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.

outside panorama of housing villageSonoma State University is listed in the top 20 "Best College Dorms" by the Princeton Review. The university is ranked at No. 12, and is the only California State University to make the list, which includes just four West Coast schools. Sonoma State is also ranked No. 63 in the Western Region by the Princeton Review.

flying dinosaur illustrationSonoma State University biology professor Nick Geist published his work on the lung structure and functioning of the flying reptile Pterosaurs in an article entitled "Breathing in a Box" in the journal Anatomical Record. The research was also recently profiled in Brian Switek's' National Geographic blog Phenomena.

Janet HessThough the topics and approach are vastly different, Sonoma State University professor Janet Hess finds similarities in the sense of place and culture in the two books she released this year.

Hess, who counts a Ph.D. from Harvard amongst her numerous degrees, is a professor of art history and African studies in the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies. Her new books, "The Art of Richard Mayhew," and "Osage and Settler: Reconstructing Shared History Through an Oklahoma Family Archive," weave touches of personal narrative with historical perspective.

nursing students by poster in quadSonoma State University's Nursing Transition into Practice Certificate Program started three years ago with 38 students. Next month, 109 students will be completing the 10-week course that has a 98 percent job placement rate.

"There's been a wave of retirements in the nursing community," says SSU nursing department chair Deborah Roberts. "We need an avalanche of new nurses."

illustration of men holding hands"People's friendships aren't as different as they may seem," says Sonoma State University sociology professor Brian Gillespie, the lead author of a 25,000-subject friendship study published June 18 in the journal PLoS One. "There are, in fact, some noteworthy similarities."

It was those similarities that surprised Gillespie in the paper, Homophily, Close Friendship, and Life Satisfaction Among Gay, Lesbian, Heterosexual, and Bisexual Men and Women. "There are fewer significant differences between gay men, lesbians, and bisexual men and women and how they utilize their friendships than we expected," he says.

"The fact that these similarities exist, where we originally expected some differences based on gender composition, friendship type, and sexual orientation, points to greater gender egalitarianism and gay, lesbian and bisexual acceptance," says Gillespie.

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