Update from the President Aug. 28, 2018

Aug. 28, 2018

Greetings! Welcome back to campus for the start of the 2018-19 academic year at Sonoma State. The fall semester has barely gotten underway, and it is already full of memories. Some highlights so far include:

  • Convocation: Thank you to those who helped get the year started with our Convocation ceremonies at the Green Music Center. It was a time of recognizing the resilience shown by our campus over the past year and the ongoing academic excellence of our faculty. Most of all, it was a time for reunion and for looking forward.
  • Welcome Week: What a joy it was for me and our Cabinet team to welcome our freshmen on Move-In Day and to assist them, along with their families, in getting settled in the SSU Residential Community. Overall, we have a fall enrollment of 9,318 students including a set of triplets who are transfer students. If you did not see the story in The Press Democrat about the Beglin triplets and move-in day at SSU, here’s a link. We also want to thank all of those who helped the Parents Barbecue dinner go so smoothly. Provost Lisa Vollendorf and I had the privilege of greeting families as they funneled through, and the compliments were flowing.
  • Hanyang University visit: Our school year also got off on a unique cultural note with a visit by a delegation of administrators, faculty and students from the third largest university in South Korea. The visit culminated with a performance of traditional Korean musicon Aug. 21 in the Green Music Center by students from the Hanyang Music Department. We look forward to future collaborations with Hanyang University.

In addition, we have had other exciting news to report.

  • CFO awards: I’m pleased to say that Joyce Lopes, Vice President for Administration and Finance/Chief Financial Officer for Sonoma State, was honored on Aug. 16 by the North Bay Business Journal as one of the top CFOs of the year in the North Bay. The honors this year also included a special posthumous award to Wally Lowry, a Sonoma State University professor of Business Administration and co-founder the Wine Business Institute. Congratulations to Joyce and to the Lowry family.
  • NEH grant: I’m also very pleased to announce that Dr. Janet Hess, a Sonoma State University professor of art history and African and diasporic studies, has received a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. She will use the funds to create a prototype digital map of three indigenous American nations, documenting such things as their geographic ranges, languages, architectural styles and cultural practices.  We are all very proud of Dr. Hess for receiving this notable award.
  • Panetta Institute intern: I’m also excited to say that Shea Martinson, a senior political science major at Sonoma State, has been selected to be part of the Congressional Internship Program through the Panetta Institute for Public Policy. Martinson, one of a small number of students across the state chosen for the program, will be working with Rep. John Garamendi for the fall semester, following an intensive two-week orientation at the Panetta Institute in Washington, D.C. Congrats, Shea!

As these updates illustrate, the start of a new school year is certainly a time of excitement. There are new people to meet, new concepts to learn, new collaborations to explore and new milestones to mark. I can’t wait to see what we will do together in the year ahead.

With Gratitude,

Judy K. Sakaki signature

Judy K. Sakaki