Parent & Family Program

Image: Photos of SF State students and scenes from around campus

Parent & Family Council

Established on August 8, 2011, Parent & Family Council is led by its founding president, Janice Gumas (BS ‘85).

The SF State Parent & Family Council acts as a well-informed resource for the University. Members assist in academic recruiting, promote fundraising and advocacy efforts, and offer the parents’ perspective to key administrators in the University.

As a Parent & Family Council member, you have the opportunity to:

  • Attend special meetings on campus where you will hear directly from administrators, faculty and staff about what is happening on campus.
  • Volunteer at new student orientation, and help with recruitment in high schools and college fairs to promote SF State.
  • Participate in new student on-campus orientation programming for parents.
  • Be an advocate and support the University’s legislative agenda at the state, federal and local levels.
  • Identify fundraising opportunities that would interest parents, guardians and
    families of our students.

Visit us on Flickr to see photographs from our activities

You’re invited to become a part of the SF State experience! Join the Parent & Family Council. Sign-up to volunteer or receive e-mail alerts to advocate on behalf of SF State in your e-mail inbox and take action.


Current Parent & Family Council Members

Janice Gumas, Hillsborough, CA – Parent & Family Council President

I was born and raised in Manhattan Beach. I moved to SF to attend SFSU where I met my future husband, John Gumas. We both studied Marketing in the School of Business. John and I have three children. Our eldest son is a senior at SFSU and studies music, theater and communications. Our daughter is a freshman at Cal Poly Pomona and our youngest son attends high school.

Best advice for parents sending student to SF State: Encourage your children to be active in school activities and have confidence in the University to provide support for your young student.

Carol McDonald, Thousand Oaks, CA

I'm a native of California and have only one child, a boy, who chose wisely to attend SFSU.

Best advice for parents sending student to SF State: Try to be patient with their choices, keep the communication as open as possible and allow them some time to adjust to campus life and being more independent.  As parents, we also have to adjust to our new normal and hope we've done enough up to this point to allow them to make good choices.

Sheila Watson, Camarillo, CA

I am a mother of two. My daughter Courtney is my first to go to college.

Best advice for parents sending student to SF State: My biggest piece of advice is to attend Welcome Days.

Angela Galleno, Carlsbad, CA

I love California and definitely consider it my home. My husband of 22 years, Michael, and I are extraordinary pleased that our daughter chose SF State, and are resoundingly happy with her enthusiasm for her choice.

Best advice for parents sending student to SF State: The most important thing is to carefully listen to your son or daughter when they describe the college setting and aspects of the institution they want to attend.

Carla Garrasco, Santa Clara, CA

This is my only child. I've been a single mom my whole life. My child has gone to Catholic school K-12. He is the first to go to a four year college.

Best advice for parents sending student to SF State: Don't call them, wait for them to call you. Keep busy. Remember you have done your job well. 

Rachel Tenedora, Dixon, CA

I have three children and Sierra is the first to go away to college.

Best advice for parents sending student to SF State: Try not to take it personally if they are not sad or don't seem to miss home. Teach them to be independent (laundry, finances, interpersonal skills, etc.)!


Rich Stephens, San Jose, CA

Married with two daughters, one freshman at SFSU and one freshman at Saint Francis High School-Mountain View. I’m a PE Teacher/Athletic Director.

Best advice for parents sending student to SF State: Share ideas and make SFSU even better for future students.


John Avila, Huntington Beach, CA

Cassie is my first child and first child to go to college. I also have a younger son in the US Marines.

Best advice for parents sending student to SF State: Take at least three days off to get them settled [into their new environment]. You can always leave early.

Tony Genova, Huntington Beach, CA

I want to be as involved as I can with my daughter and the school, and in the process we can make it better for incoming students and their parents.

Best advice for parents sending student to SF State: Be very positive about the experience. Your child is filled with doubts and worries about the unknown. I have those same worries as a father, but I found that if I was a wreck when I dropped her off at school it would just compound hers. I make a point of making daily contact with my daughter, whether it is Skype, a short phone call or just a simple text.


SF State Home