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Volume 56, Number 17    December 8, 2008         

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Experiential giving
A Dec. 2 ABC 7 report featured research on gift-giving by Assistant Professor of Psychology Ryan Howell. Howell said that when giving gifts, many are wise to skip the gift cards and knickknacks in favor of experiential gifts such as cooking lessons or a vacation.  "There's something called a spiraling up effect," Howell noted. "I enjoy the experience and then I enjoy it with my friends and then I enjoy the experience because they enjoy it." 

Ducking the media
In a Dec. 2 column in the San Francisco Chronicle, Professor of Communication Studies Joseph Tuman discussed Mayor Gavin Newsom's seven-and-a-half hour State of the City Address which was posted on YouTube. Tuman noted that posting the video on YouTube was a way for Newsom to get his message to his constituents without relying upon the mainstream media. "Gavin Newsom would never get even 20 minutes of his speech on local TV or get The Chronicle to devote a whole page to his speech," Tuman said. "The State of the City speech is a time when the mayor doesn't have to share the limelight with anyone. These kinds of things become part of his legacy without other people in the media marginalizing his voice." 

Dodging the ax
In a Nov. 25 story on American Public Media, Assistant Professor of Management Mitchell Marks commented on the rash of layoffs afflicting companies in the Bay Area and their effects on workers. Marks said that keeping your job through rounds of layoffs can sometimes be as bad as being laid off. He said those who are let go are at an advantage because they aren't left to wonder when the ax will fall. "People hate change," Marks said. "Do you know somebody who is in a bad relationship? Why does he or she stay at with that person? Well, why does he or she stay at that job?"

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

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Last modified Dec. 8, 2008 by University Communications.