July 15, 2016


CampusMemo schedule

This is the last summer issue of CampusMemo: Regular weekly publication will resume Aug. 19 with the start of the fall semester.

SF State Magazine summer issue is out

The latest issue of SF State Magazine is now available! Can't wait for the print version? See the online version starting today (July 15) on the redesigned SF State Magazine website.

The cover story for the spring/summer 2016 edition takes readers into the biology classroom of a former Noyce scholar who not only reaches underserved high school students but also brings what she's learned as a teacher back to SF State to mentor future educators.

Other feature stories examine how a researcher resolved a biblical mystery (in "Oldest Scrolls or Biggest Fake?"); the no-guff approach to addiction recovery dispensed by alumna Tracey Helton Mitchell (in "Miracle Worker"); and an alumna who volunteered to assist refugees in Greece (in "A Hands-on Humanitarian"). And as always, the magazine includes news about alumni and happenings on campus. Find copies in the Administration Building lobby and other spots around campus.

Campus news update

Alumna and Iranian-American philanthropist Neda Nobari has given $5 million to establish the Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies (CIDS). The endowment establishes SF State as an academic pioneer in the field of Iranian diaspora research. Under the leadership of the Neda Nobari Distinguished Chair, CIDS will create a vigorous, dynamic and fresh approach to the study of and research about Iranian diaspora communities and their development, contributions to host societies and impact on Iranian identity.

At the 115th Commencement Ceremony, Secretary of State George P. Shultz and others were honored, and Pixar film producer and Academy Award winner Jonas Rivera told the class of 2016 to prioritize what they love. "Your passions, the things you feel strongly about, are the most important tools you have to guide your life decisions," said Rivera. "You have to find out what you love, what's important to you, and then figure out how to honor that in your life and in your work."

SF State will lead the statewide expansion of college access for formerly incarcerated individuals. A $500,000 grant will fund Project Rebound programs at seven additional CSU campuses o establish programs modeled after SF State's Project Rebound, which was established in 1967 by the late Dr. John Irwin, a formerly incarcerated individual who became an SF State sociology professor and internationally recognized advocate for prisoners’ rights, the program helps those who have spent time in jail or prison earn college degrees, drastically reducing the likelihood they will return to incarceration.

Day of Civic Hacking at SF State a success

More than 50 people participated in the fourth annual Hackathon at SF State held June 4 and 5. President Les Wong welcomed participants to the event on Saturday, June 4. Seven teams developed apps, including one for crowdsourcing SF State shuttle information. First place went to a homeless census app, while second place was awarded to an app that tracked affordable housing and third place went to an app that tracked buildings' earthquake code compliance. Visit hackathon.sfsu.edu to learn more about the projects and to view photos and videos of the event.

Many thanks go to Julio Feliciano (Information Technology Services), Professor of Information Systems Sameer Verma (College of Business) and Tom Kelleher (College of Business) for their expertise and coordination of the event, which is a good example of SF State's involvement in civic and community projects. Thanks also go to the event sponsors: the College of Business, the College of Science and Engineering, the Institute of Civic and Community Engagement and Salesforce.

Holloway Avenue Revitalization and Creative Arts Replacement projects

The University is engaged in the planning and design of two important and exciting projects for the campus — the Holloway Revitalization Project, which is a mixed-use student housing development, and the Creative Arts Replacement Project, which includes a new academic building and related donor-funded concert and lecture hall. As part of the planning process, an environmental impact report (EIR) is being prepared in conformance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

A notice of preparation of the EIR and initial study has been issued, which starts a 30-day period during which the campus community and general public may comment on the scope of the EIR. A scoping meeting will be held on July 27 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the J. Paul Leonard Library, Room 121, to provide more information on the proposed projects and to offer the opportunity for the public to give comments and suggestions on the scope of the EIR. Comments can also be submitted until 5 p.m., August 8.

The notice of preparation and initial study (including a project description, maps and information on submitting comments) is available at cpdc.sfsu.edu/plan.

For further information, contact Wendy Bloom, director of campus planning, at wbloom@sfsu.edu or ext. 8-3838.

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Abstracts for IAGG 2017 World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics due July 15

The Gerontology Program at SF State will host a site visit and local learning opportunities for the 21st IAGG (International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics) World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics July 23-27, 2017. The current deadline for presenter abstracts is July 15, 2016, but the deadline may be extended.

The event's theme will be "Global Aging and Health: Bridging Science, Policy, and Practice." Presenters will have the opportunity to present in front of a large international audience of over 6,000 individuals from more than 80 countries. Participants will include scientists, physicians, technologists, researchers and innovators in the fields of aging, human health and disease. The event will also showcase faculty research, student success and community partnerships.

The Gerontology Program will also celebrate its 30th anniversary with distinguished faculty researchers, student scholars and community partners. Participants will learn about the only gerontology M.A. degree program in the CSU system, hear about innovative research, explore teaching-learning labs and visit showcases that highlight internship and career opportunities in aging and long-term care.

Questions? Visit www.iagg2017.org or email Darlene Yee-Melichar at dyee@sfsu.edu.

Call for faculty nomination to the University Sustainability Committee

One faculty position on the University Sustainability Committee is open to nominations by faculty, students, staff or by self-nomination. Email nominations to Nick Kordesch, sustainability specialist, at kordesch@sfsu.edu, and include information regarding the nominee's experience and commitment to sustainability. Nominations will be forwarded to the Academic Senate for consideration. Submissions are due by Aug. 12.

Benefits assistance

The Benefits and Retirement Services group in Human Resources (HR) remains ready to serve the campus community, despite reduced staffing. During the month of July, there are three ways to obtain assistance with benefits-related inquiries:

In August, HR will host a meet and greet with the new Benefits and Retirement Services team and launch expanded drop-in hours. The team looks forward to providing members of the campus community with an enhanced level of service focused on promoting a greater understanding of the wide range of benefits offered at SF State.

Scholarships for Business Certificate in Ethics & Compliance

Four scholarships of up to $4,000 each for the Business Certificate in Ethics and Compliance program have been funded through the generous support of Kaiser Permanente. The scholarships will go toward unreimbursed tuition for postgraduate, graduate, MBA, MSA and MPA students at SF State who are accepted into the Business Certificate in Ethics and Compliance academic program and who meet the scholarship reimbursement eligibility requirements. For more information, contact Denise Kleinrichert, Ph.D., at dk@sfsu.edu.

UWA "Adriatic Embrace" 2017 scholarship cruise

The University Women's Association (UWA) will host a 12-day cruise on the Oceania Cruises ship Sirena from Aug. 20 to Sept. 11, 2017. The destination-intensive itinerary of the "Adriatic Embrace" cruise will explore 11 ports in six countries, including a mix of historic sites, boutique ports, seaside villages and an overnight stop in Venice. Like the UWA's previous 21 cruises, the "Adriatic Embrace" will raise funds for the organization's student scholarship programs. Also, cruise prices have been reduced by approximately $800 per person.

Those who reserve before Sept. 30, 2016, will receive additional amenities from Oceania — free on-board internet access and a choice of four free shore excursions, a beverage package or shipboard credits. UWA group-exclusive amenities include pre-paid gratuities, a $100 spa or shipboard credit and a "Dollars for Scholars" contribution by Oceania for every 15 participants.  Airfare is included. For more information, visit uwa.sfsu.edu or email Lin Ivory.

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Disability Programs and Resource Center/Special Education and Communicative Disorders

The SF State Autism Support Group appeared on the SF Commons public access television show "Life on the Spectrum," produced by the Autism, Asperger Syndrome Coalition for Education, Networking, and Development (AASCEND). The episode featured Lavette Spencer, a disability specialist from the Disability Programs and Resource Center (DPRC), as well as freshman Mikhail Jameson, recent graduate Matthew Innes, graduate student Isabella Brown and Associate Professor of Special Education and Communicative Disorders Betty Yu. They talked about the Autism Support Group and other services offered by DPRC, the need for neurodiversity in higher education and tips for supporting students on the autism spectrum in the classroom. The episode was broadcast June 30 through July 7 and may be viewed on YouTube.

Health Education

Professor of Health Education Erik Peper authored the article "Are LED Screens Causing Harm to the Vision of Computer Users?" in the July issue of The Western Edition, a San Francisco neighborhood newspaper. The article may be of particular interest to faculty and staff who spend time using LCD displays, such as computer screens, tablets and smart phones. The article can be downloaded from Peper's blog.

Also, Peper co-authored the article "A Guide to Cleaner Electrodermal Activity Measurements," which appeared in the summer 2016 issue of Biofeedback (vol. 44, no. 2).


Professor of Kinesiology Mi-Sook Kim was selected to receive the 2016 American Kinesiology Association (AKA) Distinguished Leadership Award for master's-level institutions. The award recognizes outstanding administrative and leadership performance of an individual in an administrative unit at an AKA member institution. This prestigious award is given to scholar-leaders who have made significant contributions to leadership in kinesiology at the local, regional and national levels. One award is given at each of the four institutional levels, and 2016 award winners will be recognized at the AKA meeting in Dallas/Fort Worth in January 2017.

Labor and Employment Studies

On June 10, Professor of Labor and Employment Studies John Logan gave a presentation on "Collective Bargaining and the Future of Workers' Voice in the United States" to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Expert Meeting on Collective Bargaining and Industrial Relations in Paris.


Professor of Music Jassen Todorov won first place in the 2016 Moscow International Foto Awards in the Nature/Aerial category. In addition, National Geographic Spain magazine published another one of his images in a two-page spread. Todorov also performed Bach's three sonatas for solo violin at a sold-out concert in Ohrid, Macedonia, and judged the Ohrid Pearls international violin competition. He has been judging that competition since 2004.

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Rethinking the issue

Professor of Political Science Robert C. Smith commented on the negative effects the Dallas police shootings could have on American politics for a July 8 San Francisco Examiner report. "The shooting of these police officers takes this situation to another level, and I think it's gonna be a very rancorous and poisonous level in American politics. ... I would think this is more likely an act of rage. He just couldn't take it anymore," Smith said. "To recognize that [racial injustice in not just historical, it still exists] would require a kind of rethink of the nature of what white supremacy and racism is. That is hard to do — recognize the crimes that 'we' have committed against black people."

Three cities share issues

A June 8 SF Weekly article featured comments by Professor of Urban Studies and Planning Raquel Rivera Pinderhughes on how homelessness, housing prices, gentrification and other issues affect cities such as San Francisco, Portland and Seattle. "All three cities are dealing with housing shortages and, as a result, overpricing. All three are dealing with gentrification, displacing low-income people from neighborhoods, and all three are dealing with homelessness," Rivera Pinderhughes said. "The housing crisis is not just a consequence of supply, it's a consequence of a pricing problem."

Political foundations of violence

Professor of History Marc Stein was interviewed about violent attacks on LGBT establishments for a June 18 Patch.com article. "There's a lot of attacks on gays bars, sometimes by individual or groups, often street violence against people who are coming and going to gay bars," Stein said. "Even though sodomy laws were not frequently enforced, because it was very difficult for police to catch people in the act, they were used as the political foundation for attacks on the LGBT community. Because they could always say, 'Well, you're engaging in criminal acts.'"

Violence in entertainment

A June 28 KQED report about violence on reality TV shows such as "The Bachelorette" included comments by Associate Professor of Broadcast Communication Arts Melissa Camacho. "Are we suggesting that these types of violent episodes on a reality show are things that we're not supposed to take seriously as audiences because it's just a reality show? At what point do we say that this is violence?" Camacho said. "I think people are so saturated with information about violence in all its forms that, when it comes to entertainment media, people just don't want to have that kind of conversation."

No voice of their own

A column by Professor of History Catherine Kudlick discussing how images of disabled people have been used to raise money for various causes appeared July 1 on the blog of the Oxford University Press. "Thanks to the billions of dollars they raised, telethons genuinely helped some people. ... And they put people with disabilities, long hidden away at home, in public in ways unprecedented in history. Indeed, thanks to the programs, many people with disabilities discovered other people like them for the first time," Kudlick wrote. "But the good was far outweighed by the toll it took on disabled people. The organizations raised this badly needed money by playing on viewers' emotions to show disability as horrific and creepy. ... Meanwhile, people with disabilities were cast as helpless and pathetic victims of tragedy. ... Or they were heroic, brave overcomers who did everything they could to prove they weren't really disabled. Whether victims or heroes, people with disabilities had no voice other than to reinforce messages of the able-bodied hosts and celebrities who depended upon disabled people to be victims of tragedy."

Rumors and innuendo

Associate Professor of Broadcast Communication Arts Miriam Smith commented on how quickly false accusations spread via social media for a July 9 KTVU report. "We need a big educational process that there are credible sources of information [and] that's where people should turn before reacting to what they hear. Everything else we can consider to be rumors and innuendo until it's verified," Smith said. "We can't react instantaneously to everything we hear."

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

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SF State received $336,584 in grants and contracts in June 2016.

Frederico Ardila, Mathematics, National Science Foundation, Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI): Algebraic and Geometric Aspects of Matroids, Polytopes and Arrangements, $269,948

Rita Melendez, Sexuality Studies and Sociology, University of California Berkeley, Assessment of Latino Immigrant Laborers in Rural California, $9,375

Christina Ruotolo, Humanities, German Fulbright Commission, 2016 American Studies Fulbright Institute, $47,461

Patrick Tierney, Recreation, Parks, and Tourism, State of California Department of Parks and Recreation, Aquatic Center Grant FY 2015-16, $9,800

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