SF State News {University Communications}

Image: Photos of SF State students and scenes from around campus

University unveils Web redesign

February 8, 2008 -- SF State today rolled out a new Web design template that will provide a visually appealing and unifying design for the University's colleges and departments.

NIH award to promote women in science

January 4, 2008 -- The National Institutes of Health has awarded a $1.3 million grant to SF State to support "Spectrum: Building Pathways to Biomedical Research Careers for Girls and Women of Color," a program designed to build strong mentoring and educational ties between local NIH-funded biomedical researchers and K through 12 teachers and students.

Kimberly Tanner.

Kimberly Tanner

Kimberly Tanner, assistant professor of biology and director of the SEPAL (Science Education Partnership and Assessment Laboratory) research group at SF State, was one of only 10 recipients of a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) from the National Institutes of Health in 2007. The five-year award is intended to improve the nation's science literacy by supporting innovative hands-on learning education for school children. Among the plans are hands-on science lessons that relate to women’s and girls’ health issues.

SF State is the only university in California to receive a SEPA grant this academic year. Spectrum is one of only five programs, including projects at the Walter Reed Army Institute and Texas A&M University, to receive funding of more than one million dollars.

The Spectrum collaboration will involve local public school students and teachers, Bay Area biomedical professionals, SF State researchers, faculty members and undergraduate and graduate students. Its purpose is to extend national strides in gender equity to involve more women and girls of color in science and math. Many of the researchers who plan to participate are women of color who received mentoring when they were students at SF State.

"Professor Leticia Marquez-Magana was an invaluable mentor and role model to me," said Carla Bonilla, an SF State alumna who is now a doctoral candidate at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). "The Spectrum program is a great way to have girls see science as relevant to themselves."

A scientist with high school students.

A scientist with high school students

"The United States cannot afford to underutilize the scientific talent of any part of its population," said Sheldon Axler, dean of the College of Science and Engineering. "Professor Tanner's terrific project will make an important contribution to our country's standing in the global scientific community as well as to our society."

SF State biology faculty already committed to Spectrum's mentoring and participant recruitment include Professor Leticia Marquez Magana, Associate Professor Carmen Domingo, Associate Professor Megumi Fuse, Assistant Professor Lily Chen, Assistant Professor Diana Chu, and Assistant Professor Sally Pasion.

SEPAL research at SF State explores how people learn science, especially biology, and how K-12 teachers and scientists can collaborate to make science teaching and learning in schools and universities more like scientists practice in their own laboratories. SEPAL staff work directly with teachers and students in the San Francisco Unified School District.

For more information about SEPAL, visit the SEPAL at SF State Web Site.

Visit NIH News for more information about this year's SEPA awards.

-- Denize Springer

-- Michael Bruntz


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