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mental health awareness week
There are 1,100 empty pairs of shoes scattered in the grass outside the library, each representing a life on a college campus lost to suicide last year. Sonoma State University senior Ben Teurlay has been collecting the shoes since October as part of his In Your Shoes project to highlight suicide prevention as part of Mental Health Awareness Week on campus.

Teurlay partnered with Sonoma State's Counseling and Psychological Services to present the powerful exhibition three days on campus during the week. Wednesday features a walk and readings from students sharing their experiences with suicide. Sharing stories is an important factor in combating the stigma of suicide and mental illness, says Teurlay. In Your Shoes features facts and statistics about suicide on posters around the exhibition, and tips on how to help someone in a time of need.

"I've always felt that if I can make an impact on one student's life, then I've made a difference," says Teurlay.

saharamer.jpegDr. Sahar Amer, author of "What Is Veiling," [UNC Press, 2014] speaks about the veil, one of the most visible elements of the Muslim faith, at Sonoma State University April 14.

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.

abigailadams.jpgAs 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 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.

Maria Hurtado (right) leads a pack of Seawolves in the 1500-meter run on Saturday.
Photo courtesy SSU Athletics
Women's Track and Field: After Seven Year Hiatus, Seawolves Take Third Place At Humboldt Meet

Competing in its first official meet in seven years, the Sonoma State women's track and field team earned a third place finish in the Humboldt State Invitational at Redwood Bowl in Arcata on Saturday.

The Seawolves took part in eight of the 18 events, scoring 50 points to finish ahead of San Francisco State (39) and the College of the Redwoods (19). Five-time defending CCAA champion Chico State ran away with the team title, garnering 240 points and finishing ahead of host and runner-up Humboldt State, which scored 100 points.

In the field events, Claudia Serrano earned top finishes for the Seawolves in the discus (fifth place) and shot put (10th) with throws of 28.46 meters and 8.01 meters, respectively. Alyssa Garcia had a team-best 24.77-meter throw in the javelin event.

Softball: Seawolves Beat CSU San Bernardino in Weather-Shortened Game
Just as the Sonoma State softball team scored four runs in the fifth inning, the sky opened up and drenched the field, ending the game as the Seawolves beat CSU San Bernardino 5-0. The second game was cancelled. The Seawolves improve to 6-1 in the CCAA and 14-3 overall.

Daniel Caresio had two hits and an RBI in Sunday's loss against Chico.
Photo courtesy SSU Athletics
Sonoma State University's baseball team got a taste of the big leagues this weekend, playing at Raley Field in Sacramento, home to the San Francisco Giants AAA affiliate club the River Cats. But the Seawolves lost the fourth annual Capital City Clash against Chico State, 2-7.

In last year's Capital City Clash, with the CCAA regular season championship on the line, the Seawolves pulled out a dramatic, come from behind 10-7 win. Over the past 38 years, Sonoma State has an 81-94 record against Chico State in baseball, including splitting this year's series, 2-2.

With the loss, Sonoma State falls to 2-6 in CCAA play and 5-9 overall. The Wildcats improve to 5-2 in conference play and 6-4 overall. The Clash series is now 2-2 between the two squads.

rob eylerThe focus at this year's Sonoma State University Economic Outlook Conference was on education, tourism, innovation and the environment. The 22nd annual event was held in Santa Rosa on February 25, and included presentations from leading innovators and philanthropists in technology, educational investment and economics.

Dr. Rob Eyler, SSU economics professor and director of the university's Center for Regional Economic Analysis gave his annual economic forecast, covering how the six North Bay counties are finally breaking out of the recession's wake and catching up to the rest of the Bay Area in terms of stability. "One of the main differences this year is simply the move from recovery to expansion," said Eyler.

Thumbnail image for seawolflogo.pngMen's basketball: Saturday loss eliminates Seawolves from playoff race
Despite a valiant effort and several close comebacks, the Sonoma State men's basketball team fell to the Cal State Stanislaus Warriors Saturday, 62-68 at home. The loss eliminated the Seawolves' chance to advance to the CCAA Tournament as the Warriors clinched the sixth and final playoff spot. The Seawolves drop to 11-13 overall and 8-12 in conference play.

Women's basketball: Seawolves lose final home game to Cal State Stanislaus
In the 2014-15 home finale for the women's basketball team, the Seawolves weren't able to celebrate with a victory as they lost 36-53 to Cal State Stanislaus Saturday night at the Wolves' Den. The Seawolves see their record drop to 4-16 overall, 6-19 in conference play.

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.

Students interact with employers at last year's Career Fair
Students interact with employers at last year's Career Fair

The 26th annual Sonoma State University Career Fair is Wednesday, Feb. 25, and this year SSU Career Services has put together the most diverse field of employers in the event's history.

The fair is at capacity this year, with 115 employers attending, and Career Services advisor Ann Mansfield also worked to increase diversity. "I originally looked at the majors offered here and I said 'We are going to try to get something for every category,'" said Mansfield. "We worked really hard to keep that goal in mind of offering up the most diverse set of employers that we could. What we have come up with, I think, is an incredible list of employers."

There are dozens of employment fields represented at the Career Fair this year, each specifically tailored to suit SSU's student population. "Looking at the list, the diversity of employers this year is crazy compared to last year," said Brittany Silva, student assistant in the Career Services office. Employers range from the fields of health sciences, financial institutions, government agencies and more, with companies and agencies including Jackson Family Wines, Trumpet Behavioral Health and even the FBI.

trioneheadshot.jpgNoted Sonoma County businessman and philanthropist Henry Trione passed away Thursday morning at the age of 94. His legacy of generosity touched many aspects of life in Sonoma County, and left a lasting legacy at Sonoma State University, which bestowed upon him an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in 1997.

Jim Meyer, the first vice president for development at Sonoma State, came to the school in 1988 and put together a fundraising drive with a goal of $500,000. "Henry was my honorary chairperson for that drive," said Meyer. With a board of advisors consisting of 24 "key leaders from the region," Meyer said Trione's help was invaluable in making connections to potential donors. Trione's personal support of the university at the time opened many doors, but he didn't ask for recognition--his work was almost always done behind the scenes.

One of the few examples of Trione's generosity that does bear his name is the Trione Courtyard at SSU's Green Music Center. The beautiful, stone-tiled courtyard is lined with 120-year-old olive trees and leads to Weill Hall, the main performance space and crown jewel of the Center. A metal plaque identifies the Trione Family as the benefactor who made the courtyard possible with a $1.1 million gift in 2005.

haroldjones.jpegWhat 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.

SSU Society of Women Engineers logoWomen 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.

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