Creative & Scholarly Excellence -- Faculty
Noteworthy among our faculty are the distinguished endowed chairs and artists-in-residence who contribute special expertise and perspectives to our campus. Nationally known constitutional and legal historian Christopher Waldrep is the Jamie and Phyllis Pasker Endowed Chair in History. Jewish history and ethics scholar Marc Dollinger is the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Chair in Jewish Studies and Social Responsibility -- the nation's first endowed chair in Jewish studies and social responsibility. Gerardo Ungson, a scholar of organizational theory and international corporate strategy, holds the Y.F. Chang Chair in International Business. Eran Kaplan is the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Chair in Israel Studies.
Artist-in-residence programs bring world-renowned performers to campus to serve as role models and instructors. The nationally renowned Alexander String Quartet is the official quartet-in-residence at SF State. Former Artists-in-Residence include saxophonist Branford Marsalis who gave personal lessons to jazz students and helped develop the jazz curriculum; and Danongan "Danny" Kalanduyan, master of the popular traditional kulintang music of the Filipino American community.
One of the first seven recipients of the U.S. Department of Defense's new Minerva Research Initiative Awards, Professor of Psychology David Matsumoto was awarded a $1.9 million grant to examine the role of emotions in ideologically based groups. The Minerva Initiative was established by the Secretary of Defense in 2008 to bolster the department's intellectual capital in the social sciences and build collaboration with the academic community. In addition to national defense, Matsumoto's groundbreaking research on emotion, facial expressions and bodily gestures is being applied to fields as diverse as immigration, athletics and business.
In 2011, Professor and Chair of Cinema Daniel Bernardi received a $1.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of the Navy to study the impact of counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan.
Professor of Communication Studies Joseph Tuman is a political analyst for CBS5 television and KCBS radio. Tuman launched his career in punditry as one of CNN's two analysts for the 1984 presidential debates and has since been in demand among television and radio stations across the country.
For her dedication to opening the geosciences field to other minorities, Lisa White, associate dean of the College of Science and Engineering, was honored with the first Randolph W. "Bill" and Cecile T. Bromery Award for the Minorities in 2008. The award recognizes and supports individuals from minority backgrounds who have made significant contributions to research in the geological sciences or those who have been instrumental in opening the geosciences field to minorities.
Professor of Biology Laura Burrus received the California State University Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB) 2009 Biotechnology Faculty Research Award for outstanding scientific achievement in molecular life science and biotechnology research. Her work focuses on how intercellular signaling pathways participate in embryonic development as well as cancer.
Biology Professor Dennis Desjardin, a foremost international expert on fungi and fleshy mushrooms, was one of five "world class" faculty featured as "the Bay Area's brain trust" in the San Francisco Chronicle Magazine. Desjardin leads research expeditions worldwide and is entrusted by the National Science Foundation with a grant to train the next generation of mushroom taxonomists. To date, Desjardin has discovered more than 200 new fungi species, including seven new glow-in-the-dark species discovered in 2009.
The School of Music and Dance's Professor Emeritus Wayne Peterson won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992 for his composition "The Face of the Night, The Heart of the Dark." In addition, Peterson and fellow composition faculty member Ronald Caltabiano have been awarded prestigious commissions from Harvard University's Fromm Foundation.
Professor of English Michael Krasny hosts Northern California's highly successful and popular public affairs program, "Forum," broadcast on KQED public radio. Krasny's guests during more than a decade of broadcasts have included former President Jimmy Carter, Cesar Chavez, Hillary Clinton, Spike Lee, Rosa Parks, Robert Redford, Salman Rushdie, Gloria Steinem and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Associate Professor of Creative Writing Peter Orner's work has been anthologized in "Best American Stories" and twice won a Pushcart Prize. Orner was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship as well as the Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship. His collection "Esther Stories," a New York Times Notable Book, was awarded the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Goldberg Prize for Jewish Fiction, and was a Finalist for the Pen Hemingway Award and the New York Public Library's Young Lions Award. "The Second Comng of Mavala Shikongo" was a Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and winner of the Bard Fiction Prize.
Jassen Todorov, a violinist and assistant professor of music, won a 2006 Crystal Lyre Award, the highest honor for achievement in music and dance in his native Bulgaria. Todorov was the youngest musician, at 26, to record all six violin sonatas of Eugene Ysaye, the visionary Belgian composer and violinist.
Caitlin Ryan, Director of the Family Acceptance Project, presented pioneering research in a special session of the XVII International AIDS Conference in 2008, that demonstrates how family acceptance during adolescence affects the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) young adults. Ryan's research demonstrates the critical role families play in promoting the well-being of their LGBT children.
Professors of Creative Writing Maxine Chernoff and Paul Hoover won the prestigious 2009 PEN USA translation award for "Selected Poems of Friedrich Holderlin."
Martin Linder, associate professor of design and industry, received the healthcare design industry's prestigious 2009 Nightingale Award, for his design of the Florabella lounge chair. In 2006, Linder received the Bronze Medal in Industrial Design Excellence Awards, for the Reveal Imaging Technologies CT-80 Explosive Detection System. Linder's students helped him design the system, which screens checked airport baggage for explosives.
One of the country's top scholars on race and politics, Political Science Professor Robert C. Smith edited what is thought to be the first encyclopedia on African American politics. The "Encyclopedia of African American Politics" provides the first comprehensive reference on the people, events and ideas that shaped life for millions of black Americans.
Close to 100,000 "citizen scientists" have joined Associate Professor of Biology Gretchen LeBuhn's renowned Great Sunflower Project to record data about native bees. The project is the first coast-to-coast study to determine how environmental factors effect bee populations in urban, suburban, rural and industrial neighborhoods across the U.S. and Canada.
Professor and Chair of Philosophy Anita Silvers is a leading advocate for equality for persons with disabilities. Her writings have contributed to the legal interpretation of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act and her groundbreaking monograph Disability. Difference. Discrimination: Formal Justice (1998) is widely cited in legal documents. In recognition of her scholarship and service, Silvers was awarded the 2010 Quinn Prize from the American Philosophical Association.
One of the 100 most influential Hispanics in the country, according to Hispanic Business magazine, is Professor of Biology Leticia Marquez-Magana. Recipient of the 2002 Mentor of the Year Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, she was recognized for her extraordinary leadership in increasing the participation of underrepresented groups in science and engineering.
In addition to acclaimed publications of her poetry, Associate Professor of Creative Writing Camille Dungy has garnered recognition for "Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry," the first anthology of nature poetry from black American voices. Her collection "Suck the Marrow" was a finalist for the 2011 Balcones Prize in Poetry.
SF State boasts five winners of the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards, the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program, which support early career-development activities of those teacher-scholars who most effectively integrate research and education within the context of the mission of their organization. They are: Eric Hsu (2004: mathematics), Andrew Ichimura (2007: chemistry), Teaster Baird (2007: biology), Diana Chu (2008: biology) and Mary Leech (2008: geosciences).