December 12, 2022

News & Announcements

The words "You're Invited" in front of stylized snowflakes

Due to the possibility of rain later this week, the location for the End of Year Celebration has been changed. Instead of being held at Don Nasser Family Plaza at the Main Gym the event will be in Jack Adams Hall in the Cesar Chavez Student Center. The time remains the same: 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15. President Mahoney and the University Cabinet invite all staff and faculty to attend. Please RSVP via Qualtrics

Those coming to the celebration can bring donations to the University’s holiday toy drive. This year, toys collected will be donated to Oceanview, Merced, Ingleside (OMI) and Lakeview Holiday Toy Giveaway and Celebration. The Office of the President requests that toys donated are new, unwrapped and appropriate for children between the ages of 0 (infant) and 17 years old. Questions or concerns about the toy drive? Contact or

A woman works on a computer

In 2016, President Barak Obama made a national call for more hands-on computer science and math classes to prepare all students for the evolving workforce. SF State Computer Science faculty took the call to heart and started the University’s Computer Science for All (CSforAll) program in partnership with the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD). Now a new $2-million grant from the National Science Foundation will expand the successful program to other California State University (CSU) campuses to bring computer science to more Northern California high schools (CS4NorthCal).

SF State plans to establish a consortium with San Jose State University, Sonoma State University and Sacramento State University. The four CSUs will join forces with WestEd and more than 20 school districts with a goal of preparing and supporting 200 teachers and more than 25,000 high school students.

“Females and people from traditionally underrepresented groups are not well represented in the computing industry. The same pattern actually plays out in high school classrooms,” said Director of SF State’s CSforAll Hao Yue, a professor and associate chair of Computer Science. He explained that part of the issue is the lack of teachers who are specifically trained to provide rigorous computer science instruction and create an inclusive learning environment that can engage all students, particularly female students and students from underrepresented groups.

As part of the original CSforAll initiative, SF State was the first CSU to offer a computer science supplementary authorization. This allowed K – 12 SFUSD teachers to take a handful of classes and earn computer science teaching credentials. Many local participants were from high-need schools and were the first authorized computer science teachers at their schools, Yue said. Since 2018, the program has trained more than 100 K – 12 teachers, 61% female and 36% from underrepresented groups.

“The best way we can support teachers in a lot of areas in Northern California — from urban, suburban and even rural areas — is by supporting the CSU campuses to replicate and scale our successful program to their regions,” Yue said.

Read more about the CSforAll program on SF State News.

Amy Sueyoshi

The Fall/Winter issue of SF State Magazine, now available online, features a Q&A interview with Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Amy Sueyoshi. In it, Sueyoshi discusses what attracted her to the position, the impact she hopes to make as provost, the growth of the queer history field and her personal struggles as a student and what they taught her about teaching.

“I had never been a super successful student. I was more interested in activities outside of the classroom while in high school, and when I got to college I was on academic probation for my first four semesters,” she said. “I plodded along, failing class after class, until I took a class that affirmed my place in the world. I began to cultivate meaningful relationships with faculty and then in my senior year completed a thesis on Angel Island, the immigration station that sits in the San Francisco Bay that processed the Asian immigrants coming to the U.S. A class on women’s history changed the course of my undergraduate failure, and I came to realize that I wanted to use history to show students that they too belonged, not just on a college campus, but in America broadly. It may seem obvious, but curriculum has a powerful impact on whether students stay in school or not.”

Read the full Q&A on the SF State Magazine website

This is the final issue of CampusMemo for 2022. The newsletter will resume weekly publication Tuesday, Jan. 17. See you in 2023!

With nearly 30 years of service with SF State, Associate Vice President for Business Operations Jay Orendorff is set to retire at the end of December. During his tenure with the University, Orendorff held several unique positions. He began in 1994 as an analyst in Institutional Research. From there, he moved into an analyst and later a senior analyst position within the budget office, where he later became director. Orendorff served a brief stint as the director for risk and analytics before moving into his current role as associate vice president for Business Operations. He also spent a year assisting the provost as the interim associate vice president for Academic Resources. 

Orendorff has been an active member of the University community, serving on a number of University-wide committees as well as both the University Corporation and Associated Students’ board of directors. He had many accomplishments throughout his career at SF State, from developing long-range forecasting models to developing the first Institutional Research website. Most recently, he has seen great success in developing his Business Operations departments into meaningful campus contributors. Specifically, Orendorff has championed the creation of full-service Enterprise Risk Management and Environment Health and Safety departments. In addition, he has overseen the creation and roll-out of the Office of Emergency Services. In addition, as the principal investigator he oversaw the largest federal grant in SF State history. Finally, as a parting gift to the campus, through a third party, he has undertaken a full business process rereview of how the campus procures goods and services.

Orendorff is looking forward to some time away from work but doesn’t plan on slowing down.  He will spend more time with friends and family, traveling and helping similar organizations where he can. Please join in wishing him a happy and healthy retirement!

SF State has been recognized for its commitment to helping undergraduate students learn, grow and succeed by Colleges of Distinction, a unique guide for college-bound students. The University was named a 2022-2023 College of Distinction, California College of Distinction and Public College of Distinction. Aside from these overall undergraduate recognitions, SF State earned additional recognition in the areas of Business, Engineering, Nursing, Career Development, Equity & Inclusion and Military Support.

The Colleges of Distinction selection process comprises a sequence of in-depth research and detailed interviews with the schools, accepting only those that adhere to the Four Distinctions: Engaged Students, Great Teaching, Vibrant Community and Successful Outcomes. These principles are all informed by the High-Impact Practices to prioritize the ways that institutions enable students to have a fulfilling, individualized college experience both inside and outside of the classroom.

Artwork related to these recognitions — potentially useful in student outreach and marketing efforts — is available for download in several categories.

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) has implemented a grants management system to streamline and manage proposal development, external funded awards, compliance and financial reporting for grants and contracts within the ORSP office. The system will be opened to faculty to initiate proposals and work with ORSP through the proposal development and submission process.  

ORSP is offering training for all faculty who plan to be active in submitting proposals. The launch date for live submissions will be Feb. 1, 2023. To sign up for the one-hour training, go to the ORSP website, select “Log into Grants Management System” and click on Investigator Training Sign-up Sheet.

Any questions or login issues can be directed to       

The December 2022 CEETL Circles Newsletter is now available. CEETL Circles Newsletter is created by the Center for Equity & Excellence in Teaching & Learning (CEETL) to foster and support Pedagogies for Inclusive Excellence (they call these PIE) at SF State and beyond. Sign up for the CEETL Circles mailing list.

The webinar ‘Preparing for the Shift’: Student Perceptions of Canvas and the Impact of LMS on the University Experience was presented on Wednesday, Dec. 7, in collaboration with the Academic Technology Advisory Council and Academic Technology. Four students were asked to share their perspectives on the campus transition to Canvas. Miss the webinar or want to catch it again? Watch a recording on the University’s Canvas website.

SF State is partnering with Purdue University in the summer of 2023 to host a paid research experience in Eldoret, Kenya, for undergraduate and graduate students. The research will be focused on community-engaged engineering and the design of localized engineering education curricula. This program includes financial support in the form of a weekly, paid research stipend and coverage of all expenses (including travel, food, lodging and activities).

Any SF State student interested in engineering research or STEM education is encouraged to apply. The program application will open in the next few weeks.

Interested students are encouraged to fill out an online contact form. Students will be contacted when the application is released. 

The Academic Senate met Tuesday, Dec. 6, via Zoom. The senate:

  • Passed Resolution in Strong Support of Dr. Darlene Yee-Melichar’s Nomination for CSU Faculty Trustee.
  • Heard in first reading:
    • International Relations (Distance Education Authorization)
    • M.S. in Quantitative Economics (Distance Education Authorization)
    • M.A. in Special Education (Distance Education Authorization)
    • Online Education Policy
    • Tenure Density Policy
    • Changes in Bylaws to Rename Curriculum Review and Approval Committee and to Increase Membership in the Student Affairs Committee.
  • Deferred an item until the next Senate Plenary Jan. 31, 2023:
    • Resolution in Memorial to Dr. Margaret Leahy.

The full agenda, meeting materials and minutes can be found on the senate website.

The University Budget Committee (UBC) will meet Thursday, Dec. 15, via Zoom from 10 a.m. to noon. UBC members also invite you to share input by Dec. 31 about the Reserves & Carryforward Policy draft via the UBC webpage on the Administration & Finance site.

UBC meetings are open to all of the campus community, with a public forum for comment. UBC will also offer “Office Hours” the next day, Friday, Dec. 16, for staff and for faculty/MPPs.

UBC is comprised of your SF State peers: faculty, staff, students and administrators. More information about the UBC can be found on the Administration & Finance website. These virtual meetings welcome persons with disabilities and may provide reasonable accommodations upon request. To RSVP to the UBC meetings or to ask questions about the UBC or its work, please email

The Alumni Association invites you to a free virtual cooking workshop hosted by Hospitality and Tourism Management Associate Professor Sybil Yang Wednesday, Jan. 18, from 6 to 7 p.m. via Zoom. Chefs of all levels are invited to learn how to make two traditional favorites, pork buns and sticky rice, to welcome in the Year of the Rabbit.

Please register online by Friday, Jan. 13.

The Center for Equity and Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CEETL) and the Academic Senate will co-host the University Retreat Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023. This year’s retreat is titled “Reimagining the Post-Pandemic University” and will offer emerging practices for student engagement and opportunities to think beyond pandemic disruptions to plan a future university built on principles of justice, equity and inclusion. 

The retreat will be held from 9 a.m. to noon via iLearn, Webinar and Zoom. There will be an-person reception from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in LIB 121.

Scheduled topics to be addressed include:

  • The Future of Pedagogy  
  • Reimagining Service to Latinx Students  
  • Strategic Planning for the Future 
  • Reimagining Inclusion for Lecturer Faculty 

How do you sign up? Enroll in the 2023 University Retreat iLearn site to find all the information on how to attend this multi-modal event. 

Lecturer of Music Andrew Speight was killed Thursday, Dec. 1, when his car was hit by trains in Burlingame. A mainstay of the Bay Area jazz community, Speight had been teaching at SF State for two decades.

Born in Sydney, Australia, in 1964, he was the son of jazz pianist John Speight. He followed in his father’s footsteps by studying at the Sydney Conservatory of Music, though his preferred instrument was the alto saxophone. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1992 to join the music faculty at Michigan State University. He moved to San Francisco in 1998.

At SF State, Speight taught jazz ensemble, improvisation and jazz history. Over the course of his career, he played with an array of famous musicians, including Ellis, Wynton and Branford Marsalis. Active in the local jazz scene since coming to the Bay Area, he was well known for the support he gave his fellow players.


KPIX-TV dedicated a segment of its Nov. 30 newscast to Gator Groceries, the food pantry sponsored by Associated Students. 

“We help at least 300 to 400 [students] a week, but we are still getting an influx of students asking how they can sign up,” said Tatiana Ramos, interim senior director of productions for Associated Students, in the report from KPIX-TV anchor Ryan Yamamoto (B.A., ’94). 

Horace Montgomery, Associated Students assistant executive director of productions, launched Gator Groceries five years ago. Montgomery, who earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from SF State nearly two decades ago, says he wishes this type of program existed when he entered SF State as a Psychology major in 1997.  

“To be honest, we were all lucky we made it without this service,” he said.  

A story published by the CSU Chancellor’s Office on Dec. 5 highlights six of the 17 winners of Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) grants, including the Latinx Student Center at SF State. The grants are part of the CSU-wide initiative of the Global HSI Equity Innovation Hub. 

The grant is designed to inspire challenge-based learning. For one of the projects, students will team up to find solutions to equity gaps in retention and graduation rates at SF State. 

“These teams will spend the first semester collecting data and conducting qualitative research with their Latinx-identifying peers, a tactic that can reveal some interesting results,” Latinx Student Center Director Emmanuel Padilla said. “Students are typically more comfortable and open with their peers, so this can be a way for us to identify barriers to graduation — and ways to alleviate them — that administrators may not be aware of.” 

Boston University’s Public Health Department invited Economics Professor Emeritus Donald Mar to post a non-technical brief of a published paper on racial differences in receiving unemployment insurance benefits during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was published Dec. 5 on the department’s Public Health Post blog.  

Mar and his co-authors found that Black and Latinx workers were less likely to receive the benefits compared to non-Hispanic whites. Other studies show that workers who receive benefits had better health, were more likely to have health insurance and to utilize health care, and had better food and housing security. The published paper is available online at the NIH National Library of Medicine.  

On Nov. 13, the Broadway production of the award-winning musical “The Lion King” celebrated its 25th anniversary. Assistant Professor of Africana Studies Mark Allan Davis attended with a great deal of support from family and friends in California and in New York and from the current production. It was a profoundly moving milestone as the production globally has been seen by over 110 million people. “The Lion King” is historically the most successful production ever — out-grossing the film or any theatrical production in history. 

Associate Professor of Sociology and Sexuality Studies Clare Sears presented a paper at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association on Nov. 3 in New Orleans. The paper, titled “Never Tell a Psychopath They’re a Psychopath: Defamiliarizing the Queer Psychopath in ‘Killing Eve,’” brings together feminist studies, queer studies and disability studies to examine historical linkages between queerness and psychopathy and to explore ways that contemporary television may disrupt these linkages. 

“Mulheres á Cesta,” a film produced by Professor of Kinesiology Claudia Guedes, won an award from the Lisbon Sport Film Festival in the feature film category. The awards ceremony took place in Lisbon on Nov. 13.  

The documentary, about the history of women’s basketball in Brazil, gives voice to the stories of women who gave visibility to women’s basketball in the ’60s and ’70s and who became responsible for the inclusion of this sport in the Olympics. The goal of this documentary is to inspire women’s basketball players today and in the future. It is a part of a project that includes a book by the same name, published by Guedes in 2009, and an e-book.  

Associate Professor and Chair of Physical Therapy Jet Lee was part of a national group that recently published clinical practice guidelines for the assessment and screening of cancer-related fatigue in the September issue of the Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Journal

Lecturer of Criminal Justice Studies Steven Ford has been named the chief of police for the city of Antioch. He had served in the role on an interim basis since February. 

“Moving forward, I’ll be very purposeful and intentful in instituting the measures that the mayor mentioned, as well as mitigating crime, connecting with our youth, solidifying 21st-century policing strategies,” Ford said in the East Bay Times on Nov. 16, “and, most importantly, nailing down and anchoring our community engagement practices, policies and procedures.”  

Laura Mamo, Health Equity Institute interim director and professor of Public Health, was the U.S. keynote speaker at the Queer Reproduction Symposium held Nov. 10 at King’s College London. The event was sponsored jointly by the University of Cambridge’s Reproductive Sociology group and the Kings College London research group Queer@Kings. Mamo’s presentation was based on a recent publication, “Queer Reproductive Justice in Transnational Bioeconomies.”  

Creative Writing Associate Professor and Chair May-lee Chai reviewed the coming-of-age novel “Roses, in the Mouth of a Lion” by Bushra Rehman for The New York Times Book Review on Dec. 4. The book follows a young Pakistani Muslim discovering her nascent intellect and sexuality. 

A new Nature Astronomy paper describes how a planet (55 Cnc e aka “Janssen”) became scorching hot and how other planets may become similarly uninhabitable. The co-authors include Assistant Professor of Physics & Astronomy John Michael Brewer, the leader of the 100 Earths Survey using EXPRES (EXtreme PREcision Spectrometer), a new ultra-precise tool that made the new study possible.

Understanding ultra-short-period planets like Janssen (its year is 18 hours) has been difficult. Measurements from EXPRES suggest that Janssen formed in a relatively cooler orbit but gradually moved closer to its sun Copernicus and was left with an altered orbit. The new findings could help better understand how other planets form and shift over time. 

Assistant Professor of Public Health Supriya Misra gave an oral presentation at the American Public Health Association annual meeting, held in Boston Nov. 6 – 9, as part of the Asian Pacific Islander Caucus. The talk was titled “Understanding experiences of severe mental illness among immigrants in the United States: An example from South Asian patients and their families in New York City.”  

The talk’s learning objectives were to: 

  • Define inequities in severe mental illness for immigrants worldwide. 
  • List what is known about severe mental illness for immigrants in the United States.  
  • Describe the experiences of South Asian immigrants with diagnoses of severe mental illness and their family members in New York City.