H-Man planar robot for upper limb neurorehabilitation,” published in the Oct. 25 issue of Frontiers in Neuroscience. The researchers conducted a clinical trial to test the efficacy of H-Man, a compact robot co-designed by Hughes.

Assistant Professor of Kinesiology Jimmy Bagley co-authored a chapter in the second edition of “Strength Training,” published in December by Human Kinetics. Bagley co-wrote Chapter 11, “Torso Exercises,” with CSU Fullerton Professor Andy Galpin. The chapter includes detailed instruction on resistance exercise techniques.

Assistant Professor of Kinesiology Jihyun Lee published multiple articles: “Physical activity of parents of children with autism spectrum disorder” in the International Journal of Disability, Development & Education; “Understanding challenging behaviors of students with autism spectrum disorder in physical education” in the Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance; ”Physical activity for adults with visual impairments: Impact of socio-demographic factors“ in the European Journal of Adapted Physical Activity; ”Quality of life, physical activity, and sedentary behavior of adults with visual impairments” in Disability and Rehabilitation; “Effects of service learning on kinesiology students’ attitudes toward children with disabilities” in the Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement; “The Effect of instruction on stereotypic behaviors of boys with autism spectrum disorder: A pilot study” in Palaestra; and “Sociocultural reproduction: Implications for physical education teacher education” in the International Journal of Physical Education.


Professor of Music Education Wendell Hanna’s book “The Children’s Music Studio: A Reggio-inspired Approach” was published Jan. 3 by Oxford University Press. The book includes practical guidance on setting up and documenting project-based music learning, with supplemental video on the companion website.

Recreation, Parks, and Tourism

Professor of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Nina Roberts presented a session on her U.S. Forest Service-funded study of urban youth and media/communications at the 2016 Association for Experiential Education International Conference in Minneapolis in October. Roberts also participated in a GP RED (Research, Education and Development for Health, Recreation and Land Agencies) National Think Tank, “Green Places, Healthy Communities: Innovations and Solutions,” in Annapolis Nov. 2-4. The event was described as “a national gathering of great minds to discuss innovations, best practices and collaboration among health, recreation, planning and land management professionals.”

Social Work

Associate Professor of Social Work Yeon-Shim Lee published “A history of childhood maltreatment and intimate partner violence victimization among Native American adults” in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

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The Times They Are a-Changin’

Assistant Professor of Political Science Marcela Garcia-Castañon took part in coverage of President Barack Obama’s farewell speech live-streamed on Facebook by AJ+, the online news channel created by Al Jazaeera Media Network. Garcia-Castañon and AJ+ host Dena Takruri provided analysis of Obama’s remarks, the mixed legacy of his administration and the tumultuous state of the nation as he steps down. “I cling to optimism,” Garcia-Castañon said, “especially in these dark times.”

Liberal Ends, Conservative Means

Professor of Political Science Robert C. Smith was quoted in a Politifact article on President Obama’s struggle for bipartisan cooperation during his two terms. “The president went out of his way to pursue his liberal ends through conservative means,” Smith said. “But the conservatives in Congress and the media were intent from the outset to obstruct his agenda no matter how conciliatory.”

No Smoking Gun?

A Russia Direct article about the recent U.S. intelligence report on alleged Russian hacking and election interference quoted Professor of International Relations Andrei Tsygankov. “The report doesn’t contain anything that hasn’t been already discussed in the public space regarding Russia’s alleged role in hacking the U.S. elections,” Tsygankov said. “Russia may have indeed been behind the described cyber attacks, but we still don’t have the smoking gun type of evidence of exactly who…was involved in it.”

Safety First

Professor of Communication Studies Joe Tuman spoke with the San Francisco Chronicle about efforts to save artist warehouse spaces in the aftermath of the Ghost Ship fire. “If you made sure that structures had a sprinkler [system] and that the wiring was up to code, that’s not about punishing artists,” Tuman said. “That’s about making sure spaces are habitable and safe.”

Totally Tubular

A San Francisco Chronicle article about a new wave of Bay Area-based female surfers dubbed photographer, documentarian and Assistant Professor of Journalism Sachi Cunningham “the heart and soul” of the group. “Survival is part of what I do,” said Cunningham, who discussed her recent battle with cancer and how it didn’t keep her from pursuing her passion. “To me this is like an awakening, that I only have one shot in life, and I’m going to go out there more determined than ever.”

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

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SF State received $2,175,400 in grants and contracts in December 2016. 

Ahmad Ganji, Engineering, U.S. Department of Energy – Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Industrial Assessment Center at SF State, $1,297,941 

Claudia Guedes, Susan Zieff, Kinesiology, California Commission on Teaching Credentialing, Developing a Four-Year Integrated Program for Physical Education B.S. and Teaching Credential, $249,980 

Eric Hsu, Mathematics, CSU East Bay/Prime: California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, Basic Skills Partnership Pilot Program, $70,000 

Christopher Koenig, Communication Studies, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Palo Alto Health Care System, Menlo Park Veterans Affairs (VA) Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) Agreement, $56,940 

Sepideh Modrek, Health Equity Institute, Stanford University/Prime: Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Examining Pathways to Working Longer in the Manufacturing Sector, $25,009 

Nancy Robinson, Dean’s Office of the Graduate College of Education, California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, Integrated Bilingual Educators for Social Transformation (I-BEST), $250,000 

Gloria Soto, Department of Special Education & Communicative Disorders, Disability Communications Fund, Differential Effects of Recasting on the Language Skills of Children Who Use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), $84,505 

Patrick Tierney, Recreation, Parks, and Tourism, Marin County Department of Parks, Phase II Marin County Parks Visitors Study, $54,521 

Michael Vasey, Romberg Tiburon Center, Regents of the University of Michigan/Prime: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), A Collaborative Science Program for the National Estuarine Research Reserve System: Connecting with End Users Throughout the Applied Research Process, $10,000 

Michael Vasey, Tom Parker, Romberg Tiburon Center, Solano Land Trust/Prime: V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation, Carbon Sequestration in Agro-Ecological Systems, $76,504 

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It is with great regret that we announce the passing of Professor Emeritus Dr. Henry “Hank” McGuckin Jr., who passed away at his home on Dec. 17, 2016, surrounded by his family. McGuckin taught rhetorical communication at SF State for 33 years.

Born in Loleta, California, in 1930, McGuckin grew up in Oakland. He served in the army during the Korean War, meeting his wife Jacqueline “Jackie” McGuckin while deployed in France. After his service ended, he at first pursued a career as an opera singer but eventually committed himself to academia. In addition to being a popular professor and a well-respected colleague, he was a committed activist who participated in the student strike of 1969 as well as the anti-war movement during the Vietnam War.

McGuckin is survived by Jackie, his children Nadia and Eric, and his grandchildren, Justin Storer and Iris McGuckin. The family encourages those wishing to honor his memory to donate in his name to the American Civil Liberties Union.

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