September 30, 2016


Strategic changes in University Development

The Office of University Development will strategically expand San Francisco State’s presence and outreach in Southern California in the near future. Toward that end, Anne Harris has been appointed to the new position of executive director of regional advancement for Southern California to build relationships with prospective donors, foundations and industry leaders and more than 20,000 SF State alumni. “I am delighted to announce that Anne Harris will lead this new initiative," Vice President for University Advancement Robert Nava said. “As associate vice president for development, Anne’s leadership and professionalism have helped transform the development office and prepare us for our first comprehensive campaign. I very much wanted Anne to continue her leadership role at SF State and the campaign.”

To ensure a smooth transition of leadership, Mark Kelleher, currently executive director of development and campaign operations, will assume Harris’ former role of associate vice president for development. Kelleher has been on campus for nine years and has an extensive background in fundraising and campaign management. He will continue the work of the campaign and assume responsibility for fundraising and leadership of the development team. He was recruited as a senior director of development in 2007 to launch the operations components of the newly established development office in addition to starting up new cross-campus and college fundraising efforts.

Harris and Kelleher will assume their new roles effective Nov. 1.

Office hours for faculty to meet with general education director

Director of General Education Catriona Rueda Esquibel will hold weekly office hours on Tuesdays from 3 to 5 p.m. in ADM 450 to meet with interested faculty who are proposing general education courses. Additional times are available by appointment. To request an appointment or pose a question, email

Lunch and Learn with EH&S and ERM, Oct. 4

Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) will host a series of Lunch and Learn events with an emphasis on best practices to mitigate risk on campus.

The first Lunch and Learn, Driver Safety: Procedures and Best Practices, will be held Tuesday, Oct. 4, from noon to 1 p.m. in LIB 121. It will feature Environmental Health & Safety’s (EHS) Victoria Ramos, who administers the University’s Driver Safety Program in addition to her responsibilities as worker’s compensation manager. The Driver Safety Program establishes policies and procedures governing employee use of private and University-owned vehicles for business, University-sponsored field trips and foreign and domestic travel to ensure the safety of employees, students and the public and comply with CSU and California mandates. The discussion will cover:

  • Authorized drivers
  • How to become an authorized driver
  • Students and volunteers
  • Field trips
  • Auxiliary organizations
  • The Employer Pull Notice Program
  • Insurance      
  • Claims

Bring a lunch and share in this opportunity to break some bread and discuss how to keep campus a safe place for everyone. Email suggestions for the next Lunch and Learn topic to Solinna Kim.

Coffee Hour with Interim Provost Jennifer Summit, Oct. 7

Interested faculty are invited to meet with Interim Provost Jennifer Summit on Friday, Oct. 7, from 10 to 11 a.m. at Peet’s Coffee in the Library to talk about any topics of concern or commitment. Come pull up a chair for a group discussion. No appointment necessary. Please send an email to if you will be joining our provost.

SF State Mobile app updated

Information Technology Services (ITS) has released the updated SF State Mobile app, which includes integration with Campus Solutions allowing students to find, add/drop/swap classes, view grades and edit their personal information. The free app, which also boasts a fresh new look and more user-friendly navigation, is available for download from the App Store or Google Play by searching “SF State Mobile.” More information about the app can be found at

ITS thanks Project Director Wendy Chapman and the Web & Mobile Applications team for their work on this successful release. Read more about the SF State app. Questions? Feedback? Email

Student Success in the Majors grants

The Student Success in the Majors grants initiative supports faculty in targeted reflection on and redesign of their curricula to better support student success. Grants of $5,000 to $7,000 will be awarded to departments to support faculty in making curricular revisions that will be implemented in 2017-18. Proposed curricular changes must be approved by the college dean or designee and submitted to the Office of Undergraduate Education and Academic Planning by Friday, Oct. 28. Awardees will be selected by a faculty committee. Learn more about the grantsRead the original Student Success in the Majors grants announcement.

One week left for CalPERS open enrollment

Open enrollment for benefits will end Oct. 7. 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 2017.

Important note: Blue Shield NetValue (HMO) will not be offered in 2017. Current enrollees will be automatically moved into the Blue Shield Access+ health plan if they do not make a change during open enrollment. Most providers currently participating in Blue Shield NetValue also participate in the Blue Shield Access+ health plan. This change in plans will affect the amount employees pay for their insurance.

New rate information and enrollment forms are available on the Human Resources website.

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 during the following hours:

  • Tuesdays: 9 – 11 a.m.
  • Wednesdays: 2 – 4 p.m.

Celebrate health and wellness with the SF State community, Oct. 4

Health Promotion & Wellness will host its first big event on Tuesday, Oct. 4, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Malcolm X Plaza and the Quad. Learn about upcoming activities and opportunities to stay healthy throughout the year. Festivities will include therapy dogs (and a therapy cat), giant lawn games, food tastings, massages, art, music and giveaways. For more information, visit Health Promotion & Wellness is a new unit of Student Affairs/Enrollment Management that provides health education for the campus community through health initiatives and programming.

Be Part of International Education Week 2016

The Office of International Programs invites the campus community to submit proposals for the 17th annual celebration of International Education Week (IEW), to be held Nov. 14-18. 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 an internationally themed event, 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 at 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. Additional information about IEW 2016 is also available by visiting the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational Cultural Affairs website. More information about IEW 2016 will be available soon.

Become a Safe Zone ally

The SF State Safe Zone program is looking for staff, faculty and administrators to become Safe Zone allies for the campus LGBTQQIA community. Read more about volunteering for the Safe Zone.

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Bayesian Estimation in R, Oct. 3

Professor of Biology Edward F. Connor will present “Bayesian Estimation in R,” a brief introduction to the concept of estimation using Bayes’ theories, which allow correcting test results for the skew introduced by false positives to estimate the real chance of the event occurring. The presentation will be held Monday, Oct. 3, from noon to 1 p.m. in LIB 286.

To reserve a spot for the event (and a free lunch), RSVP by email to Can’t come for the entire event? No problem: Drop-ins are welcome but also are encouraged to RSVP to ext. 5-3995. For more information, contact Richard Harvey at ext. 8-3478 or Edward Connor at ext. 8-6997.

This presentation is sponsored by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs through its funding of the SF State Statistics Community of Representative Researchers Research Cluster (Stat CORR). Stat CORR hosts meetings, workshops and training clinics to foster and promote the dissemination of quantitative and qualitative research skills. It aims to connect faculty and staff with specialized methodological knowledge with those seeking assistance designing new research projects, completing data analysis or developing, submitting and revising extramural grants.

ePortfolio Lunch and Learn, Oct. 3

An ePortfolio Lunch and Learn event will be held Monday, Oct. 3, from noon to 1 p.m. in LIB 286. Participants will enjoy a free lunch and learn how faculty are using ePortfolio as a platform to support student success through assessment, reflection and bridging academic work to future goals. RSVP by Sept. 28 for the ePortfolio event. Questions? Email

Africana Studies presents “Mbongi Talk,” Oct. 5

Many African American family researchers are unclear about the nature of the ancient African family paradigm, though some assert that African families were matriarchal while others conclude that African families were patriarchal. Professor Emeritus of Ethnic Studies Oba T’Shaka will present his empirical research on various regions of Africa as it relates to African American families in a “Mbongi Talk” presentation entitled “Twin-Lineal Families: The Historical and Cultural Paradigm for African and African American Families.” The presentation is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 5, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in room 116 of the Ethnic Studies/Psychology Building.

SF BUILD Dialogue, Oct. 5

The SF BUILD Research Enrichment Core will host an SF BUILD Dialogue Oct. 5 from noon to 1:30 p.m. in LIB 244. The discussion will center on the intersectionality of race/ethnicity, sexuality and gender and its effects on health. SF BUILD Dialogue is an interdisciplinary forum for SF State and UCSF faculty and relevant partners to engage in intellectual exchange and to present knowledge of local and state health disparities. Faculty from SF State and UCSF are invited to share their work to stimulate ideas and opportunities for interdisciplinary innovation and new research collaborations between institutions. RSVP for the SF BUILD Dialogue by Sept. 28.

WGS lecture series schedule

The Department of Women and Gender Studies (WGS) has resumed its lecture series on Wednesdays from 12:35 to 1:50 p.m. in HUM 119. Upcoming lectures include:

  • Oct. 5: Assistant Professor of Feminist Studies and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies Nick Mitchell (UC Santa Cruz)
  • Oct. 12: “Pattern Recognition: The Art of Gender Self-Determination” by Assistant Professor of History and Theory of Contemporary Art Nicole Archer (San Francisco Art Institute)

The Buffalo Field Campaign is coming to SF State, Oct. 5

The Buffalo Field Campaign is a coalition of native and non-native activists working to stop the slaughter and harassment of the last herd of wild buffalo in the country. There were once more than 60 million buffalo in the country before they were systematically destroyed to subdue Native Nations during the Indian Wars. Today there are only a few thousand. In 2016, the U.S. Congress and President Barack Obama designated the bison as America’s national mammal, yet they are still shot and hazed even though the Yellowstone bison are the only wild, genetically intact herd in the country.

The campus community is invited to learn more at an event that will feature storytelling and video accompanied by native music from Mignon Geli and Karaj on Wednesday, Oct. 5, from 4 to 6 p.m. in LIB 121. Questions? Email Phil Klasky.

Climate Justice Speaker Series

The Climate Justice Initiative and the “Race, Activism and Climate Justice” course (RRS 276) present the fall 2016 Climate Justice Speaker Series, which will be held Wednesdays from 7:10 to 8:30 p.m. in HSS 130. The events are open to the campus community and the public. The fall schedule includes:

Oct. 5: Brooke Anderson with Movement Generation is both a labor organizer and climate justice advocate working to transform the U.S. labor movement into a powerful champion for climate justice.

Oct. 19: Jessica Tovar with the Local Clean Energy Alliance and Communities for a Better Environment in Oakland is working to bring renewal energy independence to Bay Area communities.

Oct. 26: Pennie Opal Plant with Idle No More is a leader in the indigenous rights movement and co-founder of the Idle No More SF Bay and Bay Area Rights of Nature Alliance, and organizer of the Refinery Corridor Healing Walks.

Nov. 2: Yin Htin with the Divestment Student Network graduated from SF State and Nick Jara with Fossil Free SF State advocate for divestment from fossil fuel investments.

Nov. 9: Rochelle Diver with the International Indian Treaty Council is an indigenous scholar and leader and human rights, climate justice and environmental health activist.

The series is sponsored by the San Francisco State University Climate Justice Initiative. For more information contact Phil Klasky at

Third annual Women’s Emerging Leadership Forum, Oct. 6-7

The College of Business will host a two-day leadership forum for women who aspire to take on leadership roles. The event will provide an engaging environment for participants to come together, share knowledge, enhance their leadership skills and expand their professional network. Participants will learn how to capture new opportunities for career and personal growth, develop mentor-mentee relationships and become key contributors and leaders in their organizations.

The Women’s Emerging Leadership Forum will be held Thursday, Oct. 6, and Friday, Oct. 7, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the downtown campus. Fees are $50 for current students, $145 for SF State alumni and $195 general admission. Go to Eventbrite for registration.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Retention and Education moving forward, Oct. 7

The campus community is invited to an event about an Asian American & Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) federally funded grant project for Asian American and Pacific Islander Retention and Education (ASPIRE) Friday, Oct. 7, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in EP 116.

ASPIRE is a collaboration between the Asian American Studies Department and the Student Affairs & Enrollment Management cabinet area. ASPIRE has been designed to address and promote college access and success by identifying and removing institutional barriers for high-need AANAPI and low-income students. The project team will share background for the undertaking and review data on AANAPI student educational progress as well as proposed interventions and a project timeline for ASPIRE. ASPIRE was funded by a U.S. Department of Education grant. Questions? Email Grace Yoo.

Graduate College of Education open house: Teachers Make the Future Happen, Oct. 8

The Graduate College of Education asks faculty and staff to encourage students who are interested in teaching to attend a “Teachers Make the Future Happen” open house on Saturday, Oct. 8, from 9 a.m. to noon in the Student Life Event Center (Annex 1). Participants are asked to register for the free event at For more information, email

Affordable Instructional Materials (AIM) Awareness Lunch and Learn, Oct. 12

Do students avoid purchasing required textbooks because they cost too much? Join Academic Technology (AT) Oct. 12 from noon to 1:30 p.m. in LIB 121 for lunch (provided) and learn how to reduce course costs while getting funding and stipends for doing so. Learn more about the AIM Awareness Lunch and LearnRSVP for the AIM event.

Promotion and Tenure Celebration, Oct. 13

Academic Affairs invites the campus community to a celebration honoring faculty members who were granted tenure and/or received a promotion during the 2016-17 academic year. The celebration will be held from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 13, in the Vista Room. Refreshments will be served. Download a full list of honoreesRSVP for the Promotion and Tenure Celebration online.

“In the Next Room (a.k.a. The Vibrator Play)," Oct. 13-23

Electricity is making the dark shadows bright and the unseen visible in “In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play)” by Sarah Ruhl. Underpinning this Victorian parlor comedy about vibrators are deeper observations about racism, classism and the subjugation of women. In this animated and heady world opportunities await. Open the door to the next room and discover a new way of understanding self, love, marriage and the world. The play will be performed in the Little Theatre (Creative Arts) Oct. 13-23. View the play’s webpage for times and costs.

Pre-show discussion, Oct. 16

Was “mansplaining” alive in the 1880’s? Join a a panel of the faculty and students discussing Sarah Ruhl’s play “In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play)" at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 16, in The Lab (CA 104). Admission to the pre-show discussion is free. 

Distinguished Speaker Lecture in Economics “Improving Equality of Opportunity in America: New Lessons from Big Data,” Oct. 14

The Department of Economics will hold the second annual Betty Blecha Memorial Distinguished Lecture in Economics on Friday, Oct. 14, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the McKenna Theatre, Creative Arts. The lecture is free and open to students, faculty and staff.

How can we improve economic opportunities for children growing up in low-income families? Raj Chetty, professor of economics at Stanford University, will discuss findings from the Equality of Opportunity Project, which uses big data to develop new answers to this important policy question. Chetty is also a recipient of the MacArthur Genius Fellowship and the John Bates Clark Medal, given by the American Economic Association to the best American economist under age 40.

The presentation will show that children’s opportunities to climb the income ladder vary substantially depending upon where they grow up in the United States and identify factors that contribute to this geographic variation in opportunities for upward mobility. The talk will conclude by offering specific policy lessons for how the promise of the “American Dream” can be restored for America’s next generation. Download the event flyer for more information. Questions? Email questions to Venoo Kakar.

Save the date: Women’s Leadership Conference, Oct. 21

The SF State Women’s Leadership Conference will take place on Friday, Oct. 21 at Seven Hills Conference Center. Staff, faculty and students are welcome to attend this free all-day conference, which will feature breakout sessions focusing on personal and career development. Registration opens on Wednesday, Oct. 5, at 10 a.m. For more information, visit the conference web page.

Book talk and signing: “Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America,” Oct. 24

Africana Studies will host a book talk and signing on Saturday, Oct. 24, at 11:30 a.m. in EP 116. This Mbongi talk will feature the new book “Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America” by Professor Ibram X. Kendi from the University of Florida. Kendi also authored “The Black Campus Movement” and has written op-eds for outlets such as Salon, The Huffington Post and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Taste of the Bay has new dates

Celebrating its 20th year, the annual Taste of the Bay event will return to City View at METREON. Though normally held in November, the next Taste of the Bay event will have a fresh new look and a new date: Thursday, March 16, 2017, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Check out more at

The Hospitality and Tourism Management students and program bring together the best of the Bay Area’s restaurant chefs, wineries and beverage and dessert companies to please participants’ palates. The evening includes live and silent auctions featuring the best in creative and exciting travel, dining and entertainment packages. Purchase discount early bird tickets now for $65 per person. The discount ends Dec. 31.

Last day to reserve for additional free amenities on 2017 scholarship cruise

Register today to receive additional amenities from Oceania, such as free onboard internet access and a choice of four free shore excursions or a beverage package or shipboard credits. Those who reserve after today will still receive the University Women’s Association (UWA) group-exclusive amenities for all participants, including pre-paid gratuities, a $100 spa or shipboard credit and a “Dollars for Scholars” contribution by Oceania for every 15 participants. Airfare is included in the 12-day “Adriatic Embrace” cruise package.

Also, cruise prices have been reduced by approximately $800 per person.

  • Inside G, now $4,199/person (was $4,999)
  • Window C2, now $5,099/person (was $5,999)
  • Veranda B2, now $6,099/person (was $6,899)

The Oceania Cruises ship Sirena will sail from Aug. 30 to Sept. 11, 2017. The cruise’s destination-intensive itinerary 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. For more information, visit or email Lin Ivory.

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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:

  • Chair’s report
  • Information Item: Report from the Standard Time Block Task Force.
  • Recommendation from the Faculty Affairs Committee regarding proposed revisions to the Retention, Tenure and Promotion Policy (first reading).
  • Committee elections:
    • Board of Appeals and Review (two plenary faculty appointees, 2016-18):
      • Samuel McCormick, Communication Studies.
      • Patrick Tierney, Recreation, Parks, and Tourism.
    • Enrollment Management Committee (one plenary faculty/chair appointment):
      • Rene Dahl, Child & Adolescent Development.
  • Standing Committee reports
    • Academic Policies Committee
    • Curriculum Review and Approval Committee
    • Faculty Affairs Committee
    • Strategic Issues Committee
    • Student Affairs Committee

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

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Advising Resource Center

Over the summer, Academic Advisor and Lecturer Jennifer Arin interviewed the French marquis who owns the chateau de Cheverny in the Loire Valley, which has a permanent Tintin exhibit. The interview was published on the official Tintin site.

Creative Writing

Professor of Creative Writing Nona Caspers received the 2016 Mary McCarthy Award for her manuscript of short fiction “Alley Story.” The manuscript was also a finalist for the Prairie Schooner Book Prize.


School of Music Lecturer Paul Ellison was appointed editor of The Beethoven Journal, the award-winning biannual periodical of the American Beethoven Society. He is only the second person to hold the position, having served as associate editor since 2010. The Beethoven Journal is based at the Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies, located at San José State University, where he also teaches musicology.

University Advancement

Vice President for University Advancement Robert Nava participated in the CETYS (Centro de Enseñanza Técnica y Superior) International Seminar on Innovation in Higher Education held Sept. 19-20 at the CETYS Universidad, Mexicali, Mexico. Nava gave a talk on innovation and social responsibility and the SF State Foundation’s historic decision to divest from fossil fuels and move toward more socially responsible investments. He also served on and international education and innovation panel and was invited to participate on a social innovation panel that was moderated by Gerald Reisinger, president of the University of Applied Sciences of Upper Austria. Panel members included Fernando Galván (president, Universidad Alcalá de Henares, Spain), James Harris (president, University of San Diego) and Eda Machado de Souza (president, Instituto de Educación Superior de Brasilia, Brazil). This major international gathering was attended by higher education leaders from North America, Latin American, Europe and Asia.

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Improve how you feel about your job

Research from Assistant Professor of Psychology Kevin Eschleman that suggests that the hobbies employees engage in over the weekend can impact their productivity during the work week was the topic of a Sept. 20 Fast Company report. “A lot of people don’t realize how much variability there really is in their job," Eschelman said. “If you’re having an experience where you haven’t been as creative in your job, you should seek those out in your free time. That’s likely to improve how you feel about your job, and how you feel in your job.”

Staple of American humor

In the Sept. 22 J. Weekly, Professor of English Michael Krasny discussed his new book “Let There Be Laughter: A Treasury of Great Jewish Humor and What It All Means” (William Morrow/HarperCollins Publishers). “There are a lot of Jewish joke books. I wanted to take a more scholarly approach and look at what the jokes mean. I don’t know that there’s much out there that does it with quite the analytic fervor I brought to it,” Krasny explained. “As you delve into the pool of Jewish comics and writers, you realize [Jewish humor] has become a staple of American humor, even though it has its uniqueness and ties in to Jewish heritage and values, whether in America or back in the shtetl.”

Unbelievable high level of fraud

Professor of Management John Sullivan was interviewed about corporate whistleblowing policies in light of the recent Wells Fargo Bank scandal for a Sept. 23 KCBS-AM report. “It’s going to be really hard to get that confidence back, and when you’re recruiting it’s going to have a huge impact,” Sullivan said. “Who wants to work for [a company like that]?”

Worse than the Black Plague

Associate Professor of Biology Vance Vredenburg discussed the deadly fungus that has wiped out amphibian species worldwide for the Sept. 24 PRI Science Friday. “These fungi are really unusual in the sense that they infect amphibians and are really the worst case that we know of of a single disease in human history,” Vredenburg said. “So, for example, it makes...what happened with humans and the Black Plague look like a drop in the bucket.”

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

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