San Francisco State UniversityWeb A-ZFind it FastCalendarNeed help?News

Two SF State faculty members named Guggenheim fellows



Matt Itelson
SFSU Office of Public Affairs & Publications
(415) 338-1743
(415) 338-1665



Press Release published by the Office of Public Affairs & Publications


Peter Orner of Creative Writing, Britta Sjogren of Cinema win awards

SAN FRANCISCO, May 2, 2006 -- Two San Francisco State University faculty members are among the 187 artists, scholars and scientists selected for 2006 John Simon Guggenheim Fellowships.

Peter Orner, assistant professor of creative writing, and Britta Sjogren, associate professor of cinema, were selected from nearly 3,000 applicants in the United States and Canada. The award for each fellow averages about $40,000.

Orner has garnered praise from book critics nationwide with the April publication of his debut novel, "The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo." Praise for the book -- about a Cincinnati man who travels to the remote veld of Namibia to volunteer at a Catholic, all-boys boarding school shortly after the country's independence from South Africa and apartheid -- has come from the likes of The New York Times, Boston Globe, Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews. Orner's 2001 short-story collection, "Esther Stories," garnered similar widespread praise from critics and authors. His previous honors include the Pushcart Prize and the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Sjogren's short film "A Small Domain" -- about a 95-year-old kleptomaniac who contemplates suicide on her birthday, which is also the anniversary of her husband's death -- was a Grand Jury Prize winner at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival. Her film "Jo-Jo at the Gate of Lions" was nominated for a Grand Jury Prize at the 1992 Sundance Film Festival. Her 2004 feature-length film, "In This Short Life," follows four mysteriously intertwined lives in Portland, Ore., and Los Angeles. Sjogren is a 2002 recipient of the Robert and Charlotte Baron Fellowship of the American Antiquarian Society.

Guggenheim Fellows are appointed on the basis of distinguished achievement in the past and exceptional promise for future accomplishment. Since 1925, the Guggenheim Foundation has awarded more than $247 million to 16,000 individuals. Past fellows include scores of Nobel and Pulitzer prize winners. Some of the most famous fellows include Ansel Adams, Aaron Copland, Martha Graham, Langston Hughes, Henry Kissinger, Philip Roth, Wendy Wasserstein and Eudora Welty. For more, visit:

SF State is the only master's-level public university serving the counties of San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin. The University enrolls about 29,000 students each year and graduates about 7,000 annually. With nationally acclaimed programs in a range of fields -- from creative writing, cinema and biology to history, broadcast and electronic communication arts, theatre arts and ethnic studies -- the University's more than 150,000 graduates have contributed to the economic, cultural and civic fabric of San Francisco and beyond.


San Francisco State University Home     Search     Need Help?    

1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132  415/338-1111
Last modified April 20, 2007, by the Office of Public Affairs & Publications