June 12, 2023

News and Announcements

Cover image of SFSU Magazine, a soccer player to the left, softball player in the middle, and a women's volleyball team celebrating.

As thousands of newly minted Gator graduates wind down from Commencement and begin life’s next chapter, SF State’s alumni magazine is back with a new issue. The semiannual, award-winning publication is mailed to 80,000 alumni and friends of the University. It can also be found throughout the campus.  

The cover story explores how the University’s sports programs produce successful student-athletes who don’t just win games and make the Dean’s List but also learn to become champions in a holistic and healthful sense as well. It also takes a nostalgic look at the career of former Gators football coach Vic Rowen, who helped invent an approach to the game that would influence the long careers of his players and assistants — among them Super Bowl-winning Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid. Online exclusive bonus content includes Rowen’s coaching universe, action photos from recent Gator sporting events and a dedication to late magazine team member Raymond Wang.  

The issue also includes interviews with:  

  • Vitka Eisen, an alumna who overcame addiction and now is CEO of the same nonprofit that helped save her life  

  • John Logan, the chair of SF State’s Labor and Employment Studies Program, discussing the reinvigorated union movement  

  • Chanda Daniels, an alum whose wedding planning skills emphasize the unique considerations of LGBTQ+ couples and people of color on their special day  

  • Ben Fong-Torres, the alumnus, famed music journalist and now SF State Magazine columnist 

  • And much more!  

As usual, the Class Notes section is filled with achievements of alumni spanning seven decades. The issue closes with Associated Students President (and now alumna) Karina Zamora sharing her SF State story.   

Check out the full issue of SF State Magazine and exclusive online content. 

Lauren Gan

When undergraduate engineer Lauren Gan was at community college, she applied for a summer research internship at SF State. She never anticipated the opportunities that would arise from that summer. 

Now Gan — who transferred early 2023 from Skyline College — has won the Undergraduate Student Award at the 2023 Pacific Southwest section of the American Society of Engineering Educators (ASEE) for her work on an exoskeleton glove that helps people with limited mobility. 

“It opens up doors for you. I’m saying that from first-hand experience,” Gan said of her research and engineering conference experiences — both of which were firsts for her. They’ve allowed her to apply fundamentals she’s learned in courses and network with like-minded individuals.    

She first came to SF State as a community college student participating in the summer internship program S Smart in 2022. She was one of several students joining Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering David Quintero’s lab to work on an exoskeleton glove project under the guidance of a graduate student already in the lab. Now an SF State Mechanical Engineering major, Gan is continuing to work in Quintero’s lab doing independent research to optimize the group’s latest iteration of the exo glove. Their device provides structural support for patients with hand weakness due to injuries or disabilities like paralysis from spinal cord injury or stroke. 

Their robotic hand is comprised of a soft material (a golf glove) for comfort that’s attached to a soft 3D-printed exoskeleton that moves using a motor. A cable-driven pulley system mimics tendons to assist with hand motion. The team hopes this design will be more comfortable than other rigid and clunky gloves and cheaper than devices made with pricier materials. Gan estimates that their glove can lift items that weigh less than 400 grams, like a bottle of water. 

At the ASEE conference — held on the University of Southern California campus in April — Gan not only presented a poster about her research but learned how she can combine mechanical engineering with an exciting field she wasn’t familiar with: humanitarian engineering. 

Humanitarian engineering focuses on engineering that helps people in equitable, sustainable ways. The conference ignited Gan’s interest in applying that philosophy to her research, and she took the idea to Quintero, who is still her research adviser. He says they’ll work on making that happen, perhaps through collaborations with actual patients, for her senior project. 

“The support that you get from your professors — it’s been a lot for me and it has helped me move forward even when I feel like I’m not doing enough,” Gan said. 

She is also collaborating with another SF State research team to integrate a computer interface into their device. Doing this would couple the glove with sensors that detect a patient’s nerve signals to control the robotic arm. 

Gan never expected to be this deep in research or win an award for her work. When she signed up for the summer research opportunity she admits she didn’t know exactly what she wanted to do. 

“At the time I was actually struggling a lot with what I wanted to do with school. Over the last fall semester [at community college] I was even debating just dropping out or taking a gap semester,” she said. After enjoying her summer in Quintero’s lab, she asked if she could continue volunteering on the lab’s work during the school year. She also took a lighter school course load to focus on self-care and reassess her interests. 

“I kind of got a better sense of what I wanted to do and got my life together a little bit more,” she said, adding that these experiences contributed to her transfer to SF State. 

She’s now enrolled in the SF State Scholars program, an accelerated pathway for undergraduate School of Engineering students to earn their bachelor’s and master’s degree simultaneously. This summer, she’s also going to be a student mentor for new community college summer interns. She hopes she can give budding engineers advice as they navigate their own academic paths. 

“Maybe keep your doors open because I didn’t expect myself to be going this route transferring to SF State, to be wanting to get my master’s even … ,” she explained. “Don’t be afraid of asking questions. The opportunities are there. You have to reach out for it and not give up.” 

Rina Ayuyang

One evening in the 1990s, Rina Ayuyang was passing through the Creative Arts building at SF State. In a small recital hall, she discovered a Filipino ensemble performing a ballad, “Dahil Sayo (Because of You).” She recognized the song because her parents would dance to it in the living room of her childhood home. 

“I lived near campus and would walk down the halls a lot, and I’d just stumble upon things that were happening,” Ayayung recalled. “It was a very film-noir scene actually, this woman singing this Filipino romantic ballad that I just came and found myself in. And it was a very magical experience.”  

It was one of the many life-changing experiences for Ayuyang at SF State to influence her as a comics artist and shape her as a human being. 

New graphic novel

“The Man in the McIntosh Suit” (Drawn and Quarterly, 2023) is Ayuyang’s new graphic novel, presenting a Filipino American take on the Great Depression. Mistaken identities, speakeasies and lost love intersect from strawberry farms on the Central Coast to Manilatown in San Francisco. 

Kirkus Reviews writes: “Ayuyang spins a captivating tale that is both an homage to starry-eyed Hollywood movies of the period and a corrective that highlights the anti-Asian racism faced by immigrants as well as the thriving communities they formed.” 

Throughout her work, Ayuyang (B.A., ’98) aims not only to increase representation of Filipino Americans in the arts, but awareness of their key roles in U.S. history. 

“We always feel like we’ve come a long way, but there are still things that need to be addressed. We like to bury things in our history that aren’t as pretty,” Ayuyang said. “I feel like as an artist, we need to continue to use our platform to share ideas, motivate and inspire.” 

‘Finding Filipino’ and the ‘CIA’ 

Ayuyang was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and chose to attend SF State because she had deep family roots in the Bay Area. She majored in Art with an emphasis in Conceptual and Information Arts, an experimental program where she says everybody made their own rules and embraced a do-it-yourself ethos that prepared her well for a career in comic arts. 

“They called it the ‘CIA’,” Ayuyang said. “It was a little fun rag-tag artist operation going on. It had this grassroots feeling that felt very San Francisco, bohemian-like. It was very much my jam.” 

The courses that Ayuyang took in the College of Ethnic Studies from professors such as Dan Begonia taught her about the hidden histories of Filipino farmworkers and activists in California. She met lifelong friends in the Asian American Studies Department and participated in the Pilipino American Collegiate Endeavor, a student organization.  

SF State has had such an impact on Ayuyang that she dedicated a comic to the University in her new poster series, “Finding Filipino.” Presented by the San Francisco Arts Commission for the Art on Market Street Poster Series, the nine posters are on display at bus shelters in downtown San Francisco through June.  

On the “Finding Filipino at SF State” poster, she shares her Gator story: “Here, I learned that I was more than a ‘model minority,’ that I could be an artist, a writer, an athlete — anything I wanted to be.” 

SF State’s Class of 2023 has raised $15,000 to donate to the Associated Students Gator Groceries program through graduation scoreboard sales. The SF State Foundation Board gifted a big portion of this amount. 

Gator Groceries provides SF State students with access to nutritious food and promotes awareness about food insecurity.

Miguel Hernández

Jamillah Moore, vice president of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, is thrilled to announce the new associate vice president for student life and dean of students: Miguel Hernández. 

Hernández is joining SF State on July 1. He is excited to be at the helm of the Division of Student Life team. He is wrapping up his time at University of California, Irvine, as the associate dean of students.  

With over 20 years of progressive experience, he is an educator, scholar, speaker and social justice leader. He aspires to lead a team that creates transformative learning experiences and intentional student development opportunities and engages in a dynamic global community grounded in inclusive and collaborative practices. He puts students first, focusing on advocacy, support and creating a high sense of belonging for students and staff. 

Moore extends her thanks to Pam Su, who served, without hesitation, as the interim associate vice president for student life and dean of students. “Pam has been the permanent team lead, and we are grateful for her leadership, stability and support of the staff and students,” said Moore. Su will return to the Associate Dean of Students office and continue her work in care and support of all Gators.  

Moore added: “I would like to express my gratitude to the selection committee and our engaged campus community. I appreciate all those who attended interviews, provided feedback and maintained stability of the Division of Student Life during the last few years.” 

Dai To

Jamillah Moore, vice president of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management (SAEM), is excited to announce that Dai To, Ph.D., has been selected as associate vice president of Disability Access and Student Well-being — with the help of an exceptional search committee.  

To is an SF State alum (Class of ’91) who comes to us from Saint Mary’s College of California. She has 20 years of management and leadership experience, with 25 years of clinical experience, and 12 years of student affairs and health and wellness services. H 

Moore extends her deep gratitude to Janet Rarig, SAEM’s interim associate vice president, who “has served our students, our staff, and our campus for the last year as we navigated the search process. She has provided quality consultation and direction to our Gator community, and we are exceptionally grateful.  

“I also want to thank the search committee for their commitment to this process and a thank you to our Gator family for showing up to the forums and asking the hard questions that produced good conversation,” Moore added. 

When Dr. To arrives later this summer, SAEM will provide opportunities for her to meet campus partners and colleagues.  

Anoshua Chaudhuri

Anoshua Chaudhuri has been selected as the senior director of the Center for Equity and Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CEETL), starting Aug. 17. CEETL is the heart of the University’s commitment to a culture that values and rewards teaching, supports diversity among learners and promotes learning environments that foster social justice and the respectful and vigorous exchange of ideas in which students and faculty thrive and succeed. 

Chaudhuri is a professor of Economics and is completing her second term as department chair. She received a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Washington, Seattle, and an M.A. in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics.  

Chaudhuri’s research has been at the intersection of health, development and family economics, evaluating the impacts of policies and programs on community and household health outcomes with a focus on children and the elderly. She has over 25 publications in peer-reviewed journals and books. She regularly collaborates with community agencies in participatory research projects and has received many engaged scholarship awards and high-impact teaching awards as she involves her students in these research projects. She has taught courses in Health Economics Research, Economics of Gender and Microeconomics and has been a dedicated user of community service learning in her classroom.  

She has contributed to the Office of Faculty Affairs’ efforts around diversity, equity and inclusion in hiring at SF State. Closely working with CEETL, she has led improvements around student success and equity gaps in the Economics Department. Chaudhuri serves on the boards of SF State’s University Corporation as well as a nonprofit mental health agency, Richmond Area Multi-services. She received the 2023 – 2025 Lam Larsen Distinguished Service Professor award from the Lam Family College of Business for all her contributions to the campus and community through her teaching, research and service. 

Facilities has partnered with Parking and Transportation to begin a restriping project for the Lot 19/20 parking garage and North State Drive and South State Drive parking spaces. Facilities has scheduled work with third-party contractors SBAY and 7M General Engineering. They are scheduled to work from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., from June 5 to July 21. They anticipate the restriping project should be completed near the end of July. Parking spaces will be affected during this project, and vehicles should be mindful of any posted signage for the duration of this project.  

If you have any questions about this project, please contact Facilities Project Manager Anthony Benson. The service desk may be reached at facilities@sfsu.edu or (415) 338-1568.

Capital Planning Design and Construction will continue construction on the new science building. Please note that the existing science building will be evacuated on June 27 – June 28 to allow space for the removal of the project tower crane. Due to the size of the trucks involved, they will be flagged as they transition across campus to the site.  

City permits have been obtained for periodic lane closures on 19th Avenue to support the removal. The small road between the Health and Social Sciences Building and the project site will be unavailable for normal use for most of the summer and periodically unavailable until November as this work, project civil infrastructure tie-ins and landscaping proceed. 

Please contact Gareth Beilby if you have questions.

Beginning fall 2023, Canvas will be the only learning management platform offered on campus. This follows a yearlong transition that began in summer 2022. All fall 2023 courses are already available in Canvas; iLearn will no longer be available for teaching. 

Faculty still working to migrate their content from iLearn to Canvas will continue to have access to two years of past course material in iLearn. Check the Canvas transition landing page for a detailed timeline for when iLearn is completely going away. 

Need help transitioning your course or have general questions about Canvas? Academic Technology is here to help. Visit the Academic Technology Canvas transition page for a full list of workshops and training opportunities, link to book a one-on-one appointment with a Canvas specialist and links to support guides and documentation. 

Join Campus Recreation for its summer 2023 faculty and staff free week! Register online through the Campus Rec member portal starting on Saturday, June 17.  

Special group fitness classes: 

  • Monday, June 19: Cycling at 5 p.m. (Studio 122) 
  • Tuesday, June 20: Yoga at Noon (Studio 122) 
  • Thursday, June 22: Zumba at 6 p.m. (Studio 122) 

Happy Pride Month, Gators! Student Affairs and Enrollment Management and the Alumni Association will host a booth at the SF Pride celebration on Saturday, June 24, and Sunday, June 25, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Civic Center in downtown San Francisco. They are looking for fun, energetic and friendly Gators like yourselves to help as ambassadors. Enjoy this wonderful opportunity to connect with our community, hand out SF State rainbow swag and support our LGBTQ+ community. Please sign up to snag an ambassador shift! Shifts are two hours. An online training will be held June 21 at 2 p.m.; More details will be sent upon registration. 

The Gator Great Book Club is back and transitioning into an official alumni affinity group. Alumna Sarah Sardella (B.S., ’15) will lead this effort, hosting an exploratory meeting on Wednesday, July 12, at 7 p.m. via Zoom.  

The Gator Great Book Club Affinity Group is a way for Gators to connect worldwide over a shared love of reading. They plan to read a new book every three months and will present online discussions, a virtual meetup in-person events and a newsletter.

If you missed the excitement of Commencement 2023 at Oracle Park, CampusMemo has you covered: 

Due to the summer break, the next issue of CampusMemo will be on July 17. Weekly publication will resume with the Aug. 14 issue.

SF State Spotlight 

Four SF State faculty members will present music concerts at the Brava Theater Center as part of the San Francisco International Arts Festival this month. 

SF State faculty and staff can receive a 20% discount for advance tickets for each of these concerts with the code SFSU20. 

An opinion piece in The New York Times on May 25 features a reading course taught by David Peña-Guzmán, associate professor of Humanities. Upon entering the classroom, students are required to dump their phones in a “basket of despair.”  

“The point is not to take away the phone for its own sake but to take away our primary sources of distraction,” he said. “Students could keep the phone if they needed it. But all of them chose to part with their phones.” 

Peña-Guzmán said the distractions from smartphones cause students to “almost experience reading backward — as constant regress, without any sense of progress.” 

Asian American Studies Professor Jonathan Lee appeared on a KRON-TV special celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) History Month. 

He says the Year of the Rabbit represents a calmer, more introspective energy in comparison to 2022’s Year of the Tiger. 

“The last two years of the pandemic, I think we were all really on edge. This year, I think we’re not that on edge anymore,” Lee said. “And I think this year’s the year where we are thinking policy changes. And that will have a bigger impact on reducing anti-Asian violence and preventing it in the future.” 

Associate Professor of History Felicia Viator and A.D. Carson contribute an opinion post in The Washington Post on June 2, exploring the dangers of artificial intelligence (AI) for hip-hop music. 

“Hip-hop history can be viewed as a history of technological innovation; creative uses of technology have helped advance the art form and given young talents the power to shape the industry,” Viator and Carson wrote. “The question now, however, is whether the latest artificial intelligence technology will present new opportunities as well as new risks.” 

A major redevelopment project is under construction on Treasure Island, creating 8,000 homes and condos, 500 hotel rooms and more than 550,000 square feet of commercial space on the former naval base.  

Jasper Rubin, associate professor of Urban Studies and Planning, says the project’s densely built, multifamily housing is much-needed in the Bay Area, as opposed to traditional suburban development. 

“San Francisco is essentially built out,” Rubin said in the story from May 31. “There are probably no sites or areas left in San Francisco proper for this scale of development, so for the city to respond to its dire need for new housing will take different strategies.” 

The San Francisco Travel Association has launched its largest-ever global marketing and advertising campaign, “Always San Francisco,” to promote tourism to the city.  

Recreation, Parks and Tourism Professor and Chair Jackson Wilson commented to The San Francisco Examiner on June 5 about the $6 million campaign. 

“[It’s] no surprise our natural areas are featured in this advertising campaign,” Wilson said. He praised it for starting with the Marin Headlands and featuring “the beautiful ceramic steps in Lincoln Park and footage of Alamo Square with the Painted Ladies in the background.” 

Singing Chen

Recreation, Parks and Tourism Professors Erik Peper and Richard Harvey collaborated with students in presenting two posters and two invited presentations at the 53rd annual meeting of the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. It was held May 31 – June 2 in Orlando, Florida. 


  • Student Nicholas Heinz, Peper, Harvey and Monica Almendras: “Benefits of holistic health stress management classes Outcome Comparison between in-person and online classes.” 
  • Student Singing Chen, Peper, Heinz and Harvey: “Improvement of health: Decrease in menstrual cramps.” 

Invited presentations/workshops: 

  • Peper, Harvey and Chen: “Healing menstrual cramps, back pain, anxiety and other symptoms through self-care” (60-minute presentation). 
  • E. Wilson and Peper: “Value ADDED: Using Practical Skills to Facilitate the Assessment and Training Success with Biofeedback/Neurofeedback.” 

Peper also wrote an article titled “Clean air with plants” in Townsend Letter on June 4.  

Nursing Professor Emerita Shannon Perry co-authored the recently published 13th edition of “Maternity and Women’s Health Care” (Elsevier). She has authored and edited this text since the fifth edition, published in 1993. Perry was recently inducted as a fellow into the Academy of Nursing Education. 

“Maternity and Women’s Health Care” has been published in Spanish, Portuguese, French, Korean and Indonesian. Professor Emerita Irene Bobak was the original co-author of this text.  

In the 1970s, Economics Professor Ralph Anspach created the board game Anti-Monopoly in response to the Parker Brothers classic. It caused a lawsuit and an international controversy.  

Anspach found that Monopoly “rewarded something in play that hurt people in reality," as an oil crisis and corporate dominance loomed, according to a June 2 story in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune