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.

tickets to success kids with LoboSonoma State University community outreach program Ticket to Success was commended this week by SSU's Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) for promoting early college awareness amongst elementary school students.

Now in its second year of operation, Ticket to Success has provided opportunities for more than 2,000 elementary school students from 12 different schools in Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park to visit campus and attend a sporting event. By the time basketball season comes to a close, more than 1,250 elementary students will have visited the Sonoma State campus this year, interacting with student athletes from all 14 intercollegiate sports and meeting faculty from the kinesiology and biology departments.

"When students visit university campuses they begin to imagine collegiate life as a possibility," says Rachel Monarrez, assistant superintendent of K-6 curriculum and instruction for Santa Rosa City Schools. "Partnerships like Ticket to Success with Sonoma State University represents a collaborative effort that is yielding phenomenal results."

damien wilson
Damien Wilson
A $3 million donation from winemakers Pamela and George Hamel has established the Hamel Family Faculty Chair in Wine Business at Sonoma State University, with Dr. Damien Wilson as the inaugural Chair.

"The Hamel Family Faculty Chair in Wine Business is a transformational gift," said William Silver, dean of the School of Business and Economics at SSU. "It has enabled us to go out and recruit the best wine business faculty in the world, and to support the great faculty we already have here as they teach the new generation of wine business leaders and produce the research to help wine businesses deliver results."

Wilson is currently director of the Masters of Science in Wine Business programs at Dijon's Burgundy School of Business, a post he has held since 2008. He joins the Sonoma State faculty in August.

womentrack.jpgSonoma State University welcomes the return of its women's track and field team this month after a seven-year hiatus.

The team was disbanded in 2007 to make way for the more popular women's golf team in 2007. Bill Fusco, Sonoma State's senior director of intercollegiate athletics, says the women's track and field team was eliminated at the time because of the need for improvement of the track facilities and a lack of interest from students and the struggle to recruit athletes.

Sean Fitzpatrick, head coach of Sonoma State's women's cross country team, is head coach of women's track and field team. Carly McCready, former cross-country runner for Sonoma State, is assistant coach.

SSU Celebrates Black History Month

February 6, 2015 8:42 AM

blackhistorync.jpgSonoma State University is hosting several art and lecture events in celebration of Black History Month 2015.

sportsrain.jpgDue to the impending rain storm due to hit Northern California through the weekend, several Sonoma State teams have been forced to postpone and/or cancel their games originally scheduled for this weekend.

As of Thursday, Feb. 5:

The three-game series against Academy of Art originally scheduled for a single game on Friday and a doubleheader on Saturday in Rohnert Park has been postponed until further notice.

The matches at Fresno State (Saturday) and against UC Davis and George Fox at Davis (Sunday) have been cancelled. No makeup date has been made against Fresno State and/or George Fox. The UC Davis match has been rescheduled for Feb. 22 at 2:30 pm.

No postponements or cancellations have been made to both home matches against UC Santa Cruz (Saturday) and Holy Names (Sunday).

trayvonplay.jpgSonoma State University is hosting a free theater event themed around the 2012 murder of Trayvon Martin called "Facing Our Truth: Ten-Minute Plays on Trayvon, Race and Privilege."

"The plays themselves are really kind of unusual," says SSU theater professor Scott Horstein. "They're really designed to facilitate discussion." In that spirit, he adds, facilitated dialogue follows each performance.

In February 2012, Trayvon Martin, an African American teenager, was killed by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch leader, in the suburb of Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman was later acquitted of all charges. The New Black Fest, a theater company in New York, responded to this by hiring eight diverse artists to respond to the themes of race and privilege in America.

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