lizthach.pngSonoma State University wine business professor Liz Thach, MW, is this year's recipient of the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce Excellence in Education award.

"It's a tremendous honor to be recognized by peers, colleagues, and associates," said Thach. "I spent years as an executive at Fortune 500 companies and there's no greater validation than doing right by my students. They put forward a high level of effort and excellence each day, and I share this award with them."

focus on photography flyer, image of burning cactusPrivate collections have for centuries played an essential role in the history of art, yet many such collections remain out of view of the general public. Sonoma State University is fortunate that Sonoma County residents Fay Gallus and Dr. Richard Sweet, whose collection is the subject of "Focus on Photography: Selections from the Gallus Sweet Collection," have generously agreed to share 59 photographs with the University Art Gallery and its visitors. The exhibit runs September 3 through October 25.

lamp students in thailandHow was your summer? Well, for two Sonoma State University math students and math professor Martha Shott, it was international. They spent the summer, or six weeks of it, at least, in Thailand with the the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program.

Shott worked with eight students, including SSU math majors Travis Hayes and Ericka Chavez, in a faculty mentor capacity while students studied with faculty at Chiang Mai University, situated in Northern Thailand in Chiang Mai, a city of 150,000.

claudia luke and group in ecuadorian rain forestClaudia Luke, director of the Center for Environmental Inquiry at Sonoma State University returned last month from Ecuador, where she spent a few days working with the Ecuadorian government giving recommendations on how to integrate national park land into a public university.

The land in question is a wide swath stretching from the Andes to the Amazon Basin. Luke was part of a group of international experts who spent a day in the rain forest and spoke with native people on the edge of the forest as part of their research.

vineyards Residents in five wine-producing areas in the North Bay view the wine industry in highly positive terms, according to a new study by Sonoma State University's Wine Business Institute.

The preliminary results come from a study designed to examine Californians' perceptions of the wine industry and its impact on quality of life. The survey was conducted as part of ongoing research to establish baseline data that informs industry, communities and future policy decisions in the state of California.

peter singerThe Center for Ethics, Law, and Society (CELS) at Sonoma State University presents "Global Poverty and What We Ought to be Doing About It," a talk by professor Peter Singer, one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People, on September 9 in Weill Hall.

"It's a chance for our students to hear from a high-profile speaker who challenges us to think about altruism in new ways." says Joshua Glassgow, Sonoma State philosophy professor and director of CELS.

Carlos AyalaThe Better Together California Teachers Summit gathered 20,000 K-12 educators for a one-day collaborative conference at universities across the state last week, with 200 teachers meeting at Sonoma State University to watch simulcast keynote sessions and participate in localized "Ed Talks" on classroom and curriculum innovation.

"The value of something like this is really bringing experienced and new teachers together," said Pam Van Halsema, dean's strategist for the School of Education at Sonoma State and organizer of the on-campus event. "Teachers are isolated in their profession. This event was set up to get them to talk together, plan together and collaborate."

still from film guerosThe fall 2015 slate of screenings by the Sonoma Film Institute at Sonoma State University celebrates local documentaries, international feature films, and rare revivals.

The season kicks off with the award-winning documentary "On Her Own," about Sonoma County farmer Nancy Prebilich and her family as they struggle to keep their fifth generation farm afloat during the recent recession. Prebilich will be present at both screenings to introduce the film and answer questions afterwards.

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