September 18, 2017


High marks for SF State

SF State is among the top 10 national universities for its racially and ethnically diverse student body, according to the newest U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges rankings. The School of Engineering was awarded a spot in the top 100 among schools that don't offer a doctorate, while the College of Business was included in the top 200. Other rankings: SF State was 20th in physical therapy, 37th in rehabilitation counseling, 71st in social work, 81st in speech-language pathology, 96th in public affairs and 114th in fine arts.

In addition, the School of Cinema recently came in at 22nd on The Hollywood Reporter's annual Top 25 American Film Schools list.

Future State Vision Plan presentation, Sept. 25

The campus community is invited to an overview of progress on the campus master plan. A presentation on Monday, Sept. 25, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in LIB 121 will provide a look at the Future State Vision Plan, while interactive games and surveys related to the plan will be offered in the lobby of the Cesar Chavez Student Center from noon to 4 p.m. the same day. The presentation will be repeated from 6 to 7 p.m.

Starting with interactive sessions online and in person during Ideas Week in early May, followed by group interviews, the University developed planning alternatives shared in public workshops in July. The most compelling ideas were shaped into a single, unified plan. Identified are sites for close-in housing, future academic buildings, expanded student services, interior and exterior seating and a variety of study and recreational spaces, which will all contribute to the strength of the campus community.

Read more about the Future State master plan online.

Support for DREAMers

Funding grants are available for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students who need financial assistance with renewal application fees. The grants are being provided by the San Francisco-based nonprofit the Mission Asset Fund in partnership with the Weingart Foundation, a nonprofit grant-making foundation. The deadline to apply for renewals is Oct. 5. There are currently 2,000 scholarships available to CSU, UC and CCC students. More information is available online.

Thousands of students get on board with OneCard/Gator Pass

The OneCard/Gator Pass -- the new student ID cards -- officially launched on Aug. 19 during Welcome Week. Students with the new Gator Pass are able to enjoy unlimited SF Muni rides and 25 percent off BART rides to or from the Daly City BART Station during the fall and spring semesters. In addition to being a Clipper card, the Gator Pass has all the same campus OneCard functions as the previous ID card.

Since the successful initial distribution event in early May, approximately 25,000 students have picked up their Gator Pass. Statistics show that approximately 14,000 students have activated their benefits on SF Muni and 7,000 on BART. SF Muni is seeing an increase in ridership as more and more students are commuting using their new OneCard/Gator Pass. Students can pick up their new OneCard/Gator Pass at the OneCard office (SSB 103) anytime from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The project team would like to thank all of the participants and volunteers as well as UCorp, Administration & Finance, Associated Students, Information Technology Services, Procurement, the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, Student Affairs and Enrollment Management and everyone else who made this possible.

Annual open enrollment in progress

This year, open enrollment started on Sept. 11 and will end on Oct. 6. During open enrollment, eligible faculty and staff may:

  • Change health and/or dental plans
  • Add eligible dependents to new or existing health and/or dental plans
  • Renew or enroll in flexible spending programs
  • Update their Health Care Reimbursement (HCRA) or Dependent Care Reimbursement (DCRA) (Currently enrolled employees must submit new enrollment forms for HCRA/DCRA during open enrollment to continue deductions for 2018.)

Any changes made during Open Enrollment will become effective Jan. 1, 2018.

For details on the changes for 2018, including new rate information and enrollment forms, please visit the Human Resources Open Enrollment webpage. Employees are urged to carefully review their health plan's Evidence of Coverage (EDC) publication for a complete explanation of the benefits covered, as well as limitations and exclusions that may apply, before deciding to retain their existing plan or make a change. Eligible employees should receive a CalPERS open enrollment brochure in the mail soon. The brochure may also be downloaded from the CalPERS website. Benefit and Retirement Services staff are available for drop-in visits and appointments regarding open enrollment on Wednesdays between 2 and 4 p.m.

CoSE faculty members snag NSF grant

Electrical Engineering Assistant Professor Jin Ye and her collaborators Associate Professor Cheng Chen, Associate Professor Ed Cheng and Assistant Professor Hao Yue from the College of Science and Engineering (CoSE) have been awarded $297,318 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program to acquire a highly scalable and configurable, computationally efficient simulation and experimental testing platform. This new system will enable a diverse multi-user community of engineers, computer scientists and student researchers to develop and evaluate complex systems and/or physical components in an integrated fashion. It will create well-equipped research environments that integrate research and research training and provide crucial research infrastructure needed to catalyze cross-disciplinary collaborations among faculty members and initiate or strengthen their collaborations with prime research institutions and industrial partners.

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Be part of International Education Week 2017

The Office of International Programs invites the campus community to submit proposals for the 18th annual celebration of International Education Week (IEW), to be held Nov. 13-17. Examples of needed activities include:

  • Organizing open classroom events, including lectures on international topics or topics that involve the world's cultures, politics, geography, languages, art, music, film, etc., that can be audited by members of the campus community
  • Hosting internationally themed events, such as cultural demonstrations, music, dance lessons, fashion shows and lectures
  • Offering extra credit to students for their active participation in IEW events or integrating participation into class projects

The U.S. departments of State and Education sponsor IEW to emphasize the importance of increasing knowledge and awareness of the world's cultures, peoples and languages. It also affirms the critical role that international education and exchange programs play in fostering peace throughout the world. Learn more about IEW, how SF State celebrated IEW last year and ways to participate. Contact Jay Ward at ext. 8-1121 or with questions or to request a presentation about International Education Week at an upcoming department faculty/staff meeting. More information about IEW 2017, including the online "event proposal form," will be available soon.

College of Ethnic Studies launches new scholarship

The College of Ethnic Studies is proud to announce the establishment of the Jerry Wayne Varnado Ethnic Studies Scholarship. Established by Jerry R. Varnado in honor of his father, Jerry Wayne Varnado, the scholarship fund recognizes and assists promising undergraduate students in the College of Ethnic Studies who are preparing to be productive and socially conscious members of society. The fund will award $6,000 annually: $3,000 in the fall and $3,000 in the spring. More information is available online.

Jerry Wayne Varnado received a B.A. in economics from SF State in 1969 and later earned a law degree from the University of California, Hastings. During his time here, he was involved with the Negro Students Association and co-founded the Black Student Union (BSU). In 1968, he and his fellow BSU leaders, in coalition with the Third World Liberation Front, other students, faculty and community members, organized the student strike that paved the way for the founding of the College of Ethnic Studies.

Faculty trainings on academic probation policy, beginning Sept. 20

All faculty are invited to learn more about the new academic probation policy starting at SF State this fall. Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education Kim Altura will lead several one-hour training sessions focusing on the new policy. She will also discuss mandatory advising each semester, how to best work with probation students and the new special consideration appeal process. All faculty serving as academic advisors to undergraduates are encouraged to attend a training session.

Register online through Eventbrite by clicking on the date and time you wish to attend.

Wednesday, Sept. 20: 11 a.m. to noon, LIB 222

Friday, Sept. 22: 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., LIB 222

Monday, Sept. 25: 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., LIB 222

Tuesday, Oct. 3: 11 a.m. to noon, LIB 222

Thursday, Oct. 5: 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., LIB 244

UndocuAlly trainings for staff and faculty, Oct. 2 and Nov. 28

Staff and faculty are invited to participate in an UndocuAlly training this semester. These trainings are designed to guide the SF State community in learning how to support the undocumented student population. Participants will receive an overview of immigration history, recent legislation and ways to support DREAMers while hearing the stories of enrolled SF State students and learning about resources available for current and prospective undocumented students. Space is limited, so interested staff and faculty members are asked to register online in advance.

"The Business of Entertainment," Sept. 26

Tiffany Smith-Anoa'I, executive vice president of CBS Entertainment Diversity, Inclusion & Communications, will be on campus later this month to give a talk titled "The Business of Entertainment." Scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 26, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in Knuth Hall in the Creative Arts building, the talk is being presented by CBS Entertainment in partnership with the CSU Entertainment Alliance. Those interested in attending can register for a free ticket on Eventbrite.

36th Annual Benefits and Wellness Fair, Oct. 4

Human Resources will host the 36th Annual Benefits and Wellness Fair on Wednesday, Oct. 4, from noon to 2 p.m. in the first floor lobby and second floor of the Administration Building. The fair provides faculty and staff an opportunity to explore the range of available employee benefits and speak with representatives from University-sponsored health, dental, life, vision and financial plans.

OER Discussion Series Part 1: Sharing Your OER Ideas, Oct. 5

Did you know thataccording to a 2017 survey of 1,640 students, 79 percent of SF State students reported that the cost of instructional materials causes them stress? Come to a discussion-based event on Thursday, Oct. 5, from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in LIB 286 to learn from other faculty and brainstorm ways to reduce the cost of your course materials using Open Educational Resources (OER). OER faculty ambassadors will be on hand to help you develop your projects.

Lunch will be provided. Register online.

Visit the Affordable Learning website to learn more.

First aid/CPR/AED certification, Oct. 20

Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) will be hosting an all-day first aid/CPR/AED certification class on Friday, Oct. 20 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The class will be held in LIB121, and lunch will be provided by EHS to all-day attendees. During two, four-hour sessions, the course will cover airway management, rescue breathing, CPR, first aid, personal protective equipment and automated external defibrillators. Interested? Send an RSVP to Jeffrey Madigan at

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The following are the action items for the Sept. 5 Academic Senate meeting:

  • Senator Yee-Melichar announced a conference sponsored by Sacramento State University on Oct. 5 called "Crossroads: Homelessness in California."
  • Pres. Wong read a note to go out to all employees and students about his response to the federal government's discontinuation of DACA. He noted that faculty are not required to answer questions by immigration agents who come onto campus. He also read the statement distributed by Chancellor White on the same issue and asked for the support of the senate and campus community to make sure that students hear about and meet important deadlines. As of this fall, there are 731 DREAMers at SF State.
  • Update on CSUEU contract negotiations from Sandee Noda, president of CSUEU's SF State chapter, and Russell Kilday-Hicks, organizing chair for the chapter. Noda informed the senate about the distance between CSUEU and management and the possibility of a strike action. Additional updates about the bargaining process can be found on the CSUEU website. Noda also expressed concerns about why staff were not invited to the opening faculty meeting at the beginning of the semester.
  • Overview of Senate Processes from Teddy Albiniak, vice chair of the senate.
  • Update on Executive Committee appointments from Academic Senate Chair Nancy Gerber.
  • Academic Senate Plenary Committee appointments. The Senate confirmed the appointment of the following committee members:
    • Baccalaureate Requirements Committee: Erik Rosegard (HSS)
    • Board of Appeals and Review: No nominations o Center of Equity and Excellence in Teaching and Learning Board: Aiko Yoshino (HSS)
    • Enrollment Management Committee: Belinda Reyes (ETHS) for faculty three-year term, no nominations for a department chair one-year term
    • Graduate Council: The senate voted twice for this nomination and the vote was tied twice. Senator Wilson moved that the senate appoint Jennifer Shea as the plenary appointment and Ellen Hines as the EPC appointment. The motion passed.
    • University Budget Committee: Andrew Ichimura (COSE), Darlene Yee-Melichar (HSS), Genie Stowers (GCOE), Jerry Shapiro (HSS)
  • Standing Committee reports
    • Academic Policies Committee: The committee set goals for the year. Members will look at discontinuance for the certificate in public accountancy. They will be also looking at the calendar policy, EO 1110, academic master plan, standard time blocks, syllabus policy, assignment deadlines policy, hybrid course space policy, culminating experience and grade appeals policy.
    • Curriculum Review and Approval Committee: The committee will also be looking at the proposed M.S. in Business Analytics, the minor in Comic Studies, the MFA in BECA and the B.A. in Race and Resistance Studies. Members will also be looking at the field trip policy and past curriculum policies and hope to see more program revisions from departments that went through the Teagle program.
    • Faculty Affairs Committee: Six potential agenda items were identified for the year -- leave-with-pay policy, GTA tuition waivers, UTPC representation, service in RTP policy, evidence of teaching effectiveness in RTP policy and connections with CEETL.
    • Strategic Issues Committee: The committee also set goals for the year. Members will work toward implementing the budget transparency report from last year and begin investigation into establishing points of access for campus stakeholders into the budget process. They have also identified campus safety as an important issue to focus on, as well as the challenges for recruiting and retaining faculty, admin and staff members.

The Academic Senate will meet again on 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:


  • Jason Wu, chief of police, University Police Department, will provide a safety update at 2:20 p.m.
  • Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Jennifer Summit will offer a report on the Academic Affairs Budget Advisory Council (BAC) at approximately 2:40 p.m.
  • Associate Director of International Programs Jay Ward will discuss International Education Week.
  • James Martel, president of the SF State Chapter of the California Faculty Association, will speak at approximately 4 p.m.

Agenda items:

  • Discontinuance in Certificate of Public Accountancy – Educational Policies Council
  • Academic Calendar Summer 2018 – Academic Policies Committee

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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Monday, Sept. 18

Rights and Wrongs: A Constitution and Citizenship Day Conference at San Francisco State University: panel discussions, roundtables and more starting at 9:30 a.m.: full schedule available online

College of Science and Engineering Graduation Workshop: 10 a.m. in SCI 146

Keynote presentation by Robin D.G. Kelley: Rights and Wrongs: A Constitution and Citizenship Day Conference at San Francisco State University: 4 p.m. in Jack Adams Hall, Cesar Chavez Student Center

Tuesday, Sept. 12

Rights and Wrongs: A Constitution and Citizenship Day Conference at San Francisco State University:

College of Science and Engineering Graduation Workshop: 3 p.m. in ADM 103

Keynote presentation by Shirin Sinnar: Rights and Wrongs: A Constitution and Citizenship Day

Wednesday, Sept. 13

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

Thursday, Sept. 14

College of Science and Engineering Graduation Workshop: 2 p.m. in ADM 103

Reception: Make; Teach; Make Teach; Design Faculty Show V01: 6 p.m. in the Design Space (FA 115)

Poetry reading: Douglas Kearney and Tatiana Luboviski-Acosta: 7 p.m. in the Poetry Center, Humanities building

Friday, Sept. 22

College of Science and Engineering Graduation Workshop: 11 a.m. in ADM 103

Saturday, Sept. 23

Opening reception: Recollected: Photography and the Archive: 1 p.m. in the Fine Arts Gallery, Fine Arts building

For more upcoming events, see the University Calendar.

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College of Ethnic Studies

Professor of Africana Studies Dorothy Tsuruta presented a paper titled "Gwendolyn Brooks' Regional and Radial Maud Martha" at the American Literature Association Symposium on Regionalism and Place in American Literature, which took place in New Orleans on Sept. 8. In her presentation, she explored the self-defining choices made by the main character in Gwendolyn Brooks' novella "Maud Martha." Tsuruta placed the protagonist within the context of the Midwest, here Chicago. Her paper focused on Brooks' "Maud Martha" as a Black Chicago womanist story, which in the manner of regional identities has its own personality formed by the preponderance of contributions to its identity. The paper was well received, demonstrating "just as there is a Chicago sound in jazz, so too there is a Chicago sound in the human groove such as evoked aesthetically in 'Maud Martha.'"

College of Liberal & Creative Arts

Department of Creative Writing Professor Maxine Chernoff has published her 16th book of poems, "Camera" (Subito Press). Her previous book, "Here," was a finalist for the Northern California Book Award.

Heather June Gibbons, a lecturer in the Department of Creative Writing, has been awarded the 2017 Agha Shahid Ali Poetry Prize for her poetry collection "Sound Is a Pressure Wave." The book will be published by the University of Utah Press in spring 2018.

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The Pay Area

Assistant Professor of Sociology Valerie Francisco-Menchavez and her family are the focus of a Vice video about the high cost of living in the Bay Area. "We are living in a University-subsidized apartment. So that's why we have it a little cheaper," Francisco-Menchavez said in the five-minute video. "But it's still a one-bedroom apartment. For four people it's a little tight, right? I've lived in many major cities and I've lived in San Francisco before. But this time around it's super hard to find affordable housing."

Hungry for Meaning

Hungry for Meaning Associate Professor of American Indian Studies Melissa Nelson was quoted in a New York Times article about a tribal cultural camp in Northern California. "Young people are hungry for meaning," said Nelson, a Turtle Mountain Chippewa and president of the indigenous rights organization, the Cultural Conservancy. "The opportunity to do hands-on work with abalone, clam beads, pine nuts and other materials is a thread to a healthier and more sustainable way of being in the world."

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

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

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SF State received $2,127,157 in grants and contracts in August 2017.

William Cochlan, Romberg Tiburon Center & Biology, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Cruise, $7,000

Leticia Maria Marquez-Magana, Antwi Aaron Akom, Biology, National Institutes of Health, Health Equity Action Research Trajectory (HEART) & Social Innovations and Urban Opportunities Lab (SOUL): Enabling full representation in biomedical Big Data science, $950,474

AKM Newaz, Physics and Astronomy, National Science Foundation, RUI: Atomically thin monolayer semiconductors for ultrasensitive UV photodetectors, $299,977

Andrea Swei, Biology, National Science Foundation, EAGER: Tick-host interactions and the role of host blood meal in pathogen transmission, $200,000

Patrick Tierney, Recreation, Parks & Tourism, Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District Visitor Study, $36,706

Michael Vasey, Romberg Tiburon Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, FY 17/18 NERRS Federal Award, $633,000

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