News & Accomplishments

  • SSU Students Win the 2015 CSU I-Corps Student Challenge!
    A cross-disciplinary team of SSU students, Campbell Smith, (undergraduate, Electrical Engineering), Mitchell Hickey (undergraduate, Business Administration/Financial Management), Janene Grippi (undergraduate, Kinesiology) and Luis Reyes (undergraduate, Electrical Engineering) won the Innovation Corps (I-Corps) 2015 Challenge at the 27th CSU Annual Biotechnology Symposium. The team presented its product prototype PD Analytics, a low-cost device to quantify tremors associated with Parkinson’s disease. Eleven student teams participated in the final round of the I-Corps Challenge. Each participating team was evaluated based on the amount of learning it accomplished over the course of the Challenge, clarity of its product concepts, and justification of its problem-solution through customer discovery findings. In October 2014, the PD Analytics team received a CSU I-Corps micro-grant from CSUPERB to build a working prototype and conduct its first phase of customer discovery. Over the past several months the team participated in various training sessions to learn from commercialization experts and industry professionals. During this period, the team also conducted countless interviews with potential customers and Parkinson’s patients. Each of the winning team members will receive a scholarship that can be used towards any educational expenses. In addition, the PD Analytics team is eligible to apply for the 2015 national grand challenge to receive $50,000 startup money to fully develop its product. Dr. Farid Farahmand (professor of Engineering) and Dr. Kirsten Ely (professor of Entrepreneurship and Accounting) continue to act as the team's technical and entrepreneurial advisors, respectively. See Pictures from the event.
  • Lynn Cominsky Awarded the 2014 Aerospace Awareness Award
    Dr. Cominsky has been selected by the Women in Aerospace Awards Committee to receive the prestigious 2014 Aerospace Awareness Award. The award is presented for "Excellence in outreach and building public awareness of aerospace programs and developments; innovative approaches to increasing public understanding of aerospace development and activities; commitment to advancing and defining the roles that aerospace plays in all aspects of society; commitment to professional growth; and service as a role model or mentor that shows dedication to the advancement of women in aerospace." Dr. Cominsky was nominated by NASA Headquarters. An awards ceremony will be held in October in Arlington, VA.
  • SST's Summer High School Internship Program in the News
    The Press Democrat reported on SST's Summer High School Internship Program (SHIP) on August 9, 2014. See the article "College program gives young scientists lab time".
  • Science & Technology Accomplishments for 2013-14
    It's been a productive and successful year in the School of Science and Technology! Take a look at our list of publications, presentations, service activities, grant/funding activity, professional development and other important achievements in our school. We have a LOT to be proud of!!
  • CS Student Awarded Scholarship
    Computer Science student, Rachelle Thysell, has been awarded a GHC Scholarship Grant to attend the 2014 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference October 8-10 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing is the largest gathering of women technologists. Only 26% of grant applications were awarded. Rachelle will also be presenting a poster.
  • SSU Herpetofauna Project in the News
    The work of SSU Biology graduate student, Julie Byrne, is mentioned in an NBC News posting on May 29, 2014. The focus of the article is on the use of social media and citizen scientists to help track birds, plants and other species in everyday life. Julie is using iNaturalist in her study of the impact of climate change on lizards.
  • Waters Collaborative Funds SST Faculty for Spring 2014
    SSU WATERS, a collacoration between SSU faculty and the Sonoma County Water Agency, undertakes projects that enhance watershed management and academic training of students. This spring, six SST faculty were awarded funds to support their watershed projects. The funded projects from SST are:
    • Dr. Karina Nielsen (Biology) and Dr. Debora Hammond (Hutchins) - Copeland Creek Water Quality Monitoring
    • Dr. Mark Perri (Chemistry) - Pesticide Detection in the Copeland Creek
    • Dr. Fran Keller (Biology) - Restoration of Insect Biodiversity in Santa Rosa
    • Dr. Bulent Sokmen (Kinesiology) - Effects of Self-Paced Restoration Work on Oral Glucose Tolerance and Metabolic Demand
    • Dr. Farid Farahmand (Engineering) - On-line Meteorological Sensor Network at the Fairfield Osborn Preserve
    • Dr. Mike Cohen (Biology) - Development of Microbial Specific Genetic Markers to Track Sources of Fecal Pollution
  • I3 Program Funds Learning by Making with $3 Million Grant
    Professor Lynn Cominsky and Early Academic Outreach Director Susan Wandling have joined forces to win a $3 million grant from the U.S. Depart of Education. "Learning by Making: STEM Success for Mendocino County" aims to teach Mendocino high school students how to construct and design their own hands-on science and engineering experiments that involve making scientific measurements pertinent to the future of our planet and economy. The ultimate goal of the project is to increase the number of CSU and UC qualified students in Mendocino County while also ensuring their success in STEM.
    This project is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and is part of the nation's Investing In Innovation (I3) program, designed to support creative curricular programs that will improve student achievement and increase college enrollment. SSU earned one of 18 grants available nationwide. Learning by Making beat out 600 other proposed programs.
  • SSU Nursing Department Receives 2014 Funding
    Nursing's Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program has been awarded two Song-Brown awards - $185,000 FNP Base and $145,000 FNP Special Program funding. Both awards support efforts to expand the capacity of registered nurse education programs within the state of California.
  • First Meeting of the Engineering Industry Advisory Board
    The Engineering Industry Advisory Board met for the first time in late January. The Board is a panel made up of local tech professionals and science and engineering faculty from SSU. The goal of the board is two-fold: strengthen ties between industry and the engineering program and its students, and enhance continued education at the graduate level for tech professionals employed locally. Read the Press Democrat's article for more information, as well as SSU's News Center feature.
  • Tiny T-LogoCube Launched into Outer Space
    T-LogoCube, designed and built in part by SSU students, was launched into orbit on November 21. The tiny satellite, measuring only 5-by-5-by-15 centimeters, consists of a radio and a sensor that reads the earth's magnetic field. Students can communicate with the satellite twice a day via radio to tell to pivot, spin, and perform other maneuvers by using wire coils that react to the magnetic field and push the satellite around in orbit. This makes it quite probably the only satellite in orbit that can be reprogrammed in flight. The satellite is the product of a collaboration between SSU students, headed by Kevin Zack under the guidance of Dr. Lynn Cominsky and Garrett Jernigan, and students of Professor Bob Twiggs at Morehouse State University in Kentucky. Read the article in Press Democrat.
  • 2013-14 Provost Undergraduate Research Awards
    Sixteen SST faculty received $1,000 awards to support student research:
    • Nathan Rank, Biology, "Insect Diversity and Herbivores Loads on California Bay Laurel"
    • Michael Cohen, Biology, "Nutrient Mining by Plant-degrading Bacteria"
    • Karina Nielsen, Biology, "Elemental Analysis of Coralline Algae: variation in CA:Mg ratios in the intertidal zone"
    • Derek Girman, Biology, "Phenology and Microgeography of Herpetofauna in Response to Climate Effects"
    • Jenn Lillig, Chemistry, "Investigation of Key Molecular Features in the Targeting of Toxicity of Anti-Listerial Proteins"
    • Steven Farmer, Chemistry, "Investigation of Fluorescent Molecules from Gymnopilus Croceoluteus"
    • Mark Perri, Chemistry, "Pesticide Analysis of Local Water and Flora"
    • Carmen Works, Chemistry, "Isolation and Characterization of a Novel 15.6 kDa Protein isolated from Bovine Liver"
    • Haider Khaleel, Engineering Science, "Development of Optically Transparent Antenna for Flexible Self-Powered Wireless Systems"
    • Farid Farahmand, Engineering Science, "Water Monitoring Network Development at the Fairfield Osborn Preserve"
    • Farid Farahmand, Engineering Science, "Sensor Network Development at the Fairfield Osborn Preserve"
    • Lauren Morimoto, Kinesiology, "The Impact of Backward Walking on Hamstring Flexibility"
    • Lynn Cominsky, Physics & Astronomy, "CubeSat Project at SSU"
    • Thomas Targett, Physics & Astronomy, "The Size-Mass Relation of Galaxies at 3<z>4"
    • Hongtao Shi, Physics & Astronomy, "Proposal to Build and Test an Optical System for Applications in Medical Physics and Astronomy"
    • Hongtao Shi, Physics & Astronomy, "Modular Sensor Array Platform: Environmental Monitoring System for Scientific Applications"
  • SST faculty awarded GMC Academic Integration Grants
    The Green Music Center Board of Advisors and University Affairs Committee funded four 2013-14 academic integration proposals from the School of Science & Technology.
    1. Chemistry faculty, Drs. Fukuto, Lares, Lillig and Works, received $10,000 to offer two notable events: (1) a Nobel Laureate lecture and (2) a Chemistry of Wine lecture. Both events will have broad reaching interest. Students, faculty, staff and the community will be invited.
    2. "SSU Works", a cross-disciplinary project in sustainability, was awarded $10,000. Dr. Claudia Luke, Director of the SSU Preserves is collaborating with Paul Draper in Arts & Humanities to put on a Sustainability Expo along with other related events, performances, and programs.
    3. Drs. Cominsky, Khaleel and Ravikumar, from the Departments of Physics & Astronomy, Engineering, and Computer Science respectively, received $13,000 for their proposal "Integration of Music and Audio Principles within Engineering Science, Physics, and Computer Science Course".
    4. The proposal "Precision Measurements of Concert Hall and Classroom Acoustics", from Drs. Cominsky and Jones in Physics & Astronomy, will bring $18,450 of advanced acoustics equipment to enhance student learning in the Physics of Music course.
  • FNP Students Awarded Scholarships by the Healthcare Foundation Northern Sonoma County
    Two Family Nurse Practitioner students have been awarded scholarships by the Healthcare Foundation Northern Sonoma County. Typically only one award is given, but the foundation was so impressed with the SSU applicants that it awarded a $10K scholarship to Melanie Valesi, and a $5K scholarship to the runner-up, Carolina Dehesa Rosillo. Congratulations, Melanie and Carolina!
  • Local 3rd Graders hosted by SSU Chemistry
    The Chemistry Department hosted 100 third grade students from McNear Elementary School in Petaluma on Thursday, October 24. The youngsters delighted in learning about chemistry (especially the explosive demonstrations!) and life on a college campus.
  • Dr. Matty Mookerjee Awarded $299,329 in Funding for EC3
    Matty Mookerjee, Geology, was awarded $299,329 in funding for EC3 - Earth-Centered Communication for Cyberinfrastructure: Challenges of field data collection, management, and integration. The project helps facilitate the over-arching goals of the EarthCube project, which seeks to transform how research is conducted through the development of community-guided cyberinfrastructure and to integrate information and data across the geosciences. This NSF funded grant supports the assembly of a Research Coordination Network (RCN) that fosters the collaborations between Earth Scientists and Computer Scientists and Cognitive Psychologists.
  • Dr. Michael E. Smith Awarded $86,000 in Funding
    Professor Michael E. Smith of the Geology department was awarded $86 K in funding over 3 years from the National Science Foundation to pursue a research project, "Paleographic record of contractional to extensional tectonics in the Cordilleran hinterland, Nevada", that seeks to investigate the surface record of the processes that formed collapsed an Andes-like orogenic plateau and system of high altitude lakes in the location of present day Nevada. The project will directly involve several undergraduate researchers, and is a collaborative effort involving lead scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Texas-Austin.
  • SSU Nursing Students Making a Difference
    The exceptional work of SSU student nurses in Dr. Michelle Kelly's Community and Public Health course was featured by KRCB in May 2013. Hear about the pilot program assisting patients as they transition from hospital to home.
  • Steve Anderson, Physics & Astronomy, Wins Staff Excellence Award
    Steve Anderson is one of two winners of SSU's annual Staff Excellence Award. Steve stated in his application to SSU 32 years ago that "he would never leave and he would never get bored." And that he hasn't! This award recognizes his hard work, dedication, knowledge, and outstanding contributions to the faculty, students, department, school and university. Our most heartfelt congratulations, Steve!
  • 2013 CSUPERB Presidents' Commission Scholar Award goes to Chemistry student
    Chemistry major Jaimey Homen has been awarded $8,000 for her summer research project titled, "Quantum Yield Determination of an Iron PhotoCORM for Therapeutic Delivery of CO".
  • Agilent Scholars Named
    The Engineering Science Department has named Chio Saephan, Joshua Disbrow and Hamidou Drammeh as the recipients of the 2012-2013 Agilent Scholarship. The scholars will conduct research over the summer with ES faculty and Agilent engineers and will receive a $2000 stipend. They also get to carry the title of Agilent Scholar.
  • CSUPERB Grants Awarded to SST Faculty
    The CSU Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB) has awarded the following grants to our faculty:
    • Carmen Works and Jon Fukuto's (Chemistry) proposal, titled "Thinking Like a Scientist: A Freshman Year Experience for Chemistry and Biochemistry Majors at Sonoma State University", to the CSUPERB Programmatic Grant program was awarded $13,479. In this grant round CSUPERB received 5 applications from 4 different campuses; this is the only Programmatic Grant Award made this round.
    • Nathan Rank (Biology) was awarded $25,000 for his proposal, titled "Evolutionary significance of variation at metabolic enzyme proteins", to the Entrepreneurial Joint Venture (JV) Matching Grant program.
    • Joe Lin (Biology) was awarded $15,000 for his proposal, titled "Elucidating the Role of Peroxiredoxin 1 in B Cell Signal Transduction", to the CSUPERB New Investigator (NI) Grant program.
  • PATW Competition Held at SSU
    Dr. Haider Khaleel, Engineering Science, organized a Present Around the World (PATW) competition which was held April 19, 2013 at SSU. The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) sponsors the PATW competition worldwide to encourage and recognize young and talented engineering students and professionals. The competition also aims to develop and improve students’ and young professionals' presentation skills while providing an environment in which they can network, learn about the latest advancements in engineering and technology, and gain access to new ideas.
    The competition was judged by Drs. Haider Khaleel, Meng-Chih Su, and Salam Marougi. Two SSU Engineering Science majors won the competition. Scott Parmley won first place with his presentation entitled "Raspberry Pi Garden", and will go on to Toronto to participate in the regional finals. The trip is fully funded by IET. Parmley also received a cash prize of $250. Michael Chastain won second place for his presentation, "The Wattcher", and received a cash prize of $150. Both were awarded a year’s membership in IET.
  • Three SST Faculty Proposals Funded by GMC Academic Integration Project
    $100,000 that has been generated by GMC ticket sales and donor funds has been allocated for 2013 to fund projects that will develop and showcase interaction between academic programs ant he Green Music Center. The aim is to utilize the GMC in innovative ways - not just as a lecture theatre. Three projects from SST faculty were chosen to receive funding:
    1. Drs. Jack Ou and Farid Farahmand, Engineering Science, "Music, the Digital Way": This proposal seeks to develop two sets of hands-on activities that will enhance students’ understanding of Digital Signal Procession through music and concert hall acoustics.
    2. Drs. Jack Ou and Farid Farahmand, Engineering Science, and Ms. Kristen Daley and Mr. Tony Bish, Theatre Arts, "Preserves Soundscape Project": Engages biology, engineering, and performing arts students and faculty to interpret soundscapes of the SSU's Preserves through performances in the world-class acoustic environments of the Green Music Center.
    3. Dr. Brigitte Lahme, Mathematics, and Dr. Jeremy Qualls, Physics & Astronomy, "Academic Integration STEM Symposium": This proposal seeks to host a transformative experience for SSU students in the form of a culminating symposium to highlight SSU's commitment to STEM education and the successful Waterworks cross-campus theme.
  • Professor Lynn Cominsky Honored by the County of Sonoma Commission on the Status of Women
    The County of Sonoma Commission on the Status of Women has selected Lynn Cominsky as one of three recipients of their Women's History Month Award for 2013. The award is given to women who have made a positive difference in wome's quality of life in Sonoma County. Dr. Cominsky, along with her fellow recipients, will be honored at a luncheon on March 24, 2013.
  • Athletes at Santa Rosa High Schools to be Supervised by Kinesiology Grad Students
    In an effort to better evaluate head trauma suffered by student athletes at Santa Rosa high schools, the city is implementing a program where SSU Kinesiology graduate students will work directly with one of the five high schools as a certified athletic trainer. Armed with bachelor's degrees in athletic training and certificates that qualify them to work games, these students will be able to provide baseline cognitive testing that will better diagnose head injuries, thus enabling more efficient treatment and lessen any permanent damage. Visit The Press Democrat's website for more information on the city's decision and the program to be implemented next year.
  • Society of Physics Students Chapter Wins a 2012-2013 Marsh White Award
    SSU's chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) is a recipient of the 2012-2013 Marsh White Award. The Marsh White Award is an annual award of up to $300 given to select SPS Chapters who have submitted proposals for an educational outreach activity for youth. Commendable proposals are chosen by a panel of judges to receive funding. SSU’s chapter of the SPS includes: Jude Rowe, Jack Horowitz, Jessica Campion and Brandon Baker. They are advised by Dr. Hongtao Shi.
  • Emeritus Geology Professor and His Healdsburgites
    Rolfe Erickson, Emeritus Geology Professor, announced this month at the American Geophysical Union symposium that the rocks found in the asteroid field in Healdsburg’s Dry Creek Valley are not only 2.8 million years old, but they are indeed tektites - a rare rock that forms when a meteor almost a mile in width hits the Earth with enough force to melt its crust. Erickson and his co-authors (Stephen Norwick and Caitlyn Byrd of SSU, and Alan Deino of the Berkeley Geochronology Center) say these "healdsburgites" point to an asteroid impact whose exact size and location is yet to be determined, but could very well be the largest asteroid field in Western North America. For more detail on healdsburgites, visit the AGU's Fall Meeting website. Erickson and the healdsburgites are also featured on SSU's NewsCenter and in the Press Democrat.
  • Graduate Students Receive COAST Student Awards for Marine Science Research
    Jeffrey Sharick and Derek Somo from Dr. Dan Crocker's lab were both awarded the highly competitive COAST 2012-2013 Student Award for Marine Science Research. Only 25 of the 98 applications were successful in receiving awards. Titles of each student’s research project are available on the COAST website. Congratulations, Derek and Jeffrey!
  • Dr. Ben Ford Selected for Scholarship Award
    Ben Ford of the Math Department has been awarded the Bernie and Estelle Goldstein Award for Excellence in Scholarship. Each academic year, two members of Sonoma State's faculty are selected who show a strong commitment to the teacher-scholar model. Dr. Ford has an impressive and lengthy list of scholarly achievements and is highly regarded by his peers and the campus.
  • Agilent Technologies Donates Equipment to Engineering Department
    Agilent Technologies has donated test and measurement equipment valuing at over $220,000 to the Engineering Department. Agilent's sizable donation will help develop one of the most advanced measurement labs in the CSU system. Thanks, Agilent, for your continued support!
  • Dr. Lynn Cominsky Named AAAS Fellow
    Professor Lynn Cominsky, chair of the Physics and Astronomy Department and director of SSU's NASA E/PO program, has been named as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). AAAS fellows are elected by their peers in honor of their "scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications". Lynn Cominsky has received this fellowship in recognition of her outreach work in X-ray and gamma-ray astronomy and for being an inspiration to undergraduates.
  • Dr. Wendy Smith Awarded $170,000 in Song-Brown Funding
    Wendy Smith, Director of the Nursing Department's Family Nurse Practitioner Program, has been awarded $170,000 in funding by the state of California’s Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development’s Song-Brown Program. The Song-Brown Program "encourages universities and primary care health professionals to provide healthcare in medically underserved areas, and provides financial support to family practice residency, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, and registered nurse (RN) education programs throughout California."
  • Jean Bee Chan Recognized by MAA
    Dr. Jean Bee Chan, professor of mathematics, has won a Certificate of Meritorious Service from the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). The award is given to individuals who have made significant contributions to the MAA at the section and national levels. Jean, along with her husband Peter Stanek, won for the Gold (Northern California) Section.
  • Dr. Cushman Appointed Chief Editor of AoB PLANTS
    Dr. Hall Cushman of the Biology Department has been appointed Chief Editor of AoB Plants, an international journal published by Oxford University Press. AoB Plants publishes peer-reviewed articles that focus on all aspects of basic and applied plant biology.
  • Engineering Students Collaborate with Saturday Sidekicks
    Every semester since the fall of 2009, students in Dr. Farid Farahmand's Introduction to Engineering 110 class are given the task of developing ways of making playground activities accessible to children of all abilities. Students in the course are asked to attend Saturday Sidekicks throughout the semester to work with the children for whom they will be designing an electro-mechanical ball throwing machine. At the end of the semester, the engineering students unveil a working prototype of their machine. Dr. Farahmand has worked with Professor Elaine McHugh to develop the project over the years and as it has evolved, project constraints have relaxed and students' creativity has blossomed. You can also view a video of the prototypes in use on Dr. Farahmand's blog.
  • Third-Graders Celebrate National Chemistry Week at SSU with Chemistry Club
    The Chemistry Club was host to the third grade class of Novato’s Lu Sutton Elementary School this Thursday, October 25, to celebrate National Chemistry Week. The Chem Club put together eight hands-on experiments for the children, all aimed at teaching core concepts like the states of matter and the effects of temperature change and other factors on substances. The overarching goal, of course, was to excite the kids about science!
  • "STEMpowering the Future" Funded by Agilent
    Santa Rosa Junior College and the School of Science at Technology have been awarded funding by Agilent for "STEMpowering the Future". This project-based leadership venture supports collaborations with STEM transfer students at SRJC and SST students with Agilent industry professionals and university faculty to design, organize and facilitate two Sonoma County STEM enrichment events: STEMpowering Your Future conference for students in grades 6-12, and STEM Research Academy and Research Poster Symposium for junior college and university students. Thank you, Agilent, for making this possible and for paving the way to success for Sonoma County STEM students!
  • Dr. Tom Buckley Receives WATERS Collaborative Award
    Tom Buckley, Biology, has received $3,000 in funding from the WATERS Collaborative for his proposal "Leaf Physiology Spot Measurement Instrument", where students will use purchased sensor components to construct instruments that measure leaf physiology in riparian vegetation. The WATERS Collaborative makes funds available in both the fall and spring semesters to support faculty that are interested in engaging their students in service-learning projects surrounding watershed management issues.
  • Forty-Four Western Pond Turtles Released into the Wild
    Five years ago, Dr. Nick Geist and his lab of grad students began a collaborative project rearing western pond turtles with zoo keepers at the San Francisco and Oakland zoos. Once abundant along most of the western coast of the North American continent, the western pond turtle's numbers have steeply declined over the last few decades. They are now recognized as vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of nature.
    For the majority of the study, eggs that were carefully collected in the field were incubated, hatched and reared by herpetologists at the zoos. This year, however, the eggs were incubated in the field, which allowed for the collection of data on environmental conditions that could affect the hatchlings specifically their gender. These hatchlings were then brought back to the zoos to be hand reared by zoo keepers trained in herpetology. By raising hatchlings in captivity, the young turtles are able to grow faster, which in turn allows for the selection of larger juveniles to be released into the wild. A larger size is a deterrent for predators, therefore increasing the survival rate of the young turtles.
    This August, forty-four of the western pond turtles raised in this collaborative "headstart" program were released into the wild. The event was featured on National Geographic's "News Watch" and the SF Chronicle.
  • Geology Major Receives Outstanding Student Award from the Association of Women Geoscientists
    Jamie Bywater has been selected by SSU's Department of Geology as their 2012 Outstanding Woman Student. Each spring, the Bay Area Chapter of the Association for Women Geoscientists recognizes exceptional women undergraduate students from nine Bay Area universities. Each university is asked to select their most outstanding soon-to-be graduate studying earth sciences. Jamie Bywater, along wither her fellow nominees, will be recognized at a banquet held in their honor.
  • Woodard Scholarship Recipients Announced
    The Department of Geology has awarded three scholarships from the Geoffrey Davidson Woodard Fund. The scholarships are to be used towards the cost of attending a summer field course and are awarded based on a student's GPA and course performance. The recipients are: Rebekah Cesmat, who will be attending the Boise State University field camp in Sardinia, Italy; Tracie Riedel, who will be attending the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology field camp in the southern Colorado Plateau and Rocky Mountains area; and Ian Penn, who will be attending the University of Missouri field camp in the Wind River Range in Wyoming. Congratulations!
  • Dr. Lynn Cominsky Named Woman Physicist of the Month
    Dr. Lynn Cominsky, Professor and Chair of the Physics and Astronomy Department and Director of the Education and Public Outreach program, has been named September's Woman Physicist of the Month by the American Physical Society (APS). Each month, APS's Committee on the Status of Women in Physics highlights one exceptional female physicist who has positively impacted others. This award was given to recognize Dr. Cominsky's extensive accomplishments in research, education and public outreach, committee work, and teaching. Please visit American Physical Society to see the full article on Dr. Cominsky.
  • SHIP Student to Speak at Sonoma County Fair!
    Waleed Atallah, who worked with Dr. Ali Kujoory of the Engineering Science Department this summer as part of the Summer High School Internship Program (SHIP), will be speaking at the Sonoma County Fair. Fair organizers invited Waleed to speak at their "Greentivities" venue after learning about his summer project on solar-to-electrical energy system design. He will give his talk, "Solar Power Primer," on Tuesday, July 31 at 2 pm.
  • Students Receive CSU Funding
    The CSU Council on Ocean Affairs, Science and Technology (COAST) awarded funding to several SSU students in 2011-12:
    • Three $500 travel awards were given to support Biology graduate students.
    • Three $2500 internships were awarded to support students during the 2012 summer: two at Bodega Marine Laboratory with a leading California Department of Fish and Game abalone researcher, and one at PRBO Conservation Science.
    • One $1500 award was given to support an undergraduate in marine science research.
  • WATERS Collaborative Funded by the County of Sonoma
    Dr. Claudia Luke has been awarded $48,157.00 by the County of Sonoma for her WATERS (Watershed Academics to Enhance Regional Sustainability) Collaborative. WATERS is a collaboration between SSU and the Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA) with the primary goals of: creating a trained and local workforce of SSU graduates with knowledge, expertise and interest in water management issues; increasing and broadening SSU students, faculty, and staff contributions to SCWA projects and programs; enhancing public awareness and understanding of water management issues; and establishing an administrative structure an SSU-SCWA partnership that can effectively and flexibly meet the goals of the collaboration. The pilot project of the collaborative will center on water management issues of the Copeland Creek Watershed.
  • Sonoma State University's Research Academy
    Seventeen SRJC students participated in SSU's Research Academy, an eight-day intensive research program. Designed by Drs. Jennifer Whiles Lillig and Carmen Works, the program aims to introduce SRJC MESA all aspects of scientific research. Students will present their projects from 10-11 a.m. on Thursday, June 7, in Darwin Hall. To read more, please follow this link:
  • Computer Science Secures DOE Funding
    Computer Science professors Dr. Suzanne Rivoire and Dr. Ali Kooshesh have been awarded $26,433 by the Department of Energy to support undergraduate student research in collaboration with the Oak Ridge National Lab. The students' research will improve the energy efficiency of large-scale supercomputing centers.
  • Agilent Technologies/BEST Fund Scholarships in Engineering
    Through the generous support of Agilent Technologies and in partnership with the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce's Building Economic Success Together (BEST) program and Santa Rosa Junior College, several SSU students majoring in Electrical Engineering (EE) will be awarded scholarships for 2012-13. Three $2000 scholarships will go to freshmen majoring in EE and two other $1000 awards will go to SRJC transfer students entering the EE program at SSU. Scholarships will go to highly qualified students with distinguished records of academic performance. Scholarships recipients will also be paired with Agilent mentors in developing their understanding of the EE career and profession. Agilent Technologies is committed to help strengthen engineering education in Sonoma County through targeted funding in BEST's initiative to build a world-class workforce.
  • Nursing Receives Funding for FNP
    Dr. Wendy Smith has received $169,959 in Song-Brown Funding for 2012-13 to support the Family Nurse Practitioner program.
  • Chemistry Professor Awarded NIH Funding
    Jon Fukuto has received a $356,987 grant from the Department of Health and Human Services, for his project titled "BioChem & Pharmacology of HNO". The project will run 2012-2015.
  • CSUPERB Grants to SST Faculty in 2012
    Two SST faculty received recent CSUPERB grants. CSUPERB (CSU Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology) is a systemwide program supporting advancement in biotechnology across the CSU. Dr. Farid Farahmand, Engineering Science was awarded a $25,000 CSUPERB Entrepreneurial Joint Venture Matching Grant for his proposal titled "Developing a High-precision Movement Monitoring System for Patients Undergoing Radiation Therapy Treatments", from CSUPERB. Dr. Michael Cohen received a $15,000 CSUPERB Research Development (RD) Grant for his project, "Generation and activity of nitro-isoprenes in plants under heat stress".
  • Woodard Scholarship Recipients Announced
    The Department of Geology has awarded three scholarships from the Geoffrey Davidson Woodard Fund. The scholarships are to be used towards the cost of attending a summer field course and are awarded based on a student's GPA and course performance. The recipients are: Rebekah Cesmat, who will be attending the Boise State University field camp in Sardinia, Italy; Tracie Riedel, who will be attending the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology field camp in the southern Colorado Plateau and Rocky Mountains area; and Ian Penn, who will be attending the University of Missouri field camp in the Wind River Range in Wyoming. Congratulations!
  • Geology Major Receives Outstanding Student Award from the Association of Women Geoscientists
    Jamie Bywater has been selected by SSU's Department of Geology as their 2012 Outstanding Woman Student. Each spring, the Bay Area Chapter of the Association for Women Geoscientists recognizes exceptional women undergraduate students from nine Bay Area universities. Each university is asked to select their most outstanding soon-to-be graduate studying earth sciences. Jamie Bywater, along wither her fellow nominees, will be recognized at a banquet held in their honor.
  • Student Research Funded in Aerospace-related Fields
    Lynn Cominsky, NASA E/PO and Physics & Astronomy, has received a second year of funding from the NASA Spacegrant: Improving the STEM Pipeline program. The new award is for $10,000 and will support student research experiences in aerospace related fields in addition to other student support services in STEM.
  • Award goes to Chemistry Student
    Chemistry student, Matt Applesmith, was awarded a CSUPERB Presidents' Commission Scholar Award for his project "Acquisition of NMR Structural Data for Membrane-Associated Antimicrobial Peptides: A Summer Research Immersion in Protein NMR."
  • Nursing Club Gives Back to the Community
    The SSU Nursing Club engages in a number of community volunteer activities during the year. In February they spearheaded a drive to collect a supplies for the National Association on Mental Illness (NAMI) Sonoma County including bus passes, food, toiletries and clothing. In March students volunteered at Catholic Charities preparing meals. They also helped bag produce at the Empire Redwood Food Bank for distribution throughout Sonoma County. As noted on the club's webpage, "We have a great time putting our books & stethoscopes down and serving the community in a new way!"

    Nursing Club gives back to the community.
    Nursing Club gives back to the community.
  • ES Project Helps Child With Cerebral Palsy Play Ball
    Students in Professor Farid Farahmand's ES 110 class were asked to design a machine that could propel a ball using a push-button switch. As a result, Jazlyn LeClair, a child with Cerebral Palsy, is able to use the devise to play a game of kick ball with her peers. For more information about this project visit
  • Biology Professor Receives Grant
    Professor Thomas Buckley has received an NSF grant for $141,078 for his proposal "Mechanisms for the decline of leaf hydraulic conductance with dehydration, and plant and environment level impacts." Professor Buckley's contribution will involve cell pressure probing and modeling. The grant includes funds to hire a Master's student, undergraduate research assistants, and pressure probe-related equipment.
  • NSF EAR/IR Award to Geology
    Dr. Matty Mookerjee has been awarded $122,163 for his proposal "Acquisition of Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD) detector and sample preparation equipment." The EBSD will enhance the use of the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM).
  • CS Colloquium Speaker, Jacob Appelbaum, Gives Intriguing Talk
    There was standing room only for Jacob Appelbaum's talk "Anonymity, Privacy, Security, Internet Surveillance, and Censorship" on November 17th. Appelbaum, who is an independent computer security researcher and hacker employed by the University of Washington, discussed the recent Arab Spring uprisings, the NSA wiretapping of American citizens, and practical techniques and technologies for circumvention of networked authoritarianism. Representatives from PBS, the New York Times, the Press Democrat and Wired were in attendance.
  • Professor Matt James Elected Governing Member of Charles Darwin Foundation for Galapagos Islands
    Matt James has been elected a Governing Member of the General Assembly of the Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands (CDF), an international group of scientists, conservationists, and policy makers that provides scientific research and technical information and financial assistance to ensure the proper preservation of the Galapagos Islands.
  • Safe Sleep Practices for Infants Promoted by Nursing Students
    A group of 23 nursing students have spent the past year working on a "floor talker" campaign, in partnership with the Sonoma County Public Health Department, in an effort to promote safer infant sleep environments in Sonoma County. The floor talker campaign consists of large plastic decals, written in English and Spanish, to educate parents and caregivers on how to reduce the risk of suffocation and SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). These decals are in 48 retail stores and agencies in southwest Santa Rosa.
  • SSU NASA EPO Group Receives NSPIRES Funding
    NASA's Education & Public Outreach for Earth & Space Science (EPOESS) Program has awarded funding to the SSU NASA EPO group for their proposal S4: Small Satellites for Secondary Students. SSU NASA EPO Director, Dr. Lynn Cominsky, led the successful effort to obtain funding for the proposal totaling nearly $550K over 3 years.
  • Biology Grad Student Investigates Toxic Bay Area Algal Bloom
    Biology master's student, Adele Paquin, in collaboration with her advisor, Dr. Karina Nielsen, is studying a recent algal bloom along the northern California coast that caused a wave of death among abalone and other sea creatures. Her work is reported on in the SSU Newscenter and the Point Reyes Lightpublication.
  • CS Department Launches SSU Mobile App for iPhone
    A team of students and faculty from the Computer Science Department have created an iPhone app with features including campus maps, directories, calendars, news, KSUN radio and student email access. Find it in the iTunes store.
  • SST Student's Art Showcased in Dean's Office
    Leslie Prince, computer science and art studio double major, has created three wonderful paintings encompassing the nine departments in SST. Her work is on display in Darwin 115.
  • 100% Nursing DEMSN Graduates Pass National Exam
    The 2011 Direct Entry Masters of Science in Nursing (DEMSN) class had a 100% pass rate on the national Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) Certification Exam. This is a significant achievement and showcases the high-caliber of our Nursing Department. See the CNL Wall of Fame posting on the American Association of Colleges of Nursing website.
  • 2011 Santa Rosa Excellence in Education Award to Biology Professor
    Dr. Karina Nielsen has received the 2011 Santa Rosa Excellence in Education Award for 4-year universities. The award honors outstanding educators in all education levels who have been nominated for their contributions toward the education of our youth and their commitment to education. Dr. Nielsen teaches courses across the biology curriculum including engaging general education courses, advanced topics courses for graduate students, large lectures, small seminars, and laboratory-based and field-intensive experiences. Her research endeavors explore the "Science of the Salty, the Slimy & the Spineless in the Sea" and seek to better understand the fragile environment of the western coastline.
  • NSF Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Award to Chemistry
    Chemistry's proposal "MRI:The Acquisition of a 400 MHz NMR Spectrometer" was recently awarded $308,454. The funding will bring a high-power nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer to SST and allow the enhanced study of the physical and chemical properties of molecules.
  • NSF Collaborative Research Project Receives Funding
    Dr. Karina Nielsen has been awarded $370,000 for her contributions tothe collaborative project: "The role of calcifying algae as a determinant of rocky intertidal macrophyte community structure at a meta-ecosystem scale." Total funding for the project is $1,119,999 .
  • NSF Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) Award
    Chemistry Professor, Carmen Works, has been awarded $129,754 over three years for her proposal "RUI: Photochemical and Kinetic Studies of Iron-Only Hydrogenase Model Compounds."
  • SSU Alum Featured in National Geographic
    Sarah Ann Thompson, MS in Biology, is featured in a story on tide pools in the June issue of National Geographic magazine. Sarah completed her graduate work in marine community ecology under the guidance of Dr. Karina Nielsen and is currently a staff scientist at the Farallon Institute for Advanced Ecosystem Research.
  • Chemistry Students Admitted to PhD Programs
    Five soon-to-be chemistry graduates have been accepted to doctoral programs in chemistry, biochemistry, or chemical biology. Congratulations to Jenna Bernard (UC Berkeley), Samantha Carrington (UC Santa Cruz), Tyler Chavez (Johns Hopkins), Chris Bianco (Johns Hopkins) and Frankie Gonzales (UC San Diego).
  • Five Graduate Students Receive COAST Awards
    The CSU Council on Ocean Affairs, Science and Technology awarded five Biology graduate students funds to support their ongoing coastal and marine research. Summer 2011 COAST Student Awards for Marine Science Research were awarded to Joshua Cutler, Adele Paquin, Jill Stokes, Michael Tift, and Preston Malm.
  • CSUPERB Awards to SST Faculty
    Three SST faculty have been awarded funding from CSUPERB. CSUPERB (CSU Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology) is a systemwide program supporting advancement in biotechnology across the CSU.
    Dr. Jenn Lillig, Chemistry
    CSUPERB ResearchDevelopment (RD) Grant
    Proposal: "Mutagenesis and Modeling Studies of the Antimicrobial Peptide Carnobacteriocin B2"
    Funding amount: $14,992.
    Dr. Jon Fukuto, Chemistry
    CSUPERB Entrepreneurial Joint Venture (JV) Matching Grant
    Proposal: "Studies on the Biosynthesis of HNO"
    Funding amount: $10,000.
    Dr. Joseph Lin, Biology
    CSUPERB New Investigator (NI) Grant
    Proposal: "Generation of Antibodies to Characterize the Alternative Adaptive Immune Response in the Sea Lamprey, Petromyzon marinus"
    Funding amount: $15,000 (contingent on campus IACUC approval)
  • SST Chemistry Professor Receives Excellence in Teaching Award
    Dr. Steven Farmer of the Chemistry Department has been awarded the SSU Excellence in Teaching Award for 2011-12.
  • Biology Graduate Student Awarded Prestigious Fellowship
    Master's student, Andy Kleinhesselink, has been awarded a three-year NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. This highly competitive and very prestigious award will support Andy's Ph.D. Studies at Utah State University.
  • SST Faculty Proposals Funded
    Dr. Hongtao Shi, Physics and Astronomy, and Dr. Michael Smith, Geology, have been awarded Summer 2011 Fellowships under the SSU Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity Program (RSCAP). Dr. Shi's proposal is titled "Structure and Optical Properties of Mn-doped ZnS" and Dr. Smith is studying the "Modern and Ancient Rivers of the Uinta Mountains."
  • SSU students present at the CSU Chancellor's Office
    On January 25, two SSU students, Adele Paquin and Michael Tift, and their faculty mentor, Dr. Karina Nielsen, attended the first CSU Council on Ocean Affairs, Science & Technology (COAST) Faculty-Student Research Poster Reception at the Chancellor's Office in Long Beach. Student researchers and their faculty mentors from 20 CSU campuses and the marine consortia participated, showcasing the excellence and relevance of marine and coastal research throughout the CSU. Mike and Adele's poster highlights their work.
  • Geology Professor Wins Award
    Dr. Matt James received the 2011 Karl Kortum Award for Maritime History for his work detailing the 1905-06 research expedition to the Galapagos Islands of a team from the California Academy of Sciences. The award is administered by the San Francisco Maritime Museum.
  • Dr. Wendy Smith of the Nursing Department
    received Song-Brown funding for the maximum $170,000 to support the Master's in Nursing Program for Family Nurse Practitioners. The Song-Brown program is a workforce development program funded through the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD).
  • Cryomagnetics 17 Tesla Superconducting Magnet System in SST
    Physics Professor Dr. Jeremy Qualls works with students to study the frontiers of science in new magnetics research lab.
  • Insectapalooza is Saturday, October 30, 9am-4pm @ Darwin Hall
    Come to campus for a fun look at the world of insects. Activities, games, lectures, tours, exhibits, food and more!
  • ES Student Receives Award
    Engineering Science majors, Brandy Harris, is the recipient of the William Randolph Hearst/CSU Trustees' Award for Outstanding Achievement
  • Stats Students Pass Actuarial Exam
    The Department of Math and Statistics is proud to announce the recent accomplishments of two of its students. This summer, August Blodow and Jill Schlichting both successfully passed the actuarial examination in probability. August Blodow earned a perfect score of 10 out of 10. They are now both currently preparing for the second examination in financial mathematics.

    The Department of Math and Statistics offers a variety of options for students interested in pursuing a career in actuarial science. These options include majoring in Applied Statistics or the newly created major, Bi-Disciplinary Mathematics. Either of these programs is designed to allow a student to also major in another discipline, such Economics or Business, without having to earn as many units as are typically required to complete a double major. The Department also plans to begin offering a Minor in Actuarial Science beginning in Fall 2011. Interested students should contact Dr. Scott Nickleach to find out more.
  • Biology Professor Turns Biomass into Biogas
    Dr. Michael Cohen and members of his research laboratory are partnering with the City of Santa Rosa on the Fuel from Aquatic Biomass (FAB) project.
  • MESA showcased in the STAR
    Dr. Izabela Kanaana is the new director of the SSU MESA program.