Creative Sparks Are Flying
Creativity is soaring among SF State's alumni, faculty and students. Look around and you'll see their innovations in headline news, movie theatres and at work in the community. And while you're looking, you may find another reminder: street banners across San Francisco announcing the University's new "Creative Spark" campaign.
Lately, creative sparks are flying in more ways than one.
The fall semester came to an exciting close when Assistant Professor of Astronomy Debra Fischer (M.S.,'87) and her planet-hunting team found the first known quintuple planetary system besides our own. In January, Daniel Robin's (B.A. '92; M.F.A. '07) thesis film, "My Olympic Summer," won the 2008 Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking. In February, Ethan Van der Ryn (B.A., '85) and Chris Scarabosio (B.A., '90) competed for an Academy Award in Achievement in Sound Editing, marking the ninth consecutive year of alumni Oscar nominees.
In March, the scientific community began buzzing about Associate Professor of Biology Gretchen LeBuhn's innovative effort to shed light on the health of native pollinating bees with the help of thousands of "citizen scientists" nationwide. Meanwhile, Assistant Professor of Cinema Weimin Zhang began work on the official 2008 Beijing Olympics film, leading one of only four teams in the world that will document the torch relay and athletes' experiences.
April brought the biggest shower of creative news. Professor of Dance Albirda Rose received the prestigious Jefferson Award for Public Service for her work with The Village Dancers Children's Dance Co., her imaginative program that brings dance to disadvantaged children in the city. Later, the contributions of two alumni, one to the world of poetry, another to journalism, were recognized among this year's Pulitzer Prizes. Philip Schultz (B.A., '67) won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for his book "Failure." Jose Antonio Vargas (B.A., ‘04) was part of the award-winning team of staff at The Washington Post who took the Pulitzer in Breaking News Reporting for coverage of the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech.
For more creative updates, visit www.sfsu.edu/~news
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