November 7, 2022

News & Announcements

Smiling students pose for a photo with a person in a Gator costume in front of Oracle Park

SF State’s 122nd Commencement ceremony will be Friday, May 26, 2023, at Oracle Park, home of the San Francisco Giants. This is the seventh year the downtown ballpark will host the more than 30,000 graduates, family members and friends anticipated for the ceremony and celebration.

More information about the May 26 ceremony will be shared throughout the year as it becomes available. Keep checking and CampusMemo for updates!

Two students in lab coats laugh

In 1992, Michelle Alegria-Hartman (M.S., ’93) was a master’s student at SF State. She recalls frequently walking into the office of her thesis advisor, Biology Professor Frank Bayliss, to talk about science and her career. During one of these many conversations, Bayliss invited Alegria-Hartman to be the first student in what is known today at the University as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Bridges to Doctorate program.

Now the program is celebrating its 30th anniversary — with instructors and students reflecting on the program’s impact. The program was recently awarded another $5 million from the NIH to continue for another five years.

“The purpose of the program is to support underrepresented minorities in the sciences, primarily biology and chemistry, but we’ve had students from physics, math and computer science as well,” said Bayliss, who served as director of the program for more than 26 years before retiring in 2018.

Bridges is one of several programs that fall under the College of Science & Engineering’s Student Enrichment Opportunities (SEO) office. In the 1980s, underrepresented minorities comprised less than 4% of the Biology master’s students at SF State. The introduction of Bridges and other programs has raised that percentage to 33.5% in the last decade and almost doubled the number of Asian master’s students. Analysis of 491 master’s students supported by SEO programs between 1992 and 2019 showed that more than half went on to complete a doctoral program (Ph.D. or MD) after SF State regardless of their undergraduate grade point average. That pattern of success represents what was observed in individual programs like Bridges, say Bayliss and current Bridges and SEO Director Megumi Fuse.

Bridges alums have entered different sectors of science, with many working in industry as researchers or executives, while others have gone into academia, education, law and more.

“The program [Bridges] gives them some minimal funding but enough so [students] can focus on their studies,” Bayliss explained. Current students receive a stipend over $25,000 for the year and have 60% of tuition covered. They also have access to research opportunities and support for conferences, career development and Ph.D. preparation. That’s critical. While Ph.D. science students may receive a yearly stipend, there are far fewer opportunities for such funding for master’s students.

“If you look at women and minorities, they’re not going to be coming from families that can just support them to get a master’s degree or Ph.D.,” explained Alegria-Hartman, who now works in private industry. “You have to have financial incentives.”

Learn more about the Bridges program at SF State News.

A graduating student has "first generation - gracias - mami and papi we did it" written on her cap

SF State was among the 17 recipients for the California State University (CSU) Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) Community Grants as part of the CSU-wide initiative of the Global HSI Equity Innovation Hub (EIH). SF State received almost $200,000 combined for two grants. Recipients of the grants were selected based on their proposals to accelerate educational equity and innovation.

Collectively, the finalists will receive more than $2 million to support their efforts to inspire the next generation of creators and innovators to pursue high-demand careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and the creative and tech industries.

The two grants at SF State will together support efforts to elevate the University’s profile as a federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution.

“The Latinx student population at SF State has grown dramatically in the last decade from 18 percent in 2010 to almost 37 percent today,” said President Mahoney. “It is wonderful to see the number of Latinx students attending SF State begin to near their representation in the general population, and it creates urgency around opportunities to bring greater intentionality to our work to support them.”

One grant supports the Seal of Excelencia Working Group, which was formed by SF State President Lynn Mahoney to collect and analyze institutional data to better assess the University’s efforts in serving Latinx students. This grant will fund expanded outreach to the SF State community as part of this process. It’ll also provide technical assistance to the members of the committee to build additional institutional capacity for conducting this assessment.

“This grant will be invaluable in our outreach efforts to assess our intentional service to Latinx students as we pursue the Seal of Excelencia designation,” said Luis De Paz Fernandez, special assistant for strategic initiatives and co-chair of the Seal of Excelencia Working Group.

The second grant, for “Inspiring Challenge-Based Learning at the Latinx Student Center,” will support two innovative new programs in SF State’s newest center. These programs, which will start in summer 2023, are designed to create community and belonging for primarily first-generation Latinx students. To achieve this, the University will use technology to provide them with the tools and resources to develop as future leaders and professionals in creative and tech industries. This grant comes with an additional award of close to $20,000 in Apple and related technologies for direct student use. 

These grants are part of an effort by the CSU system to become a center for HSI innovation. “We have the potential to truly impact how we as institutions meet the needs of tomorrow’s industries,” said Erika D. Beck, president of California State University, Northridge, where the Global HSI Equity Innovation Hub is based.

Amanda Quintero, senior advisor to President Beck for inclusive excellence and the equity innovation officer for the Global HSI Equity Innovation Hub, said faculty on campuses across the CSU system were invited to submit ideas and proposals for “innovative practices in STEM that work across disciplines, leverage technology and collaborations with educational, community and industry partners to activate diverse talent and build a more inclusive workforce.”

The grants, made possible through financial support from Apple, will assist regional efforts across California. Each of the 17 grant recipients will receive between $64,000 to $150,000 for work slated to begin on Nov. 1.

“Through our partnership with CSUN to launch the Global HSI Equity Innovation Hub, we’re committed to providing transformative learning and career opportunities to students at Hispanic-Serving Institutions across the country,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives. “With these grants, we’re thrilled to support the next generation of leaders, entrepreneurs and creators.” 

The awarding of the CSU HSI Community Grants is the first of three initiatives to launch as part of EIH. The EIH at CSUN is a public-private partnership with Apple, which provided a $25 million investment as part of its Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI).

Institutions of higher education are classified as Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) when at least 25 percent of the full-time undergraduate enrollment is Latinx and at least half of the institution’s students are low-income. Twenty-one of the 23 CSU campuses meet these criteria, and were eligible to apply for CSU HSI Community Grants.

Last year, during the University’s Faculty and Staff End of Year Celebration, SF State successfully collected hundreds of canned goods, non-perishables and hygiene items to support the Associated Students’ Gator Groceries program. This year, to help students during the final weeks of school before the Winter Holiday, the Food Drive is being moved up to help ensure Gator Groceries is stocked up and ready for students when they return from the Fall Break.

From Monday, Nov. 7, through Wednesday, Nov. 23, the University will be collecting canned goods, non-perishables and hygiene items to donate. There will be donation boxes on every floor of the Administration Building and in the Student Services Building for you to drop off any donations. The list of goods Gator Groceries hopes to receive is available online. Any donations that you make will help fill students’ basic needs.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact Victor Javier Aguilar at or Luis De Paz Fernandez at

This past Saturday, Oct. 29, Enrollment Management held its first ever Discover SF State open house event for prospective students and their families to get a sneak peek at all that the University has to offer and learn how to become part of the Gator family. The department also held its first Spring Admitted Students Reception to celebrate the newly admitted students for the Spring 2023 semester.

Enrollment Management thanks all the ambassadors and student volunteers who spent their Saturday morning and afternoon helping our prospective and newly admitted students find a connection with the SF State community through your amazing efforts! Overall there were an estimated 1,685 visitors on campus that day. This couldn’t have been such an amazing day without your help. Thank you!

Save the date: Explore SF State will be April 22, 2023. This event will celebrate the Fall 2023 newly admitted students, giving the University an opportunity to intentionally demonstrate to families why they should select SF State as their campus of choice. Please be on the lookout for information on how you may help support this effort by way of presenting or serving as an ambassador or an SF State Showcase representative.

Enrollment Management appreciates the ample campus community support for the vital enrollment efforts of the University!

The campus community can now access COVID-19 PCR tests via vending machines in the Cesar Chavez Student Center and the Mashouf Wellness Center. For information on how to access and administer a test kit, please visit the Campus Comeback website.

Tax season is around the corner, and HR is committed to making sure you have the appropriate documents to file your taxes. Each year, the State Controller's Office (SCO) mails W2 forms to each employee’s current mailing address in the system.

You may review your current mailing address through Cal Employee Connect (CEC). If you haven’t had a chance to register to the CEC website, please refer to the CEC User’s Guide for detailed instructions.

If your current address is different than what is on CEC, it is important to update your address in the system so that your 2022 W2 form will be mailed to the correct address. The deadline for submitting address changes is Friday, Dec. 9.

If you are a current employee who wishes to update the home (W2 mailing) address on file:

  • Visit
  • Enter your SF State ID and password.
  • Choose the “Employee Services” tab.
  • Click “HR Self Services.”
  • Then click “My Personal Information.”
  • Under “My Home Address,” update your information.
  • Click “Save” and log out.

If you are a separated employee who wishes to update the home (W2 mailing) address on file:

Contact your department’s Payroll representative or Human Resources Payroll staff for answers to questions regarding address changes.

The Staff Council is thrilled to announce that it is now operational. The Staff Council is still building out its structure and processes (developing a website, obtaining an email address, setting up Qualtrics surveys to receive input from the staff, etc.), but it is steadily picking up speed and would like to introduce its members.

The Staff Council leadership is composed of:

Information about the leadership roles and the three standing committees can be found in the SF State Staff Constitution (new website coming soon).

The Staff Council is currently looking for staff members to participate on committees and working groups around campus (example: Strategic Planning Working Groups). If you are interested in serving as a staff representative on a committee or working group, please fill out a Qualtrics survey form.

Feel free to reach out to any of the Staff Council leadership if you have questions or suggestions. Please look for future announcements of events and other opportunities to participate.

SF State’s reaffirmation of accreditation by the WASC Senior Colleges and University Commission takes place this academic year, with a campus visit April 5 – 7, 2023. After more than a year of collaborative work involving faculty, staff and students across campus, the SF State WSCUC Institutional Report September 2022 was submitted to WSCUC on Sept. 22.

Please go to the WSCUC Reaffirmation website for more information about the report-writing process and the review.

The WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) is a regional accrediting agency for colleges and universities that award bachelor’s degrees or more advanced degrees. It is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as certifying institutional eligibility for federal funding in a number of programs, including student access to federal financial aid.

To reduce potential threats resulting from compromised University accounts via phishing and Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) bombing, Information Technology Services (ITS) is reducing the number of Duo requests authorized before a system soft-lock for fifteen minutes takes effect. This process will reduce the susceptibility of campus users to 2FA bombing attempts.

2FA bombing happens when a cybercriminal attacks a susceptible account with multiple account-access requests. After gaining an approved Duo request, the attacker infiltrates additional 2FA devices and systems. The username and password are now compromised, and the cybercriminal has full access to the account.

Center for Equity and Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CEETL) and Academic Technology (AT) are working together to offer expanded support for faculty transitioning to Canvas for the Spring semester. Visit the Canvas website to find an expanded list of Canvas Webinars that you can attend in November and December. Visit the CEETL website to learn more about Canvas coaches — teachers who have already taught in Canvas this semester and are excited to share their experience with you as you make your transition to Canvas.

The deadline for the Community Partner Award for Excellence in Campus Collaboration has been extended to Monday, Nov. 14, at 6 p.m. Given out by the Institute for Civic & Community Engagement (ICCE), the award celebrates the exceptional work of community partners and recognizes campus-community partnerships that improve the quality of life in our community. Nominations are to recognize organizations/agencies that have contributed to student learning outcomes, increased faculty awareness, and increased knowledge of community needs. Learn more on the ICCE website or fill out the nomination form via Qualtrics.

The 2023 CSU International Programs (CSU IP) International Faculty Partnership Seminar will take place in Tokyo, Japan, at Waseda University and Tsukuba University June 19 – 23, 2023. The seminar provides international experiences for faculty of diverse disciplines from the CSU campuses. Participants will learn more about CSU IP and the experiences of students participating in them while interacting with faculty colleagues from partner universities and CSU campuses.

This year’s seminar will focus on interdisciplinary dialogues and participants’ formal presentations. The theme for the seminar is “Challenges and Transitions: Japan, California, and the World.” Faculty are invited to apply as a participant or presenter. The presenter can submit proposals to present their research related to the theme.

Through participation in the CSU IP International Faculty Partnership Seminar, CSU faculty will:

  • Engage with colleagues and explore the seminar theme within their own and related disciplines
  • Learn more about international opportunities available through CSU IP for themselves and their students
  • Establish professional connections and contacts with colleagues from the host institutions
  • Familiarize themselves with international partner institutions

Faculty interested in applying for the seminar can complete the application by Tuesday, Nov. 15. View the application online.

The California State University system recruits faculty to serve as resident directors (RDs) at CSU IP sites in the following locations: France, Italy and Spain. These positions represent one of the best chances within the CSU to work and live for a year abroad. The Academic Council on International Programs (ACIP) invites applications for the role of resident director for 2024-2025 for France, Italy and Spain.

The resident director position provides onsite academic, administrative and fiscal supervision of an overseas study center under the direction of the Director of International Programs. A resident director of the California State University International Programs (CSU IP) is a full-time, tenured or tenure-track faculty member holding a teaching or administrative appointment on a CSU campus. The director of international programs appoints resident directors with the concurrence of the appointee’s campus administration. All resident director appointments are full-time 12-month appointments beginning Aug. 1 to July 31 unless noted otherwise. The faculty member continues to be a campus employee during the year they are abroad, and the campus pays the resident director.

Resident directors must be full-time, tenured or tenure-track faculty members holding a teaching or administrative appointment on a CSU campus, possess a terminal degree and have appropriate overseas experience. Faculty participating in the Faculty Early Retirement Program (FERP) are not full-time and therefore are not eligible.

Deadline to apply: Dec. 31. View the application online.

If you have any questions, please contact Jaishankar Raman, CSU director of international programs, at (562) 951-4790.

The SF State Academic Senate met on Tuesday, November 1 via Zoom. A summary of the meeting follows.

  • The Senate viewed an informational item on department and related name changes within the College of Liberal and Creative Arts. The new approved department names are “The School of Liberal Studies,” and “The Department of Humanities and Comparative World Literature.”
  • The Senate adopted by general consent the Academic Calendar for Summer 2023.
  • The Senate adopted by general consent the Academic Calendar for 2023-2024
  • The Senate heard in first reading the following:
  • B.S./B.A. in Business (Distance Education Authorization, with eight concentrations)
  • B.A. in Economics (Distance Education Authorization).
  • Minor in Juvenile Justice
  • Certificate in Creative Non-Fiction Comics Making
  • Early tenure policy

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

Take a stroll through the center of campus on Tuesday, Nov. 8, and Wednesday, Nov, 9, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to see International Education Exchange Council (IEEC)’s Study Abroad Fair. This event will be outside in the fresh air in front of the Cesar Chavez Student Center. The tables at the fair will represent different countries that SF State students can study abroad on through SF State Exchange and California State University International Programs. International students and study abroad alumni decorated each table and will be at the table to talk about their country.

Please encourage your students to attend as well. If your students are not on campus, have them follow SF State Study Abroad on Instagram and directly ask students currently studying abroad questions when they take over the account on Tuesdays. Also, check out virtual alternatives during International Education Week on the Office of International Programs website.

A free screening from the NBC Bay Area series “Saving San Francisco” will be held in the Coppola Theatre Thursday, Nov. 10, at 6:30 p.m. The screening will feature a live Q&A with the creators of the series, Investigative Reporter Bigad Shaban, Investigative Producer Robert Campos and Photographer/Editor Jeremy Carrol.

“Saving San Francisco” begins with the story of a neighborhood known for stunning ocean views and lush forests, where residents begin to witness strange things happening in what is usually a quiet and peaceful part of the city. The mystery unfolds when we meet a former English teacher who became a convicted felon — caught up in drugs, homelessness and accusations of an obsession with a woman who lives alone. The series begins with uncovering how this neighborhood and man became emblematic of the city’s systemic problems involving homelessness, poverty, crime and mental health. In later episodes, the investigation broadens the lens and takes a wider look at the many problems plaguing San Francisco, outlining the key players in the city’s broken system and the web of connections among them.

The University Budget Committee (UBC) will meet virtually via Zoom from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, Nov. 17. These meetings welcome members of the campus community to attend and learn about the University budgeting process and provide an open forum at the end of each meeting for public comment. The UBC is comprised of SF State faculty, staff, students and administrators and is charged with serving as a deliberative body that provides the SF State president with ongoing advice and recommendations related to budget policy, planning and assessment. Information about the UBC can be found on the Administration & Finance website.

UBC meetings welcome persons with disabilities and may provide reasonable accommodations upon request. If you would like to RSVP to the Zoom meeting as a guest or have other questions, please email


SF State’s School of Cinema is ranked No. 29 in The Wrap Magazine annual rankings of the top 50 film schools in the U.S.  

“Though SFSU’s roots are in experimental filmmaking influenced by the city’s counterculture tradition, most of its current students are more interested in scripted entertainment, so the school has beefed up its offerings in those areas, adding a video game minor,” the listing for SF State stated. “Like other California state schools, SFSU is a bargain ($7.5K in state, $18.8K out for undergrads) and very diverse (more than 80% identify as non-white or mixed race).” 

The rankings, published Oct. 31, are based on criteria including student data, notable alumni and interviews with deans. 

SF State Magazine received three honors in this year’s CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) Best of District VII Awards. The article “Ghosts of the Delta” by Senior Strategic Communications Specialist Matt Itelson was recognized in the News Feature (1,000+ Words) category, while the magazine overall was also honored in the “Design: Magazine & Periodicals” and “Magazines: Alumni/General Interest” groups. In addition, an SF State News article by Media Relations Specialist Kent Bravo, “Professor Reveals Filipino Caregivers Vulnerable to Exploitation During Pandemic,” was a winner in the Writing: COVID-Related category. Congratulations!

The California Association of Health Facilities has named Gerontology Lecturer Edwin Cabigao the 2022 Nurse of the Year. The award recognizes an outstanding registered nurse or licensed vocational nurse who has dedicated their professional career to long-term care. 

Cabigao (B.S., ’03; M.A., ’05) is the director of clinical services at Generations Healthcare. He will receive the award on Nov. 15 at the CAHF Annual Expo in Palm Springs. 

As the U.S. Supreme Court hears pivotal cases on affirmative action, the national newspaper The Business Journals explored implications for education and business in a Nov. 1 article. 

Jamillah Moore, vice president of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, says that affirmative action is still needed as a tool today given that “elite colleges and universities have largely been reserved for wealthy, predominantly white Americans, closing off access for students of color.” 

“Historical practices mandate the need for institutions to prioritize diversity through affirmative action,” said Moore, author of the book “Race and College Admissions: A Case for Affirmative Action.” “If legal battles against affirmative action create bans on the policy, many colleges and universities will remain predominantly white institutions. Race-conscious admissions practices remain necessary in the fight for racial equity in higher education.” 

A National Geographic story from Nov. 2 highlights research on animals’ ability to dream, including contributions from David M. Peña-Guzmán, associate professor of Humanities and Liberal Studies. 

“I think dreaming gives us a way of extending a number of cognitive capacities to animals; that includes things like emotion, memory and even imagination,” said Peña-Guzmán, who studies the philosophy of science and is the author of “When Animals Dream: The Hidden World of Animal Consciousness” (Princeton University Press, 2022). 

The San Francisco Chronicle dedicated a front-page feature story on Oct. 31 to Public Health Lecturer Deborah Craig’s documentary on the late Communication Studies Professor Emerita Sally Gearhart. The first out lesbian to be hired in a tenure-track faculty position at SF State, Gearhart (1931 – 2021) was an internationally renowned LGBTQ activist and co-founder of the University’s Women Studies program. After retiring in 1992, she founded a women’s-only commune in Mendocino County. 

“The whole thing about Sally is the more we found out about her, the more interesting and complicated we found out she was,” Craig said. 

The San Francisco Classical Voice published a profile of School of Music Lecturer Andrew Speight on Nov. 2. Speight has hosted classes and concerts at his home, dubbed the “House of Bop,” since 2020. High schoolers, SF State students and seasoned musicians improvise together. 

Speight has taught at SF State for 22 years, having been recruited in part by famed saxophonist Branford Marsalis, who taught with Speight at Michigan State University.  

“[Marsalis] talked to people at San Francisco State University about whom they should hire to build a [jazz] program, and the dean, Keith Morrison, came to me,” said Speight, who was born in Australia and moved to the U.S. in the 1990s. “He liked jazz, and I loved San Francisco. It was very similar to Sydney, on a bay, cosmopolitan — though maybe not the weather.”