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SFSU Public Affairs Press Release

Published by the Public Affairs Office at San Francisco State University, Diag Center.


Contact:Office of Public Affairs
phone: (415) 338-1665; (415) 609-1666, cell phone

Terrorist attacks: SFSU faculty experts available to comment on terrorism, U.S. foreign relations, impact on the economy

SAN FRANCISCO, September 11, 2001 - Members of the San Francisco State University faculty are available to provide analysis on today's airplane hijackings and terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and U.S. Pentagon. The faculty members are closely following events and can provide timely commentary. For additional assistance in locating an expert, call the SFSU Public Affairs Office at (415) 338-1665.

David Fischer, Diplomat in Residence in the International Relations Department, is an expert on intelligence agencies. Fischer, a career diplomat with more than 30 years experience in foreign affairs, teaches courses on American foreign policy and intelligence and intelligence agencies. Fischer can be reached at either (415) 405-0325 (work) or (415) 661-8543 (home).

Dwight Simpson, professor of international relations, is an expert on the Middle East, international relations and world politics. Simpson can be reached at (415) 338-2239 (work) or (510) 527-5306 (home).

DeVere Pentony, professor of international relations, is knowledgeable about terrorism, foreign policy analysis and strategic planning in international relations. Pentony can be reached at (415) 338-1589 (work) or (415) 469-5324 (home).

Glenn Fieldman, lecturer in international relations, is an authority on U.S. foreign policy. Fieldman can be reached at (415) 338-7498 (work) or (650) 559-9255 (home).

Robert Smith, professor of political science, is an expert on the Office of the President and Congress in dealing with national emergencies. Smith can be reached at (415) 338-7524 (work) or (510) 222-7273 (home).

Diane Harris, professor of psychology, is an expert on school psychology. Harris coordinates the school psychology program at S.F. State and teaches courses in clinical psychology. Harris has worked with schools and families in talking with children about stressful experiences. Harris can be reached at either (415) 338-7064 (work) or (510) 612-5288 (cell).

Jerry Combs, professor of history, teaches a course on American foreign relations and is an expert on the history of American foreign policy. Combs can be reached at (415) 338-1246 (work) or at (925) 935-2404 (home). He requests no calls after 9 p.m.

Chris Bettinger, assistant professor of sociology, is an expert on ethnic conflict on the U.S. Bettinger can be reached at (415) 405-0399 (work) or (415) 863-2144 (home).

Yea-Mow Chen, professor and chair of finance, is an expert on financial markets of the U.S. and Pacific Rim and teaches a course on financial markets and institutions. Chen can be reached at (415) 338-2106 (work) or at (415) 731-1231 (home).

John Sullivan, professor of management, teaches classes in human resources at SFSU. A human resources consultant, Sullivan is available to discuss how businesses should deal with their employees in the wake of the terrorist attacks, handle business closings, communicate company decisions to employees, and what measures to take to help employees deal with the tragedy. Sullivan can be reached on his cell phone at (650) 315-9944 or via e-mail at .

Peter Palmer, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, has conducted extensive research on toxic airborne particulates. He said that while most of the toxic gases released during the explosion at the World Trade Center should be carried upward and away from ground level, toxic particulate matter from the fallout gets lodged in the lungs if inhaled. For example, when common PVC plastic - used extensively in construction - is incinerated, it produces hydrochloric acid, which is highly tox ic. Pal mer will be available for a limited time at (415) 338-7717(work).

Susan Zieff, assistant professor of kinesiology, has conducted research on sports and society and the history and philosophy of sports. She teaches a course on sports and social issues. She can speak how postponing sporting events (such as Major League baseball games and possibly NFL football games) is symbolic of the trauma suffered in this country and she can also touch on the fact that resuming sporting schedules signals a return to daily business and perhaps a return to normalcy. Zieff can be reached at (415) 338-6574 (work) or at (415) 551-2271 (home) or through e-mail at

Michael Graham, chair of political science, is an expert on civil liberties and constitutional issues. Graham can talk about how measures to protect Americans from terrorist acts might affect the rights of individuals. Graham can be reached at (415) 338-7044 (work) or (707) 763-4082 (home).

Jamie Newton, a professor of psychology who specializes in social psychology, can talk about aggressive group behavior directed toward individuals based on ethnic or cultural heritage. Newton also can speak on altruistic behavior and why people pitch to help in the aftermath of disasters. Newton can be reached at (415) 338-7557 (work) or via e-mail at

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Last modified April 24, 2007, by Office of Public Affairs