April 17, 2017


University launches first Campus Safety Week, April 17-20

In an effort to show that SF State is committed to providing a safe environment for learning and growing together, Administration & Finance has partnered with the University Police Department to host a week-long event dedicated to promoting safety in all of its forms. Faculty and staff are invited to take part in a week of safety trainings, activities and demonstrations covering such topics as self defense, urban bicycling, service animals and mental health and well being. View the full Campus Safety Week schedule. RSVP for individual events at solinnak@sfsu.edu.

In addition, Wednesday, April 19, will be Campus Safety Day, with activities on the main Quad between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Training topics will include first aid, CPR, back care and responding to an active shooter scenario.

Discontinuance proposed

Discontinuance of the certificate in the professional practice of internal auditing has been proposed. Per Academic Senate Policy S12-177, the Educational Policies Committee (EPC) is required to inform the campus community of the discontinuance proposal two weeks before Senate action. Any party interested in filing a response should send an email to senate@sfsu.edu.

SF State team wins engineering competition

A team of eight SF State engineering students won the Best Seismic Performance award at the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute's 2017 Seismic Design Competition held in Portland, Oregon, last month. The SF State team competed against 34 others from across the country and around the world. It included students Amy Chun, Bashir Habboub, Gerald Macaspac, Josias Galan, Mark Manalo, Selena Gray, Tyler Fallon and team captain William Solano and was advised by Assistant Professor of Engineering Zhaoshuo Jiang.

The SF State group spent 10 months designing and constructing high-rise building models and testing them on the shake table (earthquake simulator) in SF State's Intelligent Structural Hazards Mitigation Laboratory located in room 130 of the Science building. The final design of the team's skyscraper adopted the research outcomes from one of Professor Jiang's structural topology optimization research projects (funded by an Office of Research and Sponsored Programs individual investigator/collaborative grant). The design, subjected to three different historically devastating earthquake tests, outperformed those of all the other teams in seismic performance, winning the SF State team the title.

For more information about the competition, visit slc.eeri.org/SDC2017.htm. Learn more about SF State's School of Engineering at engineering.sfsu.edu.

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Student writing awards deadline extended

The Committee for Written English Proficiency (CWEP), an interdisciplinary group of faculty and administrators who oversee practices and policy related to student writing on campus, recognizes undergraduate and graduate students who demonstrate excellent writing within their discipline. This spring, CWEP is sponsoring two competitions for excellence in student writing: the CWEP Student Writing Award in Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) and the CWEP Student Writing Award in Graduate School. The previously announced deadline of Friday, April 14, for these competitions has been extended to Friday, April 21.

CWEP Award for Student Writing in GWAR submission guidelines

Faculty who have taught GWAR in the spring or fall of 2016 are invited to nominate a student for this award. Any type of writing, as long as it was submitted to fulfill course requirements for a GWAR course, will be accepted. There is a limit of one submission per faculty member. Entries should not exceed 5,000 words and should be typed, double-spaced, free of spelling and grammatical errors and submitted on 8.5 x 11 paper. Please email the assignment prompt and the student paper to wac@sfsu.edu and go to ueap.sfsu.edu/wac/student-writing-award to nominate a student for the award.

CWEP Award in Graduate Student Writing submission guidelines

Faculty who have taught graduate courses in the spring or fall of 2016 are invited to nominate a graduate student for this award. Any text demonstrating effective storytelling, analysis, exposition or original research, as long as it was submitted to fulfill requirements for a course in the program, will be accepted. There is a limit of one submission per faculty member. Entries should not exceed 5,000 words and should be typed, double-spaced, free of spelling and grammatical errors and submitted on 8.5 x 11 paper. Please email the assignment prompt and the student paper to wac@sfsu.edu  and go to ueap.sfsu.edu/wac/student-writing-award to nominate a student for the award.

The student and nominating faculty member will be invited to an award ceremony in May, and the winner will be presented with a certificate of accomplishment and $200.

Admission-free chamber music concert with Calmus

The young a cappella quintet Calmus will conclude the Morrison Artists Series’ 2016-17 season with an admission-free concert at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 28, in McKenna Theatre. The concert features works by Parcell, Pärt, Poulenc, Rheinberger, Bach, Mäntyjärvi, Chydenius, Flecha and Banter. The Morrison Artists Series, presented by SF State's Morrison Chamber Music Center, is the longest-running chamber music series in San Francisco.

Professor Richard Festinger, artistic director of the Morrison Artists Series, will deliver a pre-concert talk at 7 p.m. on April 28 in McKenna Theatre. That same day, Calmus will lead a master class from 10 a.m. to noon in Knuth Hall.

Calmus embodies the rich choral history of its hometown of Leipzig, Germany, synonymous with the great musical tradition of Bach and Mendelssohn. The Washington Post writes: "Calmus Ensemble is stunning in its vocal variety [and] mastery."

Reserve your free seats now at morrison.sfsu.edu/events/1089, or call the SF State Box Office at ext. 8-2467.

Presentation to explore "big data"

Monday, May 1, College of Business Assistant Professor Sepideh Modrek will make a State CORR MAMA (Methodology and Multivariate Analysis) presentation entitled "Data Linkages and Big Data Analysis: An Application with Linked Historical Census Data." The presentation will offer a brief introduction to the increasing integration of big data into health and social science while also using historical census data to study the long-term health outcomes of the Works Progress Administration. The presentation will take place at noon in LIB 286.

Stat CORR (Statistics Community of Representative Researchers) hosts meetings, workshops and training clinics to foster and promote the dissemination of quantitative and qualitative research skills.

Questions? Contact Richard Harvey at rharvey@sfsu.edu or ext. 8-3478.

Phi Beta Kappa annual initiation ceremony, May 12

The Phi Beta Kappa Society wishes to remind SF State/Omicron chapter members that:

  • Annual dues of $25, which help defray the cost of the annual student initiation, should be submitted to Society Treasurer Lisa Takeyama of the Economics Department.
  • The Phi Beta Kappa annual initiation ceremony will be held Thursday, May 11, from 3 to 4 p.m. on the Administration Building's fifth floor patio and will be followed by a reception.

Questions? Contact Chapter President Masahiko Minami or, for finances, Chapter Treasurer Lisa Takeyama.

Guest speaker to discuss genocide, April 24

Stephen D. Smith, Andrew J. and Erna Finci Viterbi Endowed Executive Director of the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation, will be on campus Monday, April 24, for a talk sponsored by the Department of Jewish Studies. Smith's topic will be "The Voice of Genocide in Europe, Africa, South America and Asia: How Visual History Informs Our Past and Future." The talk is scheduled for 12:15 p.m. in HUM 415. A light lunch will be served after the presentation. Questions? Call ext. 8-6075.

Quality Online Learning and Teaching (QOLT) Workshop, April 20

An upcoming workshop is the first step toward earning QOLT certification for your online course. In the workshop, you will use the QOLT instrument to diagnose and improve your course, establish connections with QOLT faculty ambassadors and instructional designers, and begin the journey towards full QOLT certification.

The workshop will be held Thursday, April 20, from 2 to 4 p.m. in LIB 242. Register for the QOLT Workshop.

Due to the active and hands-on content of this workshop, remote participation through web conference is not available. Visit the QOLT website for more information about the QOLT initiative.

Health Promotion & Wellness (HPW) now recruiting student peer health leaders

Health Promotion & Wellness is recruiting for its part-time, paid internship and volunteer ambassador program for academic year 2017-2018. Both opportunities give students the skills to help create programs, be a voice for campus health issues and help change our environment to promote health and wellness.

Ambassadors who complete four volunteer hours per month on projects and health events will become Certified Health Promotion & Wellness Ambassadors. The application deadline is May 23.

For more information, visit wellness.sfsu.edu.

Guardian Scholars Program celebration, April 27

The Guardian Scholars Program invites the University community to a celebration in honor of its exceptional students -- current and former foster youth -- who are surpassing expectations and thriving at SF State. To be held Thursday, April 27, at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins, the event will feature a cocktail reception, dinner and a program emceed by Dennis O'Donnell, alumnus and sports director at KPIX 5. Tickets start at $150. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit develop.sfsu.edu/gsp17.

The Guardian Scholars Program serves more than 100 students annually thanks to the generosity of donors and sponsors. Guardian Scholars Program students have a 70 percent graduation rate, 20 percent higher than other first-generation college-bound and low-income students at SF State.

Application period extended for Retirement Association travel grants

The San Francisco State University Retirement Association (SFSURA) encourages staff to apply for 2017 travel grant awards. The awards are for travel during this calendar year and will have a maximum value of $500. The association expects to fund up to five grants. Faculty travel grants will be awarded next year. The deadline for application has been extended to Thursday, April 20.

Professional development is the major grant criterion, with preference given to participation/presentation at a conference or workshop, attendance at an institute or other activities that can demonstrate value to students and others in the SF State community. Staff appointed half-time or more are eligible. Management Personnel Plan (MPP) personnel are not.

Download the application form at retire.sfsu.edu/travel-grants.

Submit applications via email to:

Affordable Learning Lunch & Learn and Funding Opportunity

SF State faculty and the Affordable Instructional Materials (AIM) Initiative have helped save students more than $2.5 million in the last three years. How did they do it? Attend an AIM Awareness Lunch & Learn to hear firsthand how faculty have creatively helped lower the cost of instructional materials.

The workshop will be held Wednesday, April 19, from 12 to 1:30 p.m. in LIB 286. Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP online.

Call for proposals: Funding is available to support efforts to reduce the cost of learning to students. Faculty awards vary from $250 to $2,500 depending on projected impact. Submit an AIM Project Proposal.

Discussion to explore healthcare administration careers

The SF State community is invited to attend a panel discussion entitled "Careers in Healthcare Administration: Opportunities and Preparation" to be held Friday, April 28, at the Downtown Campus (835 Market Street, Suite 600). The panelists will be:

  • Dr. Robert Altman, chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Gould Medical Group
  • Edwin Cabigao, chief nursing officer at Jewish Home of San Francisco
  • Elaine Chan, director, U.S. drug safety and head of business operations, Analytics and MAPs at Genentech
  • Okorie Ramsey, vice president, finance compliance officer & SOX at Kaiser Permanente

The panel discussion will run from 3:30 to 4:40 p.m. and will be followed by breakout sessions and a networking reception. There is no cost for attending, but registration on Eventbrite is required. Feel free to invite any other interested individuals to attend.

Register on Eventbrite.

Farm to Fork returns May 2

The eighth annual Farm to Fork will be held Tuesday, May 2. The event features organic and seasonal produce grown within 250 miles of campus. The local cuisine, prepared by the Vista Room and SF State Dining Services, will be served on the Quad. Tickets cost $8 and may be purchased in person at the Bursar's Office or online at commerce.cashnet.com/FARMTOFORK.

Search for associate dean of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development begins

Academic Affairs is seeking applications and nominations for the new position of associate dean of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development. Reporting to the dean of Faculty Affairs, the associate dean will assist with the implementation of all policies related to faculty affairs and oversee all faculty professional development-related processes, promoting and advancing programs and initiatives to support faculty professional careers at SF State. Full professor rank at SF State and experience and leadership related to academic or faculty affairs is required. The position description and application procedures are posted on the Faculty Affairs website at facaffairs.sfsu.edu.

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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
  • Update on Provost Council Proposed Reorganization: Interim Provost Summit
  • Recommendation from the Executive Committee: Proposed Revisions to the Conflict of Interest Policy
  • Recommendation from the Educational Policies Council: Proposed Policy on the Use of Standardized Time Blocks in Course Scheduling
  • Recommendation from the Educational Policies Council: Proposed Policy on Student Internships
  • Recommendation from the Educational Policies Council: Proposed Policy on Student Field Trips
  • Standing Committee reports:
    • Faculty Affairs Committee
    • Academic Policies Committee
    • Curriculum Review and Approval Committee
    • Student Affairs Committee
    • Strategic Issues Committee

Senate meeting dates are posted on the University Calendar and on the Senate website at senate.sfsu.edu.


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Monday, April 17

Campus Safety Week: April 17-20: campuswide

Recital: Jiaze Ma, winner of the Ross McKee Piano Award: 1 p.m. in Knuth Hall, Creative Arts building

Concert: Jazz Combos: 7 p.m. in Knuth Hall, Creative Arts building

Wednesday, April 19

Campus Safety Day: 10 a.m. at Malcolm X Plaza and the Quad

Affordable Instructional Materials (AIM) Awareness Lunch and Learn: noon in LIB 286

Recital: Chia-Yu Chang, winner of the Ferrando Piano Award: 1 p.m. in Knuth Hall, Creative Arts building

25th Annual Spring Lecture Series: Society on Display: Celebrations, Processions and Protest: 7 p.m. in HUM 587

Greenhouse Theatre Festival: "Without Clouds" by Yawn: 7 p.m. at Z Below, 470 Florida Street, San Francisco

Thursday, April 20

Greenhouse Theatre Festival: "Mercy" by Julius Rea: 7 p.m. at Z Below, 470 Florida Street, San Francisco

Poetry: Janice A. Lowe: Leaving CLE: 7 p.m. at the Poetry Center, Humanities building

Friday, April 21

Recital: piano students of Victoria Neve: 1:10 p.m. at Knuth Hall, Creative Arts building

Nonprofit Management Certificate Program: Grant Writing: 6 p.m. at the Downtown Campus

Greenhouse Theatre Festival: "Sucia" by Nicole Jost: 7 p.m. at Z Below, 470 Florida Street, San Francisco

Romanian Film Festival: 7 p.m. at the Coppola Theatre, Fine Arts building

Saturday, April 22

Romanian Film Festival: 2 p.m. the Coppola Theatre, Fine Arts building

Greenhouse Theatre Festival: "A Dead Name" by Kayl Frayre: 4 p.m. at Z Below, 470 Florida Street, San Francisco

Greenhouse Theatre Festival: "Mercy" by Julius Rea: 7 p.m. at Z Below, 470 Florida Street, San Francisco

Sunday, April 23

Alumni: Jazz and Champagne Brunch on the Bay: 10:45 a.m. at Pier 39

Greenhouse Theatre Festival: "Without Clouds" by Yawn: 1 p.m. at Z Below, 470 Florida Street, San Francisco

Greenhouse Theatre Festival: "A Dead Name" by Kayl Frayre: 4 p.m. at Z Below, 470 Florida Street, San Francisco

Greenhouse Theatre Festival: "Sucia" by Nicole Jost: 7 p.m. at Z Below, 470 Florida Street, San Francisco

For more upcoming events, see the University Calendar.

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College of Ethnic Studies

Professor Serie McDougal III, chair of the Department of Africana Studies, recently received two honors. He won both the Robert L. Perry Mentoring Award from the National Associate for Ethnic Studies and the Outstanding Faculty Leadership and Service Award from the Black Student Union.

Jonathan Lee, associate professor of Asian American Studies, is now president of the American Academy of Religion Western Region (2017-2018). Lee just completed terms as vice president and program chair and organized the annual meeting at the University of the West March 17-19, 2017. In addition, he presented a paper, “Scholarship of Engagement for Early Career Faculty and Graduate Students," and chaired the panel "Graduate School, Tenure-Track, Tenure, and Beyond: Creating Critical Academic Portfolios in a Diverse Scholarly Culture."

College of Science and Engineering

Zhaoshuo Jiang, assistant professor of engineering in the College of Science and Engineering, has been selected as a 2017 ExCEEd (Excellence in Civil Engineering Education) fellow by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). ASCE's Committee on Faculty Development selected Jiang because of his commitment to excellence in education and his willingness to serve as a future role model for effective teaching. Jiang’s selection as an ExCEEd fellow allows him to participate in this year's ASCE ExCEEd Teaching Workshop at Florida Gulf Coast University June 18-23. The ExCEEd Teaching Workshop is a six-day practicum that provides engineering educators with an opportunity to improve their teaching abilities.

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An Offer He Couldn't Refuse

SF State lecturer Brian Benson was profiled in a Hoodline article about his work as a filmmaker, educator and drag performer. Among other things, Benson discussed "Dolores," a documentary he's producing about union organizer Dolores Huerta. The idea for the film came from legendary musician Carlos Santana, which was part of the reason Benson had to get involved. "When Carlos Santana calls and asks to do a movie about Dolores Huerta," Benson said, "there’s only one right answer."

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

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Philip P. Choy

Known by the Chinese American community as "the Grand Historian," Philip P. Choy was recently dubbed "the dean of Asian American historians" by the San Francisco Chronicle. Before the existence of ethnic/Asian American studies, Choy was already a walking encyclopedia on Chinese American history. Credited for co-teaching the first college-level Chinese American history course in the nation SF State in 1969, Choy was the main instructor who inspired countless students to become teachers and activists. In addition to teaching, researching and writing, he advocated everywhere for Asian America's place in American history. He fought in political meetings and wrote case reports to preserve many Asian American historical sites. He was president of the Chinese Historical Society for six years and the mastermind behind its building and museum. Defiantly, Choy became "notorious" in 1969 when, against the advice of his own community and standing alone at the Transcontinental Railroad Centennial, he openly challenged America and the organizers for omitting any mention of the Chinese who helped to build the railroad.

After Choy retired, he returned to the Asian American Studies Department as adjunct professor. He was the docent for many of the department's field trips to Angel Island, Sacramento and the California Mother Lode. He also presented at the department's conferences and attended its Chinese American history study tours in China with the students. At a time when there were no AAS textbooks, Choy co-authored two classics, "A History of the Chinese in California: A Syllabus" (1969) and "Outlines: History of the Chinese in California" (published in 1971 by the AAS Department). Choy was also the host/narrator and main driving force behind "Gum Saan Haak" (1974), the first extensive documentary ever produced on Chinese American history, which aired on television in six nights, 30 minutes per episode. More recently, Choy co-authored "The Coming Man: 19th Century American Perceptions of the Chinese" (1994) and wrote "Canton Footprints: Sacramento's Chinese Legacy" (2007) and "San Francisco Chinatown: A Guide to Its History and Architecture" (2012).

In "At 40: Asian American Studies at San Francisco State" (2009), Choy reflected:

  • Now, forty years after the Strike at San Francisco State, we have validated our presence in America without yielding to Anglo American dominance. We have reclaimed our history, defined our own identity, and shaped our own destiny. Now, forty years later, we have a piece of America’s apple pie, baked by our own bakers. I never dreamed I would witness these changes in my lifetime. Participation in the Movement, and teaching at San Francisco State, are milestones in my life.


In 2005, Choy received SF State's President's Medal, the highest honor a CSU president can bestow upon an individual.

A memorial service for Choy will be held Sunday, April 23, at 1 p.m. on Treasure Island at the site of the 1939 Golden Gate International Exhibition (1 Avenue of the Palms).

Don Danner

Don Danner, an adjunct faculty of the Information Systems Department, passed away on Feb. 14. Danner started as a lecturer in the Decision Sciences Department in 1996. He is well known for teaching ISYS 263 and ISYS 363 classes to over 800 students each semester. In addition to teaching, he was a representative at the Academic Senate, the Online Education Committee, ETAC and UCC, serving as faculty/library ambassador to the University.

Danner was born in Cincinnati and grew up in the small town of Willowville, Ohio, which only had a population of 500 people at the time. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a bachelor's degree in finance/accounting and received his MSBA degree in information systems/decision sciences at SF State.

A colleague who went above and beyond what was expected of him to serve the Information Systems Department, the College of Business, the University and his students, Danner was always sure to keep the students' interests foremost in mind. He will be remembered fondly for his frank and honest opinion and recommendations, his sense of humor, his dedication to teaching and his positive outlook.

The Don Danner Memorial Scholarship Fund has been established to honor his legacy of preparing Information Systems students to be talented professionals. Please join in honoring his legacy at SF State by making a gift or a pledge in his memory at tinyurl.com/j32jx8s. If you have any questions regarding your gift or would like to set up a pledge or payment schedule, please contact Manny Nungaray at mannyn@sfsu.edu or ext. 5-2655.

Loretta Lowe

Loretta Lowe, a lecturer in the Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism for 21 years, passed away Monday, April 10. Lowe taught RPT 340: Conference and Event Planning and RPT 670: Advanced Conference and Event Planning, bringing her 25-plus years of experience as a professional event planner into her classes. The Professional Convention Management Association named her Educator of the Year in 2009.

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