Newsmakers for November 2001

Newsmakers is published in CampusMemo on the last Monday of each month during the academic year by the Office of Public Affairs at SFSU. 415/338-1665.

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November 26, 2001

Drumming master SFSU extends reach Outside the classroom Faculty hiring
Coming off the high Deja trauma Student visa fears Davis catches 22
Tobijo on the go 'Manzanar' to return SFSU opens Oakland center Atef's death

Drumming master

The October isue of Asian American Times featured an article on Danongan (Danny) Kalanduyan, a master of Filipino kulintang drumming and an artist-in-residence in the College of Ethnic Studics. Kalanduyan will spend two years on campus working with students in Asian American Studies. His work focuses on fusing the traditional music from his native Mindanao region with the newer, nontraditional drumming style popular in the Filipino American community. "Danny has done more than anyone to keep alive the traditional kulintang music of the Philippines," said Dan Begonia, professor of Asian American studies. "This is a major coup to have Danny on our campus and working with our students."

SFSU extends reach

In his Oct. 22 column, John Horgan of the San Mateo County Times acknowledged that SFSU has helped Caņada College resolve a "prickly issue." Horgan explained that Caņada's low enrollment relative to other community colleges and its unused land have made it a target for cost-cutting. "Now, with San Francisco State University offering upper-division courses at Caņada, at least some of that excess space finally be put to some use. And SF State intends to increase its degree programs in the South County in the near future."

Outside the classroom

Community service learning at SFSU was featured in an Oct. 26 San Francisco Chronicle article. In the last academic year, more than 3,500 students chose to fulfill part of their course requirements by performing and reporting on community service. Gail Weinstein, professor of English, talked about her community service learning course where students prepare elderly immigrants for the naturalization exam. "[Our students] feel that their mission is to help immigrants become civicly engaged. What's really happening is that our students themselves are getting engaged. The first to observe, to see what's happening out there and to be there, see it...begin to care about it, and to have a face that goes with it." President Robert A. Corrigan added, "[Community service learning] gives our students the chance to become leaders, activists, proponents."

Faculty hiring

In a letter to the editor that appeared in the Oct. 30 issue of the San Francisco Chronicle, President Robert A. Corrigan responded to an Oct. 26 editorial that maintained the CSU was not devoting enough funds to hiring faculty. Corrigan wrote that SFSU exhibits a positive trend: "On this campus, tenured and tenure-track faculty have increased by more than 10 percent (70 positions) between 1995-1996 and 2000-2001. By making faculty hiring a budget priority, we have succeeded in returning our tenure-track faculty to the peak level of 1989. We are conducting 78 faculty searches this year...[and] we are committing $4.6 million in coming years to hire approximately 80 more tenure-track faculty. And those will be new positions, over and above replacement of retiring faculty."

Coming off the high

Now that many of the laid-off dot-commers have run through their severance pay and don't have any job prospects in sight, they are beginning to realize the harsh reality of the current economic climate reported the San Francisco Chronicle on Oct. 28. This has been especially hard on those who only knew the booming job market of the late 90s. "They don't have the perspective that economies rise and fall, that a certain percentage of workers will lose their jobs," said Max Kirkeberg, professor of geography.

Deja trauma

The San Jose Mercury News reported in its Oct. 29 issue how the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks have resurrected the trauma felt by refugees in the United States. The phenomenon, known as "re-traumatization," has affected many of the Bay Area's refugees who fled countries ravaged by war, torture and terror such as Vietnam, Bosnia and Cambodia. "If you think about the nature of trauma, it's like putting all these intense experiences in a pot and putting a lid on it so you won't be flooded with fear," said Ken Miller, professor of psychology and an expert on war trauma. "[Sept. 11] really stirs up those memories, and it can lead to people feeling overwhelmed and panicked."

Student visa fears

The San Francisco Chronicle reported on the continuing struggle over tightening immigration laws for students studying in the United States in its Oct. 31 edition. "We need to tighten up some of the loopholes we have," said Yenbo Wu, director of international programs. "At the same time, if we are not careful, we will overdo it and make it so difficult for international exchange and make it so frustrating that people do not want to come to the United States." Wu also spoke about specific legislation on electronic tracking of international students by universities: "It is something people believe we were lacking. We do need to have a better handle of where people are and what they are doing. Whether it goes overboard or not, we can't say until it starts."

Davis catches 22

Joe Tuman, professor of speech and communication studies, contributed to a Nov. 2 KTVU-TV Channel 2 story on Gov. Gray Davis' decision to go public with information about a threat of terrorist attacks against California bridges. "It would have been the height of irresponsibility not to say anything," Tuman said. "Can you imagine where a governor has that information, sits on it, and something happened? One thing that he has given us, the governor, is choice."

Tobijo on the go

Tobijo, SFSU's bomb-sniffing dog, was the focus of a story in the Nov. 6 edition of the San Jose Mercury News. Since Sept. 11, Tobi has checked an average of three dozen boxes of mail a day. He uses his highly trained and sensitive nose to detect explosive materials such as nitrates, chlorates and dynamite. Tobi's handler, Cpl. Todd Iriyama, answered a question he's been frequently asked lately: "No, he doesn't sniff anthrax. There's a lot of difference between bacteria and explosives." Iriyama and Tobi (aka T&T) have been working to keep the campus safe since 1997. Tobi is the only bomb-sniffing dog in the CSU system and is occasionally loaned out to other CSU campuses and local agencies, including the San Francisco Police Department.

'Manzanar' to return

The Los Angeles Times reported in its Nov. 6 edition on the successful project to restore the film version of Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston's book "Farewell to Manzanar." Manzanar is an account of the Wakatsuki family's experiences during World War II, including time in an internment camp. Published in 1973, the book has since sold more than one million copies and was made into a film in 1976. Carol Hayashino, associate vice president of advancement and development, worked to restore and distribute the film. "This is still a very significant film," she said. "It was the first widely seen movie, by, about and starring Japanese Americans. Its message is still very relevant. 'Farwell to Manzanar' is a reminder of how precious our civil liberties and rights are."

SFSU opens Oakland center

KTVU-TV Channel 2, KGO-TV Channel 7, KCBS-AM and the Oakland Tribune were among the media outlets that covered the SFSU Oakland Multimedia Center's Grand Opening on Nov. 13. Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown and Joseph Haraburda, Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce CEO, joined Provost Thomas LaBelle; LucyAnn Geiselman, dean of the College of Extended Learning; Misty West, director of the Oakland Multimedia Center, and Extended Learning faculty and staff for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The Center, SFSU's first foray in the East Bay, is part of Oakland's efforts to revitalize downtown and enhance the city's standing as a technology hotbed. The Center will offer more than 100 cutting edge courses each year in the College of Extended Learning's Multimedia Studies Program. Chris Marler, the College's director of technology programs, said multimedia skills are still gaining value in the job market despite the dot-com downturn. "(Multimedia has) a much greater penetration into standard companies. From Clorox to Ford to banks to supermarkets, they all have Web pages now," Marler told the Tribune. "If you work in a business, you need to work digital media into the presentation."

Atef's death

On Nov. 16, KPIX-TV Channel 5 spoke with Sanjoy Banerjee, professor of international relations, about the success of the Northern Alliance and the U.S.-led fight against the Taliban. Asked about the death of Mohammed Atef, one of Osama bin Laden's top lieutenants, Banerjee said, "He was a crucial figure in Al-Qaeda. His daughter is married to one of Osama bin Laden's sons, which gives you a sense of how important Osama considered him to be. He's considered the mastermind behind Sept. 11 and the terrorist attacks and to replace him will not be easy. It's not just about getting a smart fanatic but somebody who has really been through the organization." Banerjee also discussed a report that Mullah Mohammed Omar, one of the Taliban's key religious leaders, is leaving Kandahar, a key Taliban stronghold: "I think it has broad implications for the appearance of invincibility that the violent, radical Islamic factions have tried to cultivate and seemed to have just after Sept. 11."

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