Recent Entries in Achievements

csuresearchferraro.jpgSonoma 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.

facultyawards.jpgSonoma State University professors Lynn Cominsky and Suzanne Rivoire have earned the university's Excellence in Scholarship awards for their dedication to academic excellence.

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."

Student Activist Honored by ACLU

April 23, 2015 8:31 AM

student activistThe Sonoma County chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has selected Sonoma State University senior Sandy Espino-Valenciano to receive the Mario Savio Student Activist Award.

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.

model un studentsA group of 24 Sonoma State University students earned a third place delegation award at the National Model United Nations Conference last week in New York City.

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.

David BeroAfter 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.

thach.jpgSonoma State University wine business professor Dr. Liz Thach has earned her third Gourmand World Cookbooks award since 2007.

"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."

parkinsonaward.jpgFour 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.

conoleycolor.jpgSSU 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.

STEM Students Honored by LSAMP

December 8, 2014 2:58 PM

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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.

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