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Volume 55, Number 4    September 4, 2007         

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April 2006 Newsmakers

SF State's whalehead

Biology Lecturer and international minke whale expert Jonathan Stern is profiled in the Aug. 30 San Francisco Chronicle. The article states that Stern's 20-year focus on the minke whale makes him "one of the most important whale researchers in the world." Stern discusses the importance of protecting the minkes.

"These whales hold keys to all sorts of information about our ecosystem and the ecosystems of the sea," says Stern. "In a sense, they are the ultimate bellwethers." The Whaling industries of Japan, Norway and other countries kill thousands of minkes a year, putting Stern's work at the center of controversy.

"Pro-whaling is using shoddy models to back up ridiculous claims they've had from the beginning. We plan to use good models to do exploratory science and come up with more realistic claims of our own."

Fictional sovereignty
In his letter to the editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, Professor Emeritus Marshall Windmiller says the war in Iraq "is a moral abomination and thousands of Iraqi and American lives have been sacrificed because of American ignorance, incompetence, corruption and hubris." He responds to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Kamal al-Malaki's comments in the press that Iraq is a sovereign country. "Al-Malaki is supposed to organize a government that can preserve order so American troops won't have to do it; and so that the fiction of Iraqi sovereignty can be maintained for public relations purposes. It won't work."

Tuition support for troops
In an Aug. 27 article in the San Francisco Chronicle, Jo Volkert, associate vice president for enrollment planning and management weighs in on the proposed Veterans Education Tuition Support Act, which would freeze interest rates on student loans, refund tuition, and extend deadlines for loan repayment for students who are service members overseas. Volkert explains why some veterans may view universities' policies as inflexible once they return from service. "Basically the rules are dictated by the education code we have to follow," she said. "So if this is something that would cause the education code to be more lenient to students who are deployed, that's positive."

For more media coverage of faculty, staff, students, alumni and programs, see SF State in the News.

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