November 27, 2017


Purple Out returns

The University's 117th Commencement has been scheduled for Thursday, May 24, 2018, at AT&T Park. The ceremony will be held at the downtown ballpark for the fourth consecutive year, and more than 30,000 graduates, family members and friends are expected to attend. More information about the ceremony can be found at The site will be updated in the months ahead as additional information becomes available.

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.

Holiday Schedule and Campus Closure

SF State will be closed from Dec. 25 through Jan. 1, 2018. All days except Friday, Dec. 29, are covered by observed holidays or informal paid time off. Employees may choose to use the following options in order to receive pay for Dec. 29:

  • Accrued vacation time
  • Accrued comp time (CTO)
  • 2017 personal holiday
  • A dock in pay

Employees who have not used their personal holiday for calendar year 2017 should use that option during the December 2017 pay period (no later than Dec. 31) since the personal holiday cannot be carried over to the next calendar year. The personal holiday must be used in whole-day increments and equals a maximum of eight hours. A new personal holiday is credited to employees each year on Jan. 1 for use during that calendar year.

In accordance with collective bargaining agreements and CSU practice, vacation accumulation in excess of the maximum hours allowed will be forfeited as of Jan. 1, 2018. Employees can view their leave balances via the Employee Self-Service function through the SF Gateway/MySFSU. Once signed in to Self Service, click under My Benefits, then under the Leave Balance link.

Professor named American Mathematical Society fellow

Mathematics Professor Federico Ardilla has been named a 2018 fellow of the American Mathematical Society (AMS). Ardila's recognition as an AMS fellow is an honor shared by just 5 percent of the society's members and makes him one of only two fellows in the California State University system. An organization with more than 28,000 individual and 560 institutional members around the world, the AMS works to promote mathematical research, support math education and foster an awareness of mathematics and its connection to other disciplines and everyday life.

Search for AVP for Academic Affairs begins

The search for a permanent associate vice president for Academic Resources is underway; the position has been posted and advertised in anticipation of a broad, national search. Interim Provost Jennifer Summit is grateful to the members of the search committee:

  • Michael Scott, Associate Vice President, Research and Sponsored Programs and Chair of the Search Committee
  • Ly Chau, Budget Coordinator, Academic Resources
  • Ron Marzke, Chair and Professor, Physics and Astronomy
  • Dylan Mooney, Computer Analyst, Health and Social Science
  • Jay Orendorff, Associate Vice President Business Operations
  • Linda Oubre, Dean, College of Business
  • Todd Roehrman, Chair and Professor, Theatre and Dance
  • Amy Sueyoshi, Associate Dean and Professor, College of Ethnic Studies
  • Linda Wanek, Chair and Professor, Physical Therapy

The committee will begin reviewing applications on Jan. 15, 2018. For position details, go to the Academic Affairs website at

Fire safety alert

SF State's Environment, Health, & Safety (EHS) department reminds the University community that the holiday season is a time of increased fire risk. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has recently ordered a recall of 37 million Kidde fire extinguishers manufactured since 1973. More information is available on the Consumer Product Safety Commission website. You can also learn how to exchange recalled extinguishers for new ones on the EHS website. Another tip from EHS: It's a great time to change the batteries in your fire/smoke alarms.

AmazonSmile program benefits Foundation

Planning on doing some of your holiday shopping online? By buying your presents through on Cyber Monday and throughout this holiday season, you can support the San Francisco State University Foundation, the University organization dedicated to philanthropy. If you sign up for the AmazonSmile program, Amazon will donate .5 percent of your total spending to the foundation. This donation will support University programs, scholarships and facilities and help grow the SF State endowment. Start shopping at

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Enrollment opens at Children's Campus

The Children's Campus at SF State is gearing up for enrollment for the 2018-19 program year. Children's Campus is a child care facility for children ages 6 months to 5 years old. Priority enrollment and discounted tuition are given to SF State faculty and staff. If you are interested in checking out the center, the Children's Campus is offering tours on Tuesday, Dec. 5, and Friday, Dec. 15, both at 10 a.m. Please email to sign up. If you are interested in enrolling your child, please complete the application on the Children's Campus website and email your application to Rosie Schoen at

Deadline for Faculty Retreat proposals, Nov. 30

The deadline to submit a proposal for the 2018 Faculty Retreat is this week. The 2018 Faculty Retreat Planning Team is inviting proposals that honor and share the many ways that SF State embraces its role as a public university and fosters success in times of uncertainty. The retreat will take place on campus on Thursday, Jan. 18, at the J. Paul Leonard Library. As always, all lecturers and tenured/tenure-track faculty are welcome and encouraged to participate in all events.

Submit a proposal, as well as any recent books, creative works or professional achievements you have authored or completed, so you can be recognized at the closing reception. Consider submitting a 70-minute interactive workshop session or affinity group, a five-minute summary of your scholarly or creative work for a lighting round or a five-minute teaching practice for a Great Ideas for Teaching Students (GIFTS) session. All are encouraged to apply. The proposal deadline has been extended to Thursday, Nov. 30.

Visit the Faculty Retreat 2018 webpage to learn more.

Coffee hour with our interim provost, Nov. 30

Faculty are invited to meet with Interim Provost Jennifer Summit. Do you have a question or idea to share? If so, join Interim Provost Summit for a cup of coffee and informal exchange in the Faculty Commons (LIB 286) on Thursday, Nov. 30, from 9 to 10 a.m. Please email if you will attend.

Panel to tackle justice reform, Nov. 30

Project Rebound, in collaboration with the departments of sociology and sexuality studies, will present a discussion of racial disparities and immigration reform from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 30, in the Creative Arts building's McKenna Theatre. Participating in the event, titled "The Process of Justice Reform Starts with Us," will be civil rights attorney Pamela Rice, San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi, AB 540 Dream Coordinator Norma Salcedo, film producer Tamara Perkins, and award-winning director Soumyaa Behrens.

University Budget Committee meeting, Dec. 1

The University Budget Committee (UBC) will meet on Friday, Dec. 1, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in the NEC Room of the Administration Building (ADM 560). The UBC is charged with providing the University president with advice and recommendations related to budget policy, planning and review. UBC meetings are open to the public. There will be a 10-minute open forum period for interested members of the campus community to speak on budget and funding.

Admission-free Verona Quartet concert, Dec. 3

The Verona Quartet will give a free concert at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 3, in the Creative Arts building's McKenna Theatre. Works by Haydn, Currier and Brahms will be performed. Professor Richard Festinger, artistic director of the Morrison Artists Series, will deliver a pre-concert talk in the theatre at 2 p.m.

Hailed by The New York Times as an "outstanding ensemble of young musicians," the Verona Quartet has won top prizes at several international competitions. The quartet's members will lead a master class with students at noon on Monday, Dec. 4, in CA 153.

The events are part of the Morrison Artists Series, the longest-running chamber music series in San Francisco and a program of SF State's Morrison Chamber Music Center.

Reserve your free seats now at or call the SF State Box Office at ext. 8-2467.

Derethia DuVal retirement celebration, Dec. 19

The SF State community is invited to a celebration honoring the accomplishments and contributions of Counseling & Psychological Services Director Derethia DuVal, who is retiring after 25 years with the University. The celebration will be held at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 19, in the Cesar Chavez Student Center's Jack Adams Hall. Please RSVP online.

Academic Technology 2018 Winter Institute, Jan. 9 & 10

Mark your calendars to attend the two-day, in-depth Academic Technology Winter Institute (ATWI) on Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 9 and 10, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in LIB 222. The ATWI is designed for those who are new to iLearn or would like to learn more about the wide array of technology tools and services available to instructors. Lunch and refreshments are included.

Register for Winter Institute 2018.

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College of Science & Engineering

SF State Professor of Biology Kimberly Tanner received the American Society for Cell Biology's (ASCB) 2017 Bruce Alberts Award for Excellence in Science Education. The award is given to individuals who have demonstrated innovative and sustained contributions to science education. ASCB is a network of about 9,000 cell biologists in more than 62 countries dedicated to advancing scientific discovery, advocating for sound research policies, improving education, promoting professional development and increasing diversity in the scientific workforce. Tanner directs the Science Education Partnership and Assessment Laboratory (SEPAL) at SF State, which studies how science is taught and learned in classrooms.

College of Liberal & Creative Arts

Lecturer of Humanities Peter Richardson wrote a widely reprinted article about 1960s political magazine Ramparts and how it inspired the creation of Rolling Stone.

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Teaching That's Not Just by the Numbers

San Francisco State Mathematics Professor Federico Ardila was interviewed about his life, research and teaching philosophy by Quanta Magazine. A native of Colombia, Ardila discussed his efforts to make students from all backgrounds feel comfortable. "In a classroom I'm the professor, and so in some sense I'm the culture keeper," he said. "And one thing that I try to do -- and it's a little bit scary and it's not easy -- is to really try to shift the power dynamic and make sure that students feel like equally powerful contributors to the place. I try to create spaces where we're kind of together constructing a mathematical reality."

Politics as Usual (Just Unusually Early)

California's next gubernatorial election is still a year away, but the gloves are already coming off: Both a Republican and Democratic hopeful have begun attacking early frontrunner Gavin Newsom. A recent San Francisco Chronicle article on the early negativity included comments from Communications Professor Joe Tuman. "It's not surprising when two candidates go after whoever is leading, even without talking with each other, because they recognize that taking Gavin Newsom down a few pegs will help both of them," he said. "The bottom line is get some name recognition."

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

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Bill Evraiff, professor emeritus of counseling, died March 24 in Pollock Pines, California, at the age of 93. He served as chair of the Department of Counseling for 24 years, from 1964 until he entered the faculty early retirement program in 1988. He left the University in 1992.

A quiet giant in the counseling field, Evraiff was a national leader in counselor supervision and counseling program accreditation. He was one of the original developers of the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, now the major accrediting agency for counseling programs in the United States.

As chair, he transformed SF State's Department of Counseling from a small program with two majors to a nationally recognized program with six specializations. He hired many of the faculty who became the base of the department. Evraiff is remembered as a leader who nurtured and supported faculty.

Nicholas J. Certo, former professor and chair of the Department of Special Education, passed away on October 14 after battling cancer for over two years. Certo joined the Department of Special Education in 1992 and served as the chair of the department for 12 years until retiring in 2012. He continued to serve the department in the Faculty Early Retirement Program (FERP) for five years as the intern coordinator for special education teachers. He became a professor emeritus in June 2017. Throughout his career, Certo contributed to improved systems for inclusion of people with disabilities, specifically in the transition to adult living and meaningful employment. With his colleagues and students at the national and regional levels, Certo developed the Transition Services Integration Model, designed to achieve post-high school employment for students with significant disabilities. As a professor and chair, he mentored many junior faculty to succeed in their academic careers and to learn the ropes of the RTP process. Always willing to share his understanding and knowledge of administration, he coached many faculty to understand program management, budgeting processes and program assessment in response to University and program accreditation requirements. However, Certo's generosity and compassion were most expressed with students, as he placed students first and explored all avenues to help each individual navigate pathways to succeed in program completion. In May 2017, the Communicative Disorders Program dedicated the Speech and Language Clinic as the Nicholas J. Certo Communicative Disorders Clinic. Certo's legacy continues in the department and programs that he developed. He is deeply missed by his colleagues and friends in the department, college and University.

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