The Academic Advising Sub-Committee is hosting a workshop featuring SSU research on under-represented student groups with a discussion about how the campus can better support those students in various campus roles.

The workshop will be on Thursday, May 15 from 1-2:30 p.m in Darwin 30.

Included are three 10-minute research talks, a discussion of student stigma on campus by Dr. Leslie Shelton, Director of Academic Support Service, and discussion of the topics and ideas for improving the retention, experience, and graduation of underrepresented students.


John Michael Vincent Coralde works with kinesiology students who volunteered as subjects for his research project on the benefits of backward walking.

It may be time to turn your back on your walking routine.

It is 7:30 a.m. in PE 101 and 30 students are walking for 15 minutes in circles before they head for class. Half moved forward and half walked backwards. They would repeat this early morning exercise every Monday and Wednesday over a ten-week period. In the beginning, one half were probably wishing they had eyes in the back of their heads. But soon it became second nature.

The 30 volunteered to be part of the Mighty Morphin Backwards Walkers study, an undergraduate research project funded by Provost Andrew Rogerson as part of his focus on supporting undergraduate research at SSU. 

The final results proved the ancient Chinese proverb that "walking backwards for 100 steps is equal to walking forward for 1,000 steps."

ashleykimball.jpegkathleenburns.jpegAshley Kimball (right) and Kathleen Burns (left) will have two very specific things in common this Saturday; they will graduate from Sonoma State University and will be student Commencement speakers.

Facing a busy time with finals and preparations for graduation, the two still found the time to pass on valuable information to future and current students about some of the things they discovered during the college experience.

For more on this story by Nick Walden from the Press Democrat TOWNS section, visit:

Sonoma State University has earned the 25th spot in a ranking of the 25 Most Beautiful Colleges in California by

The ranking was compiled based on student recommendations, the beautiful colleges lists of several national publications, including Travel & Leisure, Forbes, The Daily Beast, and Business Insider, as well as the editorial judgment of the web site's staff, says Jeremy Alder, Senior Editor, Colleges In California.

Spot #1 was claimed by Stanford University, followed by Pepperdine, University of San Diego, Scripps College and UC Santa Cruz.

The compete list can be found at

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.

gradgirl.pngSonoma State University will award diplomas to the Class of 2014 at its annual commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 10. Approximately 2,000 are expected to walk for their diplomas with their families and friends watching.

The event historically draws more than 10,000 people to the Commencement Lawn on the Rohnert Park campus. The event will be held rain or shine.

Ceremonies are scheduled at 9 a.m. for the School of Science and Technology and the School of Social Sciences and 3 p.m. for the School of Arts and Humanities, School of Business and Economics, and the School of Education.

During and after, the ceremony can be viewed by visiting SSU's streaming media web site at for those who wish to watch it from off-campus or after the ceremonies.

Those on campus Saturday can view it on the third floor of the Student Center in the main ballroom.

garyheck.jpg Wine industry icon Gary Heck, who is recognized not only for his business success but also for his leadership and integrity, will receive Sonoma State's 2014 honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at the University's May 10 commencement at the 3 p.m. ceremony.

Heck, owner of Korbel Champagne Cellars, has served as its president since 1982. Working his way up through the ranks, he became Chairman of the Board in 1984, continuing the legacy of his father.

Heck has built Korbel into the leading premium California champagne producer in this country. In a separate facility, Korbel also produces one of the country's most respected brandies. His dedication to quality, both in the vineyard and in the cellar, is at the heart of his distinguished award-winning portfolio.

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