The 2011 Fall Convocation is scheduled for Mon., August 22 at 9 a.m. in Person Theater. At this time, it is doubtful that there will be refreshments due to budgetary constraints. New to this year's convocation: the speaker order is reversed, with President Armiñana speaking first and the Chair of the Faculty speaking last. More information will be posted to the NewsCenter as it is made available.
Kinesiology professor Lauren Morimoto has been named Director of Diversity and Inclusive Excellence at SSU. She applied for the position to reframe conversations about diversity - rather than something SSU "has" to do, as something SSU wants to do. Diversity promotes academic excellence and positive learning experiences for students in- and out- of underrepresented groups, she says.
Mo Phillips says she wakes up every day grateful she works at SSU.
Since 2000, Phillips has served as SSU's Associate Director of Student Development, prior to her current position she was a Residential Life Coordinator of Zinfandel Village from 1997 until taking her most current position.
As an Associate Director of Student Development she is responsible for supervising the Residential Life Coordinators who manage the continuing-student villages, which include Beaujolais, Tuscany, and Sauvignon East.
What brought you to SSU and a career in Residential Life?
When I was in High school I always wanted to be Julie McCoy on the Love Boat! I applied to be a Recreation Major at University of Wisconsin LaCrosse and in my time there was able to do a lot of programming, working with students and after 4 times applying, finally got an RA job! I was also very active in community event planning through my program. After leaving LaCrosse, I went to Grad School at Northern Arizona University and worked in Res. Life and on campus as a programmer there too.
I also got my Masters Degree in Counseling with an Emphasis in Student Personnel. Once I got my degree, I moved to Eastern Washington University(3 years) and University of New Hampshire(3 years) to be Hall Directors and got even more experience working with athletics promotion, student activities and Res Life.
Finally, after getting offers from both Oregon St. and SSU, I decided that I really loved the environment here, wanted to live on campus a few more years, would get to continue to do programming, and really liked this Chuck Rhodes fellow that interviewed me, so I moved here! That was 17 years ago and I have loved every minute of my time here! And I feel that every day I get to be the Cruise Director on the SS SSU!
You have a close up, intimate view of students as each class moves through their college experience . How has the typical SSU student changed over the years that you have been here?
Oh goodness, lots has changed over the years...the way students communicate, use/misuse meds, parental involvement, dealing with conflict, the stress they are under, pressure from parents, inability to deal with their stress in healthy ways etc. I have seen students have less faith in each other, less patience for themselves and others, more fearful of roommates when they are different etc
That said, I have also seen a rise in student involvement in service to the community, stronger leaders, people asking more questions and more and more people attending events on campus, whether they be dances, lectures, comedians, Big Nites etc.....
I would love to see more SSU Spirit in what they wear, going to sporting events etc...., but we are working on that! Fact is , I LOVE WORKING WITH STUDENTS! Not just the ones who make it "easy" for me and for us, but also those that are challenging. They all keep me on my toes!
It is know far and wide that you eat, breathe and sleep SSU. Why are you such a happy Seawolf?
You know, people ask me that all the time. I have a very strong work ethic (I blame my mom:), which really drives me to do my job and do it to the best of my ability, but I guess It's more than that.
As I mentioned above, I love the people I have worked with - students, staff and faculty alike. I love that this is such a relationship campus because that is who I am. I like to laugh, to talk, to see what the students are thinking, to go to the sporting events with my kids and to try to expose them to the amazing people and opportunities here.
I have been challenged here, but mostly, I have been supported and the ideas that we have had to improve campus life or address changing needs of our community, have been supported. This is the kind of environment I want to work in.
Everyone that I have worked with comes to work and does the best they can for that day. What else can we ask for? I also chose this environment because of it's casual nature. It's something that is very important to me. I have been at universities where people are so stiff and wear suits, and wonder why students cannot relate to them.
That is not me and SSU has allowed me to be me(for better or worse I guess). Finally, SSU is a place that is not afraid to grow in positive directions and to address the growing needs of our population. I wake up every day and say "I get to go to work today". I am lucky.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Right here I hope. Doing my thing and being The Cruise Director!
What do you do for fun outside of SSU? Any guilty pleasures?
I am a pop culture nut, so I watch a lot of reality tv/keep up on entertainment news/watch & go to sporting events. I have a budding collection of bobble heads, hike when we can, keep in touch with my family back in Wisconsin, go to community events, keep up with my kid's very active schedules and try to keep track of our cats:)
I love music and movies, and my kids and I can often be found singing loudly on our car rides. As for guilty pleasures, I absolutely love "What Does A Fox Say" and that casino might be an issue for me.
How have your children handled such a life?
My kids have grown up on campus and may know more about SSU than most people who work or live here. Alfred can give a tour of Person Theatre on his own and Alina believes she will be working at the Super Kids Camp when she is a student here.
If 300 Northern California math teachers were supported by the North Bay Mathematics Project (NBMP) in summer 2013, how many K-12 students have benefitted from the Project's work over the past 10 years?
Tucked away in the back of the Facilities Department is the campus lock shop and the man who holds the keys to the kingdom that is Sonoma State--Mark Utarid.
Judging by the decorated workspace it is easy to see that Mark is definitely a fan of both cars and basketball. Cards of former players are neatly adhered to his desk and images of speeding cars fill the majority of empty wall space.
Although Mark has made this space his own, work is also done around the clock. Mark is in and out, sometimes making 10 to 15 service calls a day as a locksmith for Sonoma State's Facilities/Lock Shop Department. At times he has made up to 50 service calls in a single day.
A young man who is using his struggles with poverty in his native country to help his people, has been selected one of the 23 recipients of the California State University Trustees' Award for Outstanding Achievement. He is a graduate of Elsie Allen High School in Santa Rosa, CA.
The new Pacific War Memorial installation at Sonoma State University's Holocaust and Genocide Memorial Grove is designed to remember those victims, to educate and inform general public opinion on the history of the war in the Pacific, 1931-1945, and to offer a measure of peace and reconciliation for survivors of those atrocities and families of victims.
Newly elected Associated Students President, Mac Hart, has big plans for Sonoma State University. Now entering his senior year at SSU, he was elected in Spring 2013. His running mate, Anthony Gallino, was elected as Executive Vice President.
Hart plans to improve upon the accountability of the Associated Students. He is dismayed by the disconnect between student representatives and the student body that elected them in the first place. Moving forward, he is also hoping to improve communication between student run organizations, as several overlap at with shared visions or goals.
Dr. Patrick Jackson has been with the Criminology & Criminal Justice Studies Program for more than 23 years. He is founding editor of an online scholarly journal, the Western Criminology Review, and teaches criminology, research methods, juvenile justice, and the senior capstone course. He has written a book, articles and chapters on wide-ranging topics and reports based on federal and state grants.
His latest publication is a dramaturgical analysis of how people manage their identities in a dog park. His current research uses photo elicitation interview techniques to understand the role of animals and animal-assisted therapy in the developing lives of foster youth.
"Studying literature is good for you," says Dr. Brantley Bryant of the English department. "Encountering literary texts helps develop sympathy, imagination, and critical thinking skills suited to a changing world. Playing around with books is fun, but it can also generate truly new solutions for the pressing problems of our society."
In his teaching, Bryant aims to help students hone their skills as perceptive interpreters and to connect them to the rich resources contained within the diverse traditions of literature in English.
Bryant joined the SSU faculty as an assistant professor in the fall of 2007 after completing his Ph. D. in English at Columbia University, specializing in medieval British literature. Bryant's doctoral dissertation focused on the connections of politics and poetry in fourteenth-century England, expressing his interest in the political and social power of literature.
"I was pleased by how many of our supporters turned out to hear the results. When the results were read I smiled incredibly wide, high-fived Anthony and hugged Sachi Silva, who was our spectacular campaign manager," he said. "With so many of our supporters at the results night, it felt really good to have won because it showed how effective their efforts were."
Jamila Dozier spent her K-12 education attending Catholic school in San Francisco, and when she began as a freshman at Sonoma State University she admits it was "a tough transition." From uniforms and classes on religion to the atmosphere of SSU, Dozier was able to find a common link between these two environments in the form of community service.
"I enjoyed living in other cultures during my travels, and was treated like a queen," says Martha Peterson (BA English '85, MA English '87). Peterson says she has used the knowledge gleaned from Sonoma State in many ways over the past 30 years.
Dr. Armand Gilinsky joined the Sonoma State faculty in 1994. Before receiving his doctorate in business with an emphasis in policy from Brunel University of London, he received an MBA in finance from Golden Gate University and degrees in educational administration and policy analysis as well as English from Stanford University.
Dr. Ben Ford came to SSU in 1998 and holds several degrees in mathematics including his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon.
Marylu Mattson, one of the first professors to teach in the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies at Sonoma State University, passed away on December 30, 2012. Admired by colleagues and students alike for her combination of rigor and creativity in teaching, she was also a dedicated researcher in the humanities and sciences.
A lifetime love of California history led her to explore many corners of the state and culminated in a comprehensive historical narrative: Shaman's Dream: The Modoc War came out in print a few weeks before her death. She also co-authored an acclaimed textbook on writing, Help Yourself: A Guide to Writing and Rewriting, which went through several editions and was used by teachers throughout the country.
Marylu Catherine Mattson was born on September 12, 1933, in Los Angeles, California, daughter of Fred and Lucille Mattson and younger sister to Fred junior. She attended St. Agnes grammar school in the central area of Los Angeles, then following the war the family moved to San Fernando where her father had a grove of ornamental eucalyptus that also included resident geese, goat, cow, dogs, and her cherished horse.
Childhood friends remember her playing the ukelele with the same zest that she prepared for debates, at which she shone. Lu attributed her intellectual awakening to an elderly woman in the neighborhood who shared with her a rich and varied library and collection of classical music, the origin of her lifelong love of literature and opera.
She graduated in 1951 from the high school at Mission San Fernando, and that fall entered Mount St. Mary's College in Los Angeles. Her classmates remember her wit and passion, and "creativity in subverting draconian dormitory regulations." In 1955 she graduated with B.S. in microbiology and chemistry; the avant-garde yearbook she produced that year anticipated lifelong experiments in the arts.
After a year spent touring Europe, she returned to Mount St. Mary's and completed requirements for the B.A. in English, then went on to UCLA, earning an M.A. in English in 1964. A summer spent in art classes in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, initiated a lifelong avocation in visual arts, especially sculpture and printmaking.
In 1965 Lu entered the Ph.D. program at the University of Southern California. From graduation through her years of postgraduate study in the humanities she continued scientific work, primarily in the UCLA Hematology Research Laboratory.
Co-workers note that she mastered the arcane language of enzyme biochemistry and developed into a highly sophisticated experimentalist, making a valued contribution to a seminal study in pyruvate kinase deficiency.
In 1967-68 she returned to Europe, first participating in an archeological excavation, then traveling via an Italian scooter through England and the continent, and eventually plunging into the intensive research in London libraries, archives and public records offices that culminated in her frequently-cited Ph.D. dissertation, "Censorship and the Victorian Drama" (1969), still one of the most comprehensive studies of the subject.
From 1968-1970 she was a lecturer in English at California State University Los Angeles, where she initiated an innovative student-to-student tutoring program.
In 1970 Marylu Mattson joined the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies at Sonoma State University as one of the original faculty members hired to create the new School's interdisciplinary curriculum.
She was valued as colleague and administrator, at different times serving in the Academic Senate and the Vice President's Council, as Campus Coordinator of Computer Assisted Instruction, as elected Chair of the Division of Cluster Schools, and as Provost of the Hutchins School.
Students and peers alike recognized her excellence in teaching: besides teaching expository and creative writing she helped design team-taught undergraduate courses as well as upper division seminars in her areas of special interest including "Censorship in the Arts," "Masterpieces of the Humanities" and "The Irrational in the Western Tradition."
A skilled seminar leader, Professor Mattson modeled intellectual curiosity and openness to new ideas with strong critical sensibility and an absolute commitment to high standards.
A former student spoke for many in saying she was "blessed to be among the fortunate lives she touched and enriched," and a colleague commented on Lu as "a wonderful colleague, and a person of great depth and kindness."
Retirement in 1992 brought more opportunities for research, travel and exploration in the arts. In 1998 she relocated to a vacation cabin in South Lake Tahoe, and in 2001 moved to Santa Fe and then to Glorieta, New Mexico; the southwest sojourn included many trips to San Miguel where she continued study in graphic arts and was welcomed into an intellectual expatriate community.
In 2009 she returned to her beloved Russian River valley and resumed research on the Modoc War. Shaman's Dream: The Modoc War began in the 1970s as a film project and eventually engaged her in far-flung and obscure archives and libraries throughout the west and in Washington, D.C.
Framed as "creative non-fiction," it is the most comprehensive and well-documented study available of the last "Indian war." She also continued work in the arts, proudly showing friends a new press she was using to produce graphic designs, and she integrated professional and artistic interests by promoting a collaboration between the Mendocino Art Center and the Sonoma State art department.
Those who knew her--friends, colleagues, students from many places and diverse backgrounds--share admiration for her intellectual integrity, her personal loyalty, and above all her generosity and courage and her great joy in life. Faced with risky and complicated surgery for cancer, her question was, "Which procedure will leave me still able to ski?"
After suffering a massive stroke, she fought to regain her verbal skills by writing a novel. She loved to gamble, at the blackjack table and at the track; when she won a scratch-off prize she used the money to treat friends to a day at Santa Anita-- where she won the daily double; when she lost, she threw back her head and laughed at the unpredictability of everything.
She plunged wholeheartedly into all her projects, she was constant in support of her friends and colleagues and their endeavors, and from their first appearance in California she was a dedicated fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Marylu is survived by her life partner of 35 years, Linda Day, and was a wonderful second mother to Linda's children Erica Sargent, Andrea Sargent Harbin, and Scott Sargent . She will also be missed by her grandchildren Clara and Amelia Schaeffer, Rowan and Duncan Harbin, Owen and Tavis Sargent.
Intrigued by the environment at a young age, Sonoma State Director of Field Stations & Nature Preserves Claudia Luke always knew that her place was outdoors. "When I was in 5th grade, I went home and I asked my mom what do you call somebody who studies animals," Luke reminisced. "So at a very young age, I knew I wanted to learn about the natural world."
Bringing with her a passion for community service, Genevieve Sullivan finds her new role as the Community Service Coordinator of Join Us Making Progress (JUMP) to be a perfect fit.
Associate Professor Jeffery Reeder will soon be using his Spanish language expertise in a whole new way. Reeder has been appointed the Chief Reader Designate by the College Board to oversee the scoring of the Spanish Language Advanced Placement (AP) examination.
"I have been involved with the Spanish Language AP program for 18 years, including serving for six years as a member and then as chair of the committee that creates the exam itself," Reeder said. "It's a great honor to be chosen to lead a wonderful group of over a thousand talented and dedicated university faculty and high school teachers."
Merlin Hanauer, assistant professor of economics, has earned the prestigious Cozzarelli Prize for an article that demonstrated how protected regions -- areas that have been closed off to protect the environment -- have affected both poverty and deforestation in Costa Rica and Thailand.
Sonoma State University professor and chair of physics and astronomy Dr. Lynn Cominsky has been selected as the September 2012 Committee on the Status of Women in Physics (CSWP) Woman Physicist of the Month.
Over the past year Pena has spent his time working with local businesses and charitable organizations to improve Cotati and surrounding communities.
The North Bay Business Journal recently published the following article about SSU's Christopher Dinno who was among the Facilites Managers Recognition Award winners for 2012. Below is the interview he gave the publication.
EXCEL for Youth is a unique academic enrichment program at SSU that offers students entering 4-9th grades accelerated classes in science, math, technology, visual art, drama, and writing. It is celebrating its 30th year and has served over 19,000 students since 1982.
Having suffered through some of the brutal conflicts in Cambodia, Punya Droz of Mendocino has many scars. Yet she works tirelessly to bring a sense of independence to Cambodian youth, especially the blind and deaf.
Growing up in Cambodia, Droz survived a difficult and abusive childhood, and overcame numerous obstacles to reach her goal of completing college.
She joined hundreds of fellow seniors on SSU's main campus last week as a graduate with distinction from the Liberal Studies Ukiah B.A. program. She'll continue her education at Dominican University in pursuit of a teaching credential starting fall of 2012.
A mother herself, Droz currently designs, translates and writes educational materials to ensure that blind and deaf children in Cambodia get the help they need to not only get an education, but to operate independently in their communities.
She works with numerous groups in both the San Francisco Bay Area and in Cambodia in an effort to generate educational materials, guides, and resources for parents and teachers of students with special needs.
Droz recently completed a Special Studies project, for which she traveled to Cambodia. to continue her work with blind and deaf Cambodian children and their parents.
She created a compelling video showcasing her efforts in the Cambodian communities where her work is making a difference in many people's lives.
Sandra Feldman, Liberal Studies Ukiah program coordinator says she rarely sees such an accomplished and distinguished student who contributes tirelessly to help others.
"Punya stands out because she is selfless in contributing effort, time, and scholarship to help those in need, " says Feldman. " She works steadily with a quiet power giving a helping hand, using her gifts to contribute to making the world a better place. In her quest to better prepare and enable teachers and parents to work with blind and deaf Cambodian children, she is the ideal example for our future teachers of California. "
What do The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Harpers and Sonoma State's literary magazine Volt all have in common? All were named a part of the Every Writer's Resource Top 50 Literary Magazines in the country. Sitting at number 37 is Volt, the start-up, independent magazine begun by poet Gillian Conoley that eventually became a nation-wide magazine based out of SSU.
One of the foundational principles of the Masters of Arts in Organization Development program is that of "learning by doing." This program provides professional preparation for developing organizations and communities that are more sane and effective.
In four semesters, participants gain the practical skills, conceptual knowledge, and field-tested experience to successfully lead organization and community improvement efforts.
With that focus, the curriculum includes hundreds of hours of internship time in which students work collaboratively with local businesses in the private, public and non-profit sectors, and thereby gain valuable work experience.
They offer their time for free, or sometimes at greatly reduced fees, in exchange for opportunities to hone their skills and learn through real-life experience. OD alumni, likewise, are continuing to learn in this hands-on manner and to work this way in the community as they build their resumes, professional networks, and skills.
Some examples of organizations with which graduates and students have recently worked are: Community Child Care Council of Sonoma County, Legal Aid of Sonoma County, SSU Faculty Retreat, Sonoma County Office of Education, City of Walnut Creek, City and County of San Francisco, Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, Earth Island Institute, Community Action Partnership of Sonoma County, and Women's Initiative for Self Employment.
Collaborative community projects are varied and numerous. For example:
A team of graduates did a project with the Sonoma County Human Rights Commission over the summer of 2011, in which they put together a forum of more than 60 area human rights organizations to discuss ways to collaborate with one another.
A team of alumni worked with local broadcasting station KRCB as they develop their community based programming and partnerships.
One of the alumni is designing and leading a multi-year, multiple stakeholder, community-wide partnership for identifying gaps and priorities in youth-serving organizations in Petaluma, and doing community capacity building in the Petaluma City School System.
OD faculty and alumni were principally involved in the Windsor Future Search collaboration with that community, which focused on creating a better future for the youth of Windsor.
More recently the OD program hosted its own Future Search conference, inviting members of the SSU community and Sonoma County area stakeholders to consider the future of this MA program, and ways to maintain its vital connections with the community.
Alumni hold leadership positions in community and collaboration-oriented organizations such as Catholic Charities, The Arc of California, Ag Innovations Network, Becoming Independent, Summer Search North Bay, and the Santa Rosa Police Department, among many others.
Director of the program is Debora Hammond. More information can be found at http://www.sonoma.edu/exed/orgdev/.