Recent Entries in Achievements

cominsky.pngProfessor of Physics and Astronomy Dr. Lynn Cominsky has been awarded the Aerospace Awareness Award by Women in Aerospace (WIA).

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.

autismcats.jpegThe 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.

giovanilamanna.jpgSonoma State University student Giovanni Lamanna has become the first member of his family to graduate college in part because of the William Randolph Hearst scholarship he has been awarded from the California State University system.

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. 

Through her love and support, he found his desire to become the first in his family to graduate college.


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.

barbarabloom.jpegCriminal 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."

jesusguzman.jpgSSU 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.

sociologyresearchers.jpgKristal 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.

steveestes.pngSteve 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.

roberttrain.pngRobert 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.

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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.

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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.

tomjacobson312.jpgThe 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.

mikesmith.jpgProfessor 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.

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