SSU's Science Expo Seeks to Build Bridges Between School, Community, April 17, 2013, Rohnert Park Patch
Posted by Jean Wasp on Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 10:02 AM
Filed in In The News
The world-class music halls at Sonoma State University will soon be filled by the sound of a student symphony orchestra. Sonoma State has hired a tenure-track music professor to direct the Sonoma State Symphony Orchestra, which performs in Weill Hall at the Green Music Center.
Alexander Kahn joined the music faculty this semester, and students are already enrolled in the university's first official symphony orchestra. Kahn holds a Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley and a Graduate Performance Diploma in orchestral conducting from the Peabody Institute at John's Hopkins University. He was most recently a tenured professor at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania.
How was your summer? Well, for two Sonoma State University math students and math professor Martha Shott, it was international. They spent the summer, or six weeks of it, at least, in Thailand with the the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program.
Shott worked with eight students, including SSU math majors Travis Hayes and Ericka Chavez, in a faculty mentor capacity while students studied with faculty at Chiang Mai University, situated in Northern Thailand in Chiang Mai, a city of 150,000.
Sonoma State biology professor Nathan Rank visits Bishop so often, "it's almost like a second home," he says, speaking on a spotty cell phone connection from the eastern California mountain town of Bishop. He's been spending summers surrounded by breathtaking scenery of the Sierra Nevada since 1984 studying the montane leaf beetle, and will continue to do so for the next three years thanks to a $400,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.
"We are looking at how genetic differentiations within populations might help survive a really wet or dry year." He adds, "Since this year is extremely dry year, we are making sure to document the populations very carefully."
For students across the nation, graduating from high school is a celebratory achievement. This task is made much more difficult for children of migrant farm workers and low-income families with no knowledge in guiding their kids to obtain higher education. To counteract the disadvantages facing migrant students, Sonoma State University has created a program modeled after the California Mini-Corps program called the Migrant Education Advisor Program (MEAP).
"My mom passed away a week before my freshman year of high school, and I knew that education would be my fallback," says Chris Villedo, a freshman sociology major at Sonoma State University. "So the next four years I really focused on my education." He says Seawolf Scholars, a foster youth assistance program started last semester, has already helped guide him through financial aid, register for classes and navigate complex paperwork and registration requirements. "Having programs like this on campus helps students be more confident about what they want to do in college," says Villedo.
May is National Foster Care Month, and Sonoma State University's new Seawolf Scholars program is helping former foster youth navigate the new and turbulent world of college life.
Working in conjunction with a local Sonoma County laser light show studio, Anderson created a 100-Watt laser projector, over 20,000 times more powerful than a typical handheld laser. Anderson demonstrated the laser as part of a visual display the night before the launch of the Orion Spacecraft at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida on December 5, and participated in the Holidays in Space events later that month.
The Apple Watch is the latest gadget in the wearable technology game, but it's not the first, or certainly the last, wireless communication device that will live on our bodies. Sonoma State University engineering science professor Haider Khaleel says the revenue of the wearable technology field is estimated to be $28 billion over the next five years.
"I have been amazed by these wearable electronics since they emerged about 14 years ago," says Khaleel, who specializes in wearable technology and published a textbook on the subject last year.
Sonoma State University senior Alex Bretow was working on the set of a new Steve Jobs biography film when he got the email on March 16: "Congratulations, you've been officially accepted into the Cannes CMF program!" Says Bretow, "I literally ran outside and was jumping up and down."
When the producer/director called his filmmaking partner and fellow SSU student, writer/producer Mary-Madison Baldo, she had a similar reaction "I literally screamed," she says. "I was home for spring break, so I tripped up the stairs yelling, 'Mom!' She came out of her bedroom in a panic because she thought that I had hurt myself or something."
Both are appropriate reactions to finding out you've had not one, but two films selected for the most prestigious film festival in the world this May.
Women represent 24 percent of the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) workforce in the United States, a figure that's risen only 3 percent since 1993 according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. But a new club at Sonoma State University is working to close the gender gap.
"We already have an electrical engineering club, which is geared toward the boys," says Alyssa Afa'ese, electrical engineering major and president of SSU's new Society For Women Engineers club. "Women are underrepresented in our major, so we wanted to start and organization where women can work together."
The club began in fall 2014 and is working to inspire young women at Sonoma State to pursue their interest in engineering science. Afa'ese believes many women are apprehensive about joining the engineering department because of its low percentage of female students.
At 70, Sonoma State University graduate biology student Nicole Karres doesn't need another career. But in 1996 her natural curiosity got the best of her, and after careers in the medical corps in the Army and as a graphic designer at a fortune 500 company, she started what would be a 20-year journey to both Bachelor's and Master's degrees in a field of study that was brand new to her.
Particularly grateful are the jarred fish, amphibian and reptile specimens she has taken to cleaning and re-preserving for future researchers like herself.
Twelve hearty souls from the SSU geology department took a six-day field trip in early September to the Canadian Rockies in British Columbia and Alberta to explore the world-renown Burgess Shale, a UNESCO world heritage site widely lauded as the most important fossil locality in the world.
This field trip ran in conjunction with the upper level Geology elective course, GEL321: Burgess Shale Paleontology, a class taught since 2003 by paleontologist Matt James.
The fossils of Burgess Shale were discovered in 1909 during construction of the Trans-Canadian Railway. These 505-million-year-old fossils, remnants of creatures that once lived in a shallow sea, are the best record of the period of time after the appearance of modern hard-shelled multicellular animals and have proved pivotal to the study of paleontology. They are located in the majestic Canadian Rockies on the eastern border of British Columbia, surrounded by stunningly beautiful mountains shaped by numerous glaciers--in short, a geologist's heaven!
Sophomore Year Experience Creates A Culture of Curiosity to Smooth Transition for Second Year Students
Class selection and academic resources are changing for first and second year students at Sonoma State University with the introduction of the voluntary Sophomore Year Experience Program (SYE).
This program, designed to help freshman transition to their sophomore year and prepare for the remainder of their college careers, began last year as a pilot program and is now expanding further among the university this year.
Since May 2013, Romesburg has steered a rigorous effort to recommend revisions of the California K-12 History - Social Science Framework.
On Tuesday, Sept. 16, he and two co-editors released the groundbreaking report: Making the Framework FAIR: California History-Social Science Framework Proposed LGBT Revisions Related to the FAIR Education Act.
"Students can only truly understand families, communities, social practices, and politics, by understanding how they shaped and were shaped by same-sex relations and gender diversity--and how this changed over time," he says.
Some children harvest raspberries as others care for chickens that inhabit the outdoor area that surrounds the school. Pears and other fruits growing in the garden are ready to be plucked soon.Sponsored by the Associated Students, the Children's School offers a one-of-a-kind learning experience for children ages one to five years old, for low income families, and for SSU students and faculty
Student research, scholarship and creative activity capitalize on the strength of the faculty and add currency to students' educational experience, says Provost Andrew Rogerson. Aiming to strengthen the major opportunities that undergraduate students at SSU have for compelling research, Rogerson funded 29 grants for faculty-student teams this semester.
Kristal Raheem is very passionate about promoting social justice and serving her community.
After witnessing her friends and peers drop out of school, she wanted to create an organization that would help students stay at SSU and earn a degree.
Emerita Professor Myrna Goodman, Sociology, has spent 17 years as a Holocaust and genocide scholar including serving as Director of the Center for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide at SSU.
The issues confronting educators today are essentially the same as they were when she first began teaching about the Holocaust and genocide in 1997.
Looking for an exciting way to explore Sonoma County history? Then the University Library's Special Collections is the place to start. With thousands of unique primary materials, there are treasures on every aspect of North Bay history. With many items available online, you can start exploring from home.
The best place to start is with the collection materials from Sonoma County's famed historian Gaye LeBaron. The Gaye LeBaron Collection includes a truly eclectic range of items from letters to clippings to photographs, and more, organized into over 800 topics, many of which can be viewed online.
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.
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."
The Sonoma State University fall Biology Colloquium entices listeners with new information about ourselves and the ecosystems that surround us. The lectures cover a wide array of subjects, including urban lake restoration, responses of crabs to ocean acidification, and aging. SSU anthropology professor Dr. Karin Jaffe completes the series on Dec. 8 with a talk on university-zoo collaborative research.
The Environmental Forum returns to Sonoma State University this fall to discuss the shared challenges faced by our community. Lectures include local topics like Cotati's new SMART train station, as well as broad ones, like the concept of wilderness in society. The series culminates on Dec. 10 when student and faculty leaders will discuss how to get involved with sustainability at SSU.
Weeding, harvesting and watering sounds more like farm living than the life of a poet, but those two lives intersected at Southern Wisconsin's "Poetry Farm" in the mid-2000s, where scribes worked the land to tune out distractions of the Internet or urban world. On Oct. 6, Lisa Fishman and Richard Meier, two contemporary poets who were leaders of the farm, read at the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University.
Sonoma State University's new Jewish Music Series features local and international talents, showcasing music that reflects the broad spectrum of the Jewish experience including classical and folk songs, Yiddish theater, Eastern European Klezmer, Jewish-influenced classical works, and songs about social justice from American religious communities.
Sonoma State University professor Ajay Gehlawat is giving a talk about the Indian film industry for the Society for Asian Art in San Francisco. The society's fall 2015 Arts of Asia series, "Asia's Storied Traditions," explores narrative usage in Asian art, including how myths, legends, histories and moral precepts have been transmitted through visual means.
Founded in 2012, the Center for Ethics, Law, and Society addresses moral and legal issues that arise in the ever modernizing world. Philosopher Peter Singer, of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People, is just one of many distinguished speakers featured. The Forum aims to engage with the community on multiple issues, including artificial intelligence, water challenges, and more. The lectures conclude on Nov. 17 with a panel of experts discussing the future of the legal profession.
All lectures are on Tuesdays from noon to 12:50 p.m. in Stevenson 1002. This series of events is produced with the generous support of SSU Instructionally Related Activities and St. Joseph Health-Sonoma County. For more information call (707) 664 3280 or visit https://www.sonoma.edu/philosophy/cels/. Each event is free and open to the public, parking is $5-$8 on campus.
The fall 2015 Feminist Lecture Series, presented by the Women's and Gender Studies Department, is held Thursdays from noon to 12:50 p.m. in Stevenson 1002. A number of topics and themes will be explored under the common lens of activism. Each week offers speakers from diverse backgrounds and disciplines, from filmmakers to political directors. The series is made possible through the Women's and Gender Studies Department and the SSU Instructionally Related Activities Program. For more information call (707) 664-2840, or visit http://www.sonoma.edu/wgs/. Lectures are free and open to all, parking is $5-$8 on campus.
The 43rd Computer Science Colloquium Series returns this fall, offering insights on virtual reality, web encryption, and more. The lectures are Thursdays at noon in Salazar 2016. The series is supported by the SSU Instructionally Related Activities Fund, as well as the generous donations of friends of SSU Computer Science Department. Call (707) 664-2667 for more information, or visit http://www.cs.sonoma.edu. Lectures are free to attend, parking is $5-$8 on campus.
Sonoma State University Department of Mathematics and Statistics presents a series of informal talks open to the public. The M*A*T*H Colloquium takes place Wednesdays at 4 p.m. in Darwin 103 with coffee, tea and cookies served before each talk. For more information, contact the math department at 664-2368 or visit www.sonoma.edu/math.
When the University Library and Schulz Information Center first opened 15 years ago, wireless Internet was a novelty and YouTube was still four years away. Now, Sonoma State University celebrates the library's "coming of age" birthday party on September 10 with a Peanuts-themed soiree and art exhibit.
Private collections have for centuries played an essential role in the history of art, yet many such collections remain out of view of the general public. Sonoma State University is fortunate that Sonoma County residents Fay Gallus and Dr. Richard Sweet, whose collection is the subject of "Focus on Photography: Selections from the Gallus Sweet Collection," have generously agreed to share 59 photographs with the University Art Gallery and its visitors. The exhibit runs September 3 through October 25.
The Center for Ethics, Law, and Society (CELS) at Sonoma State University presents "Global Poverty and What We Ought to be Doing About It," a talk by professor Peter Singer, one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People, on September 9 in Weill Hall.
"It's a chance for our students to hear from a high-profile speaker who challenges us to think about altruism in new ways." says Joshua Glassgow, Sonoma State philosophy professor and director of CELS.
The season kicks off with the award-winning documentary "On Her Own," about Sonoma County farmer Nancy Prebilich and her family as they struggle to keep their fifth generation farm afloat during the recent recession. Prebilich will be present at both screenings to introduce the film and answer questions afterwards.
The public is invited to view Commence: Sculpture Projects 2015, an outdoor exhibition of 11 new public art projects created by talented students in professor Jann Nunn's advanced sculpture class at Sonoma State University. The outdoor sculptures are on display throughout the Rohnert Park campus from May 6 through Commencement Day on Saturday, May 16.
The project is a part of Nunn's public art curriculum, showcasing the work of students pursuing BA and BFA degrees in art studio at Sonoma State.
Guillermo Gómez-Peña, a performing artist and self-proclaimed reverse anthropologist and nomadic provocateur performs May 6 in Weill Hall at Sonoma State University's Green Music Center in a performance titled "Imaginary Activism: The Role of the Artist Beyond the Art World."
"This event is a unique opportunity to explore the work of a MacArthur-winning artist and to engage with provocative questions regarding performance as activism," says Patricia Kim-Rajal, chair of Sonoma State's Chicano and Latino studies department.
Two upcoming choral concerts at Sonoma State University will feature organist Charles Rus, longtime organist with the San Francisco Symphony. The programs include works by Haydn, Duruflé and Britten under the baton of Jenny Bent, SSU choral activities director.
Rus, who played a key role in the selection of the Brombaugh organ in the Green Music Center's Schroeder Hall, made his "Sundays at Schroeder" solo debut in November 2014 performing Baroque and modern selections to a sold-out house.
On April 21, Penngrove native Maria Gitin will read from her memoir, "This Bright Light of Ours: Stories from the Voting Rights Fight," as part of Sonoma State University's Africana Lecture Series.
Gitin's memoir details the dramatic but little known Freedom Summer of 1965. Her book is based on her letters home and more than 30 interviews with Black activists she re-contacted four decades later.
Gitin will speak about her intensive training, being arrested and being chased by the Ku Klux Klan, and what it was like to be a young woman in the civil rights movement. She will share first person accounts from Black activists she knew and worked with including Charles Bonner, a Sonoma State alumnus and Selma student activist.
Sonoma State University's annual Juried Student Exhibition runs March 26-April 12 in the University Art Gallery on campus. This year's exhibition features over 40 works of art selected by two jurors--Amy Owen, curator of di Rosa in Napa, and artist Chris Thorson.
Owen is curator to di Rosa's 217-acre art preserve and gallery and is the former senior exhibitions manager at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Thorson is a sculptor who specializes in capturing how objects hold cultural significance.
Sonoma State University (SSU) launches its inaugural Social Justice Week March 23-27 with a presentation by former Black Panther, Mama Charlotte Hill O'Neal, who is also an accomplished poet, musician and visual artist, and founding director of Tanzania's United African Alliance Community Center. O'Neal will deliver a keynote speech at the Green Music Center at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24.
SSU's Social Justice Week features 30 hours of panels, lectures, films and discussions including representatives from Sonoma County Peace and Justice Center, Veterans for Peace, Move to Amend, Metta Center, ACLU, Code Pink, 350 Sonoma County, Project Censored, North Coast Coalition for Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace Sonoma County, If Americans Knew, Police Accountability Clinic, and Alternative to Violence.
Providence College history professor and American studies director Jeffrey A. Johnson, author of "They Are All Red Out Here: Socialist Politics in the Pacific Northwest, 1895-1925" (University of Oklahoma Press, 2008), gives the lecture, "Aliens, Enemy Aliens, and Minors: Anti-Radicalism and the Jewish Left" at Sonoma State University in Schulz 1121 on Thursday, March 26, at 1 p.m.
Johnson, a former visiting fellow at Harvard University and Montana Historical Society, argues that Jewish activists during World War I spoke particularly bravely against U.S. intervention in European affairs, and that no group was more commonly persecuted and discriminated against during this period than leftist Jewish Americans. Anti-radicalism in this xenophobic era cannot be separated from ethnic and religious discrimination, he says, and this culture of repression had profound implications for the American left, showing how fear can drive political shifts that restrict prized freedoms. Admission to this event is free and open to the public.
Known by a variety of names, like hijab and burqa, the covering worn by some Muslim women is one of the least understood practices of Islam. Amer, who herself veiled for a short time in her 20s, brings context and a contemporary look at the phenomenon. She explains the origins of veiling in Islamic thought as well as the creative, thoughtful and sometimes subversive reasons behind women's choice to don the veil (or to remove it) in the 21st century.
As the calendar flips to March, Sonoma State University celebrates women throughout history who have stood up to make a difference. There are several events around campus this month that offer exciting opportunities to learn about and experience some of the obstacles women face throughout their lives both historically and currently.
Sonoma Film Institute Celebrates Women Directors
When compiling the list of films to be shown for the spring semester, the Sonoma Film Institute noted that its strongest films shared something in common: women were calling the shots. The timing coincided well with upcoming women's history month in March.
"I am especially excited about 'Que Caramba es la Vida,"' says SFI director Eleanor Nichols. "It is such a joyfully exuberant crowd-pleaser that I am completely baffled that no other theater in the county has chosen to show it."
The Sonoma Film Institute celebrates women filmmakers in March with screenings of two current international features, Doris Dörrie's "Que Caramba es la Vida" and Talya Lavie's "Zero Motivation." All screenings are in Warren Auditorium, Ives Hall, on the Sonoma State University campus, $5-$7 (SSU students free). For more information, or to receive a complete schedule of SFI events, visit www.sonoma.edu/sfi or call (707) 664-2606.
March 6 at 7 p.m., March 8 at 4 p.m.: "Que Caramba es la Vida"
"Que Caramba es la Vida" is a lively documentary on the female mariachi singers of Mexico City who are breaking down barriers to follow their passion. The film is in Spanish with English subtitles.This screening is co-sponsored by the United Nations Association, Sonoma County Chapter.
March 13 at 7 p.m., March 15 at 4 p.m.: "Zero Motivation"
Winner of the top prize for narrative world cinema at the Tribeca Film Festival, "Zero Motivation" (2014) is a dark comedy portraying the power struggles of three female conscripts at a remote army base in the Israeli desert. The film is in Hebrew with English subtitles.
What do Count Basie, Oscar Peterson, Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett and Natalie Cole have in common? Harold Jones. Known as the "Singer's Drummer," Jones has laid down the beat for the biggest names in jazz, and on March 11 he gives a clinic and performance as part of the Sonoma State University Jazz Forum.
Jones, who is currently playing on the Cheek to Cheek tour with Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, will make a one-day stop at Sonoma State to work with students in the jazz program. He program for this performance in Weill Hall is "One More Time: The Music of Count Basie Featuring Harold Jones."
Jones' style makes him the quintessential big-band drummer, with a crisp, clean sound notable for the high-pitched snare drum crack. He wastes no element of motion, sets up figures beautifully and plays wonderful fills only when necessary.
Despite claims by some people that they do not "see" race, social psychological researchers using a variety of measures have established that racial perception in the United States is both automatic and widespread. Stanford University English professor Paula M. L. Moya, discusses this and other topics in a lecture at Sonoma State University February 11.
Moya is the author of "Learning from Experience: Minority Identities, Multicultural Struggles" (UC Press 2002) and has taught in Stanford's Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. She has also co-edited several books on race and identity. Her talk is titled "Reading Race: From Ferguson, Missouri to Morrison's A Mercy and Back Again."
The Africana Lecture Series is offered weekly by the American multicultural studies (AMCS) department, featuring guest presentations and discussions that focus on historical and contemporary topics relating to people of African descent. This lecture series is in honor of Dr. LeVell Holmes and his contributions to the Sonoma State University community. All lectures are free and open to the public, and take place in Salazar 2020 on Tuesdays, noon to 12:50 p.m., unless otherwise noted.
One of the oldest continually held fundraising events in the area is back. The 31 annual Art from the Heart celebration at the Sonoma State University Art Gallery is set for January 31.
"This is a win-win for both professional artists and the University Art Galley," says Carla Stone, the gallery's exhibition coordinator. Over 150 artists from across the United States, including many from Sonoma County, have created original works of art specifically for the event. "Art from the Heart is a must for novice and seasoned collectors alike," says Stone. "With modestly priced works of art sold during a silent auction, the event is a wonderful way to have a good time and support the gallery, which in turn supports the careers of these fantastic artists. And you have a chance to go home with an original work of art."
The spring 2015 Holocaust Lecture Series at Sonoma State University runs January 20 and continues through May 5. Lectures are Tuesdays, 4-5:50 p.m. in Warren Auditorium (Ives 101) hosted by professor Diane Parness with guest speakers. The theme for the 32nd annual lecture series is "A Century of Genocide."
The Holocaust Lecture Series is sponsored by the Alliance for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide, the Paul V. Benko Holocaust Education Endowment, the Armenian Genocide Memorial Lecture Fund, the Adele Zygielbaum Endowment, the Thomas Family Foundation, the Center for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide, the Sonoma State Students' Instructionally Related Activities (IRA) Fund and the Jewish Community Federation (JCF) of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties. Lectures are free and open to the public, but a daily parking permit ($5) is required at all hours to park on campus.
The Sonoma Film Institute announced today its spring 2015 slate of screenings. This semester celebrates international cinema with a slate of women directors, the latest in American Independent cinema and the Orson Welles Centenary.
The season kicks off with the North Bay premiere of the Australian film "Charlie's Country." David Gulpilil ("Walkabout," "The Last Wave") won a Best Actor prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival as an aging Aboriginal who abandons his remote community in order to live a traditional lifestyle.
SFI Celebrates Women's History Month in March with the Sonoma County premieres of Ana Lily Amirpour's stylish and spellbinding Persian take on the vampire, "A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night"; Doris Dorrie's stirring music documentary on female mariachi bands singing their hearts out in Mexico City's Garabaldi Plaza, "Que Caramba es la Vida"; and Talya Lavie's hilarious portrait of everyday life for a unit of young, female soldiers in a remote Israeli desert outpost, "Zero Motivation."
The Sonoma State history department is holding a lecture about the "Christmas truce" and the beginning of World War I. The discussion is led by SSU graduate student Kevin Braafladt, historian for the U.S. Army Reserve Division and curator of the Sergeant Richard Penry Memorial Museum.
The 1914 Christmas truce was a series of unofficial ceasefires that took place across the Western Front during World War One. In many areas the truce started as an opportunity to bury the dead who had fallen in the "no man's land" between the trenches, but instead soldiers held joint burial ceremonies and independently ventured out to mingle and exchange food and souvenirs. In one of the truce's most enduring moments, troops from both sides played games of football with one another.
The lecture is in Stevenson 3072 on Tuesday, Dec. 2, noon to 1 p.m. Pizza will be served.
"It's a tremendous honor to be recognized by peers, colleagues, and associates," said Thach. "I spent years as an executive at Fortune 500 companies and there's no greater validation than doing right by my students. They put forward a high level of effort and excellence each day, and I share this award with them."
Sonoma State University biology master's student Michelle Ferraro took home second place (and a $250 prize) in the graduate division for biological sciences at the 29th annual CSU Student Research Competition, held May 1-2 at CSU San Bernardino, for her presentation titled "Evaluating Optimal Foraging Theory in a Free-Roaming Marine Predator."
The competition featured over 250 participants from all 23 CSU campuses. Undergraduate and graduate students competed in separate divisions by discipline. Ferraro is mentored by biology professor Dan Crocker.
Provost Andrew Rogerson presented the awards at Sonoma State's University Research Symposium on April 15. "When students collaborate with faculty on research, they learn first-hand how experts solve practical problems. Their teachers become role models, mentors and guides for continuous lifelong learning," he said. "This is the classic teacher-scholar model that we value so highly at Sonoma State. Both Lynn Cominsky and Suzanne Rivoire exemplify this ideal and are well deserving of recognition."
Espino-Valenciano, a psychology major at Sonoma State, is a volunteer and consultant with the North Bay Immigrant Youth Union where she has advocated for the implementation of the Trust Act and Assembly Bill 60, which requires driver's licenses to be issued to undocumented individuals in California. She has also led community forums as resources for immigrants applying for driver's licenses.
The students, led by political science professor Cynthia Boaz, participated in the program with more than 4,000 students from 400 universities across the globe. This year, Sonoma State represented Nigeria, which presented a variety of difficulties because of the nation's controversial politics and ongoing national issues. The team handled it well, earning Sonoma State's 10th award in the past five years.
After more than 20 years of research, Sonoma State University geology professor David Bero has published detailed maps of Ring Mountain and the Tiburon Peninsula. He presented these new maps as the featured speaker of the SSU Geology Club's lecture series on February 19.
Geologists around the world are known for their love of the outdoors, and Bero, who has been lecturing at Sonoma State for the past eight years, is no exception. He has spent nearly every weekend during the past 20 years hiking the trails and enjoying the sweeping vistas of his native Marin County. But unlike day hikers gazing at the panoramic ocean views, Bero's focus is on the rocks beneath him.
"Call of the Vine: Exploring 10 famous vineyards of Napa and Sonoma" took the title for the Women and Wine Book category in the United States and will via for the title of best in the world at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Yantai, China in June.
"This award feels different than the others," says Thach."It's not dry business text, it's a story," she says, admitting that this award came as a surprise. "This book is more personal. I put a lot of heart and soul into it."
Four undergraduate SSU students were honored at a California State University biotechnology symposium in Santa Clara this week for their work on a new device to help those suffering with Parkinson's Disease.
The team presented a prototype for what they call "PD Analytics," a low-cost device that can quantify tremors associated with Parkinson's Disease. The project aims to monitor and record the tremors of an individual Parkinson's Disease sufferer to allow for adjustment of medication accordingly in real time. To do this, they've constructed a glove capable of measuring intensity and frequency of tremors--the idea being that it can be emailed to a doctor right away. Though other universities are working on similar projects, what sets SSU's apart is its simplicity and low cost.
SSU English professor Gillian Conoley continues to impress her peers, the latest instance coming from "Peace," a volume listed as one of the top standout poetry collections of 2014 by the Academy of American Poets.
This follows the 2013 honor of being included in W.W. Norton's Postmodern American Poetry Anthology (2nd edition) that celebrated the works of renowned poets Allen Ginsberg, Robert Creeley, Denise Levertov, Amira Baraka, Charles Olson, and Barbara Guest.
She is one of six women in the nation selected for their devotion to the advancement of women in aerospace and for their significant contributions to the field.
Cominsky was nominated by Dr. Hashima Hasan of the NASA headquarters and was chosen for her "excellent leadership and sustained dedication to aerospace education and for her tenacious advocacy for girls and young women in aerospace."
Cominsky will be honored along with other award recipients in Arlington, VA at the Ritz Carton Pentagon City Hotel at a reception dinner and ceremony on Oct. 29.
The Psychology department at SSU has earned two community recognition awards for its Collaborative Autism Training Support Program (CATS) which works with local families whose children are diagnosed with autism.
On Oct. 27, CATS will receive one of fifteen merit awards given by the City of Santa Rosa at a 7 p.m. ceremony in the city council chambers.
This summer, the United Cerebral Palsy Association and the Cypress School of Autism and Behavioral Services presented their own honors to the program because of the efforts of countless SSU students and some faculty members dedicated to assisting these children and their families.
The CATS program, developed in 2005 by psychology professor Lorna Catford, blends the academics and classroom work that psychology students complete at SSU with the hands-on training and service-learning experience those students need in future career settings.
Recognizing his musical talent at a young age, Giovanni Lamanna's mother enrolled him in lessons and encouraged him to follow his passion despite her struggles battling life-threatening systemic mastocytosis.
Giovanni completed his bachelor's in music education in spring 2014 at Sonoma State University with a 3.61 GPA and will continue his education in the credential program at Sonoma State beginning fall 2014.
"Music is my universal language, a way to express feelings and touch the souls of others," said Lamanna.
Criminal Justice professor Barbara Bloom was honored with the Meda Chesney Lind Award by the Western Criminology Society this year for her leadership in the field of gender-responsive criminal justice approaches.
Her colleague Barbara Owen was a co-recipient of the award. The award recognizes "significant contributions to scholarship or activism on the intersection of women and crime."
SSU Junior Jesús Guzmán has received the ACLU of Sonoma County's 2014 Mario Savio Student Activist Award at ceremonies recently. Guzmán is an accomplished student and a dedicated social justice activist. He is currently serving as the lead organizer and program manager for the Graton Day Labor Center.
Born in Mexico, he arrived in the United States as a one-year-old and grew up on a small dairy farm in Sonoma County, as the son of a domestic worker and dairyman.
Over the last few years, he founded the DREAM Alliance of Sonoma County and has been organizing with other immigrant youth to increase access to financial aid, DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and fighting to end deportations.
Kristal Raheem, senior in Sociology, won first place at the recent CSU Student Research Competition in the Behavioral and Social Sciences Undergraduate category. The award was given for the presentation of her senior project: The Experience: An Analysis of the Retention and Graduation Rate of Black Students at Sonoma State University.
Working with her Sociology program mentor, Assistant Professor Sheila Katz, Raheem assessed the retention and graduation rates of Black students and conducted interviews with a group of black alumni and current students. Raheem is also a McNair NoGAP scholar.
She competed against other outstanding undergraduate students from the other 22 campuses of the CSU at the 28th annual event at CSU East Bay, May 2-3.
Steve Estes, professor of history, has been awarded a German Teaching Fellowship for the summer of 2014 by the Organization of American Historians. He will be teaching a course on the American Civil Rights Movement at the Universität Tübingen in June and July. The fellowship is funded by the Fritz-Thyssen Foundation. While in Germany, Estes will also be lecturing at the University of Frankfurt and the University of Erfurt.
Robert Train (Modern Languages & Literatures) has recently been awarded a 2014-15 Mayers Fellowship at the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA.
This highly competitive and prestigious grant award will allow Train to conduct research on his book project entitled Inventing Spanish in Multilingual California, 1769-1849: Global and local practices of language and education using the Huntington's rare books and archival documents.
CANDEL CSU Ed.D. Directors from northern California include (left to right) Dr. Carlos Nevarez, Ed.D. Director Sacramento State; Dr. Viki Montera, Ed.D. Co-Director, SSU Dr. Jose Lopez, Ed. D. Director, CalState East Bay; Dr. Katherine McKenzie, Ed.D. Director, CSU Stanislaus, Dr. Robert Gabriner, Ed.D. Director, San Francisco State.
Faculty, students, and alumni of the Sonoma State and UC Davis joint Capital Area North Doctorate in Educational Leadership (CANDEL) program participated in and presented research at the first annual Northern California Educational Leadership Research Symposium this semester.
The symposium was sponsored by a consortium of five California State University Educational Leadership Doctoral Programs in Northern California: CSU Sacramento, CSU Stanislaus, CSU East Bay, Sonoma State University / UC Davis and San Francisco State University.
SSU's Model UN cohort brought back another round of awards from the National Model United Nations simulation held in New York City. This year they served as the Cuban delegation.
Sonoma State University Model United Nations class has received three awards at the recently concluded National Model United Nations simulation held in New York City, says advisor Professor Cynthia Boaz
"We can all be very proud of our SSU student delegation," said Boaz, who heads the UN class for SSU. "These students have worked together since September to create a real-life diplomatic delegation that was officially recognized for their abilities, preparedness and dedication."
SSU students were this year selected to represent Cuba, which brought extra diplomatic challenges given the nature of world geopolitics. The delegation met with the Cuban Permanent Mission to the UN in preparation for their presentations, and spoke with Cuban representatives about policies and current issues.
The American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) has inducted Sonoma State University professor Thomas Jacobson, J.D., AICP, of Rohnert Park into the elite membership of AICP's College of Fellows at a black-tie ceremony recently. The event was held in conjunction with the American Planning Association's (APA) 2014 National Planning Conference in Atlanta.
"The AICP College of Fellows recognizes planners who have made exceptional contributions to their communities and to the planning profession," said AICP President Lee Brown, F AICP. "They represent the vanguard of the profession, demonstrating outstanding achievements and excellence whether through professional practice, planning research, teaching and mentoring, or community service and leadership," he added.
Professor Michael E. Smith of the Geology department is currently working with $86,000 with funding until 2016 from the National Science Foundation to pursue a research project exploring "Paleogeographic record of contractional to extensional tectonics in the Cordilleran hinterland, Nevada."
The project seeks to investigate the sedimentary record of the processes that formed and destroyed an Andes-like mountainous plateau and system of high altitude lakes in the location of present day Nevada.
The projects results will improve the understanding of the formation and destruction of high elevation regions worldwide, and give geologists and paleoclimate scientists more accurate input data to constrain their models for mountain formation and climate change in the past.
Paul Draper, Theatre Arts & Dance, has been named the first Director of Sustainability at SSU after the successful implementation of Water Works (www.sonoma.edu/waterworks) across the campus last year.
He will also chair the Sustainability Executive Committee, which was formed by Academic Senate action and approved by President Ruben Armiñana last spring. This position is a two-year assignment.
Last Friday night, Sonoma State wine business student Cooper Niswonger placed first in the final round of a wine competition in San Francisco and won a fully paid trip to Beaune, France.
Two teams of Sonoma State University students recently won the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Challenge, earning them $1,000 each. The first place team's presentation will be submitted for the next stage of the Challenge, where, if selected, they will be awarded $10,000 and be one of five teams to compete in Washington, D.C.
A select group of Sonoma State University students recently honed their leadership skills at a special invitation-only conference in San Diego for math-based majors. The event was sponsored by the California Utilities Diversity Council.
The 10th annual Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) Student Leadership Conference held last weekend offered extensive professional and leadership development through direct interaction with industry mentors and speakers.
The hand-picked MESA students, all science, engineering, or math majors, represented over 30 universities and community colleges from across the state, including Sonoma State University
Professor Robert Girling of the School of Business & Economics continues to tell the inside story of twenty inspiring companies that prioritize people and the planet in the revised edition of his book, The Good Company.. Compassionate companies can both change the world and make a profit. TOMS Shoes. Clif Bar. Eileen Fisher. Google. Give Something Back. Such names are synonymous with successful companies that are simultaneously making the planet a safer, healthier place, he says.
Professor of Theatre and Film, and Program Coordinator for Film Studies, Ajay Gehlawat, is intimately familiar with cinema and, in particular, with Indian cinema. He has written the book, Reframing Bollywood: Theories of Popular Hindi Cinema, and edited The "Slumdog" Phenomenon: A Critical Anthology, a collection of essays relating to the 2008 film Slumdog Millionaire. In addition, he will also be teaching a course on Bollywood in Spring 2014.
Robert Switky, a lecturer in the political science department, has recently published Wealth of an Empire: The Treasure Shipments that Saved Britain and the World which tells the dramatic true story of a top-secret mission that changed the course of World War II.
Professor Michael Ezra of the American Multicultural Studies Department has completed his third book project, a collection of essays published by Routledge called The Economic Civil Rights Movement: African Americans and the Struggle for Economic Power. More information can be found at http://tinyurl.com/n5ndbdc.