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Alex Bretow
SSU senior Alex Bretow explains the whirlwind of excitement he's experienced since finding out he and film partner Mary-Madison Baldo will have two films shown at the Cannes Film Festival in May
Photo by Kayla Galloway
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.

seawolf shark tank logo
From microwaved lipstick to an alarm clock that wakes you up with the scent of bacon, contestants on the TV show Shark Tank have been pitching their ideas to millionaire investors for six seasons, and now it's coming to Sonoma State University.


The Seawolf Sharktank Experience gives students a chance to work with faculty in Sonoma State's School of Business and Economics to build a business plan based around an original idea or product. The top projects are chosen to compete against three other California State Universities in the finals at Chico State on April 24.

ryanluna.jpg
Baseball: Ryan Luna Throws No-Hitter It was all zeroes on the scoreboard as Sonoma State pitcher Ryan Luna walked off the mound at the end of SSU's 7-0 win against the CSU Stanislaus warriors in the second game played Friday afternoon at Sonoma State. Luna's no-hitter is the first for the program since former SSU pitcher Aaron Damm held UC San Diego hitless back on April 30, 2005. The Seawolves took three of four against Stanislaus over the weekend, setting season highs for runs (15) and hits (21) in a 15-5 victory Saturday in Turlock.


Softball: Seawolves fall to Humboldt State, Maintain Lead in CCAA
Despite two losses to Humboldt State University on Saturday in Arcata, Sonoma State's softball team maintains its first place standings in the CCAA by one-half game over Cal State Monterey Bay. The Seawolves are 22-6 overall, 14-5 CCAA. Keeley Ray had an outstanding effort at the plate throughout the series, going seven for eight in the opener with a triple, a stolen base, an RBI and five runs scored.

Art by Sarah NewcombSonoma 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.

climatelogo.pngOn April 8 Sonoma State University is hosting the Sonoma County Adaptation Forum, the nation's first county-level climate adaptation forum. The focus is on keeping Sonoma County vibrant and resilient in a changing climate, and attendees will learn how to make climate friendly decisions and share what they have learned with others to explore new and innovative solutions for adapting to climate change.

"We know that the future is likely to bring more droughts, floods and fires," said Susan Gorin, Chair of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. "The forum will bring together policymakers across the county to discuss how we can make our community resilient and safer in light of these challenges."

vineyardsSonoma State University is now accepting applications for its new Global Wine MBA program, set to begin in fall 2015. The program is a full-time, one-year accelerated Wine MBA program focused on global wine business professionals who desire to further their wine industry knowledge.

"SSU changed the direction of my life," said Sonoma State alumnus and Master Sommelier, Ian Cauble. "There were so many great resources, I was located near the greatest wineries of California, and had the opportunity to work for those wineries while going to school." Cauble, star of the movie SOMM, recently co-founded SommSelect.com.

Mama Charlotte O'NealSonoma 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.

SSU professor and NI vp with new equipment
SSU engineering science professor Farid Farahmand and National Instruments VP of R&D Jin Bains with recently donated equipment.
Photo by Nicolas Grizzle

Affectionately known as "Pixies," two National Instruments PXI units will be put into use by Sonoma State University students right away thanks to donation to the engineering science department. "I can definitely use them with what I'm working on now," said SSU student Jon Poorazzo, who is designing RF antennae.

Sonoma State University's engineering science department has received a donation of $20,000 worth of equipment from National Instruments. The new equipment will be particularly useful in lab classes, which the department is focusing on increasing.

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.

ssu softball
Softball: Seawolves Take First Place in CCAA After Series Win vs CSU San Diego Tritons Sonoma State softball took three of four games against CSU San Diego over the weekend, highlighted by Amanda Llerena's spectacular complete game shutout for Sonoma's 3-0 win in game one.


Game two ended with a bang as the Seawolves rallied on two outs to bring home five runs in the sixth inning for a 6-3 win. Game three saw no shortage of base runners for the Seawolves, with six runs scored in the third inning for a 7-6 win. The momentum ran out in game four however, as the Tritons scored early and held the lead, handing the Seawolves a 2-3 loss.

The series win jumps the Seawolves to first place in the CCAA with a record of 9-2, and a league-best 17-4 record overall.

Baseball: Seawolves Go 3-1 Against CSU San Bernadine Coyotes
The Sonoma State baseball team pounded the CSU San Bernardino Coyotes over the weekend, nabbing three wins in the four game series.

ssumobilescreenshot.jpegSonoma State University has updated its SSU Mobile iPhone app with new features and a fresh, modern look.

While not as in depth as other university apps, SSU's app is unique in that it was created entirely by students, with almost no cost to the university. "It's helpful, it's useful and it's different than a Web page," says Ali Kooshesh, chair of SSU's computer science department. "The features are designed to provide information easily."

Those features include a directory of faculty and staff, who can be called simply by tapping the phone number on the screen, right in the app. Another feature is the news feed from Sonoma State's News Center, placing the most recent articles at the top of the list.

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.

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