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Across Campus

Herky's New Look
Black Politics in the Americas
Accent-uate the Positive
Commencement by the numbers
To Park is Worse Than to Bike
Year of Unity - Respect and Tolerance
Help Wanted
It's the Economy, Student
Community Service Counts
Labs Put Learning to Work
Frequent Fulbrighter Takes Finance Know-How Abroad

Herky's New Look

HerkySac State's Herky the Hornet got a new look this year.

Created with the help of alumni, students, faculty and staff, the new Herky is a tougher, sleeker, hornet-on-the-move than the campus has seen in years—a decidedly modern version fit for a growing campus and Division I athletics.

Change is nothing new for the venerable Herky, who has been through plenty of faces, bodies, uniforms and wings, as a file in University Archives makes clear. For the venerable Herky, it all began the first semester of classes, at what was then known as Sacramento State College and located at the Sacramento City College campus.

The student council and the athletic department decided the new University needed an identity, and on Dec. 5, 1947 chose a hornet as the mascot. It beat out the elk, which wasn't considered aggressive enough. They also chose green and gold as the University's colors—green representing the foothills and trees, and gold representing discovery.

Strangly, though there's plenty of documentation about choosing the hornet as the mascot, the naming of Herky remains a bit of a mystery. It is relatively well-established, however, that the name is short for "Hercules." In the 1950s and 1960's Herky ranged from mostlyhornet to a jolly humanoid with antennas. The wings have appeared huge one yand then nearly disappeared the next.

In the 1990s, there was and official, friendly version and a tougher one with a mean stinger. Other versions appeared as students and others felt the creative urge.

The goal with the latest version—the registered and official mascot—is a unified logo for Sac State and its athleticss program, one that is recognizable throughout the state and country.


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Black Politics in the Americas

David Covin An unusual international conference on blacks and politics is scheduled at Sac State this summer.

“Race and Democracy in the Americas,” July 7-13, will focus on the challenges facing black communities in the United States and Brazil. Presentations will be on civil rights laws, underground economies and black elected representatives in both countries.

Among the featured speakers will be Grantland Johnson, secretary of California’s Health and Human Services Agency and an alumnus, and Maulana Karenga, the CSU Long Beach professor who introduced Kwanzaa in 1966.

The conference is supported by the Ford Foundation.

David Covin, a professor of government and ethnic studies who helped organize the conference, says Brazil is of particular interest because it is second only to Nigeria in the number of its citizens descended from Africa. Brazil is also the second largest nation in the Western hemisphere.

Brazil’s black community faces many of the same problems as the black community in the United States— including racism and poverty. But the differences are striking.

The United Nations estimates blacks are a majority in Brazil, though Brazilian officials disagree. And unlike in the United States, racial identity in Brazil is often determined by skin tone, hair texture or facial configuration.

“On questions of race, Brazil is enigmatic,” Covin explains. “Brazil sees itself as a racial democracy, with opportunity for everyone. Yet the country portrays itself as white, and the bulk of the population of people of African descent is marginalized—socially, politically and economically.”

Details: (916) 278-7570.

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Accent-uate the Positive

Anyone who struggled through French class, stumbled ordering Chinese food or bluffed through a cab ride in Mexico knows the challenge of speaking a foreign language. Throw in the wacky rules of “American-speak” and you can see why even those with a strong grasp of English language concepts can strain to be understood.

That’s where Sac State’s accent reduction clinic comes in.

International students and others looking to improve their English language skills work with students in the speech pathology and audiology master’s degree program, under faculty supervision. The focus is on rhythm, intonation, vocabulary and pronunciation, says Lynda Oldenburg, clinic director of the Maryjane Rees Language, Speech and Hearing Center.

Seonghee Choi, an electrical engineering graduate student from Korea, came to the clinic for help with his pronunciation after one year at CSUS.

“In Korea I spent a lot of time learning English, but we usually studied grammar and reading,” he says. “We had few opportunities to speak to native speakers.”

Student clinicians conduct thorough evaluations of each client, assessing pronunciation, articulation and vocabulary abilities, and checking for physical limitations that may make it more difficult to be understood.

Among the English language quirks the clinicians help with are idioms like “out of the blue.”

They also work on writing, speaking and listening, as well as appropriate use of verbal and nonverbal language. These include personal distance, formal and informal ways to address people, and eye contact.

“Speech difficulties can affect a person’s whole life,” Oldenburg says. “We focus on the whole person, not a ‘problem.’”

Details: (916) 278-6601.

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Commencement by the Numbers

GradsEach year Sac State holds two sets of commencement ceremonies—a Winter Commencement in December and a Spring Commencement in May. Spring is the bigger of the two, with 4,000 students expected to be eligible to participate.

Winter Commencement 2000 stacked up like this:

7 Separate commencement ceremonies held, one for each College

2,962 Total students eligible to cross the stage

17,157 Proud family members, spouses, children and friends of graduates in attendance

639 Graduates at the College of Business Administration ceremony, the largest of Winter 2000

3.5 Minimum cumulative GPA needed to graduate with honors

May 25 & 26 Dates for Spring 2001 Commencement Details:

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To Park is Worse Than to Bike

What parking problem? For some dedicated professors, the dreaded hunt for a campus parking space is a thing of the past. They’ve gone to two-wheeling.

“I haven’t brought a car on campus for years,” says Ernie Olson, recreation and leisure studies professor and committed cyclist.

Olson follows the credo “if it’s within three miles, bike it.” Sometimes that’s no easy feat—especially during a wet Sacramento winter. Olson fearlessly faces the elements, in a full-on rain suit if necessary, often drawing bemused looks from passersby.

“I tell people it’s performance art to entertain people,” he says.

Of course, it seems rather fitting for a professor who teaches leisure to pedal to campus. But one who teaches future business tycoons?

Catching management professor Craig Kelley in his dress shirt, suit pants and tie, you’d never suspect that earlier in the day he was sporting a bike helmet. Kelley believes in mixing business and fitness.

He also knows a thing or two about supply and demand, using his daily bike commute to avoid shortages in the parking lot. “I haven’t bought a parking permit in six years,” he brags.

To encourage more faculty and student riders, the University offers a secure bicycle compound and free bike registration and licensing. Another lure is the 32-mile American River Bike Trail that borders the campus.

As for Olson and Kelley, they share more than a passion for pedaling. They were both selected as Outstanding Teachers last year by their respective colleges. Details: (916) 278-PARK.

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Respect & Tolerance

Sac State celebrated a “Year of Unity” during the last school year with a series of activities focused on diversity issues.

Highlights included a campus visit by Clayborne Carson, who is guiding a project to publish the works of Martin Luther King, Jr.; a history symposium on ethnic groups in the Sacramento Region; a film screening and lecture by filmmaker Deborah Lefkowitz on “Being Jewish in Germany;” and a talk by Terrence Roberts, one of the students who in 1957 integrated an Arkansas high school under protection of the U.S. Army. There were countless other workshops, seminars and cultural events across campus.

In addition, a Commission on Human Relations was created to serve as a sounding board for the University, and administrators and faculty reviewed University policies related to hate, harassment, diversity and violence.

The Year of Unity reinforced the University’s commitment to promoting understanding, tolerance and mutual respect. It was designated by President Donald R. Gerth.

“We have a renewed commitment,” he explained, “to develop a campus community that understands diversity and all its aspects; a campus that is welcoming; and a campus where mutual respect is the standard that guides us in our interactions.”


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  • President Donald R. Gerth was named “Sacramentan of the Year” by the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce. The chamber cited Gerth’s leadership at CSUS since 1984, including 1.5 million square feet of new facilities, a joint doctorate in public history and a School of the Arts.

  • Sac State was once again selected as the site of the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials. The event will be held in summer 2004. The 2000 Trials at Sac State were the most successful ever, attracting a record 187,104 spectators.

  • The Associated Students rallied hundreds of students and other volunteers in October to volunteer during the University’s semiannual Community Services Day. The students helped clean the American River Parkway, worked at a housing project with Habitat for Humanity and much more.

  • The CSUS choirs have released a new CD, titled “Music for Heaven and Earth.” It is $15 and can be ordered at (916) 278-6805.

  • Hong Kong philanthropists Winnie and Kenneth Leung received the first President’s Award at winter commencement. Winnie graduated from Sac State in 1966, and is a successful businesswoman. Husband Kenneth is an honorary CSUS alumnus and Hong Kong banker.

  • LegiSchool has taken hold overseas in Nigeria. The joint project of the State Legislature and the Center for California Studies at Sac State helps teach high school students about state government. Educators in Nigeria hope they can match the program’s success in their country.

  • Sac State will dramatically increase its fledgling summer semester program this year, speeding the move to a full year-round program. About 2,650 students are expected to enroll, more than double the number from the first summer semester last year. Fees are even lower than during the spring and fall semesters.

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Help Wanted

Most everyone knows it’s tough to hire qualified workers these days.

But if you’re looking to hire computer experts, teachers, nurses or social workers, be prepared to roll out the red carpet. Champagne and caviar might also be a good idea.

Consider: Even in a slumping economy, qualified high-tech workers remain hard to find. California is scrambling to hire as many as 300,000 new teachers by 2010. A growing nursing shortage could reach 20 percent nationwide in 20 years. And even after welfare reform, social workers are in high demand.

All that has recruiters flocking to Sac State, where these disciplines are growing with the times.

The University’s new master’s degree in software engineering is growing especially fast. High-tech heavyweights like Hewlett-Packard and Intel are chipping in to provide a flood of new students with the latest technology. And this year Sac State became HP’s top college source for new employees.

Programs for teachers and other school professionals have added almost a dozen new professors this year alone. Enrollment in the University’s College of Education has reached 3,000, up 500 from two years ago.

The nursing program’s El Dorado Hall is getting a 1,200 square-foot addition, to allow enrollment of at least 20 more students a year.

And in the social work program, professors are developing new summer and evening/weekend programs to help with the tough task of recruiting the next generation of students.

Details: (916) 278-7362.

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It’s the Economy, Student

Don’t tell Alan Greenspan, but assessing a country’s economy may be as easy as looking at the international student body at Sac State. Over the years, the composition of the University’s international student population has been a virtual barometer of economic prosperity or collapse.

During the early 80s, for example, large numbers of students flocked to campus from the Middle East, countries that had newfound oil wealth but didn’t have enough established universities for their students.

In the mid-80s, more students came from Asia-Pacific countries and territories like Indonesia, Malaysia and Hong Kong, says Eric Merchant, coordinator of international student programs. Again, it was a combination of economic expansion, a large-scale education program and a small number of universities.

Since then, Asia-Pacific students have made up the bulk of the international student population. That’s in spite of a slump in the Asian economy in the mid-90s that triggered a downturn in their enrollment.

The number of students from India, Taiwan and China is soaring. Last fall, 68 percent of the University’s 626 visiting students were from Asia-Pacific countries. Of those, 106 were from India, 58 were from China and 49 were from Taiwan.

At the same time, African students comprised 4 percent of the visiting international population, Europeans 12 percent, Middle Easterners 9 percent, and North and South Americans 6 percent.

Foreign students make a significant financial contribution to the Sacramento Region’s economy. Each student spends up to $18,000 each year on tuition, rent, groceries, cars and furniture.

Details: (916) 278-6686.

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Community Service Counts

Susanne Lindgren’s biology class is helping local health officials develop screening systems for infectious diseases. Roberto Quintana’s kinesiology and health science students are helping rehabilitate patients at Shriners and other area hospitals. Kathy Martinez’s recreation and leisure studies students are running activities for at-risk youth at the Boys and Girls Club.

Across the Capital Region, Sac State students are helping the community in more than 100 “service-learning” courses.

The courses are proving so popular that nearly 1,000 students enrolled in the programs last year, and as many as 20 service-learning courses will be added next year.

Service-learning was given a boost three years ago when University funds were dedicated to help develop curriculum. And last year, CSUS received an additional $100,000 for service-learning when Gov. Gray Davis made promoting community service a priority.

The success of these courses hardly surprised campus officials. Students are heavily involved in their community, with about 40 percent performing voluntary community service each year.

Details: (916) 278-4610.

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Labs Put Learning to Work

Before most Sac State students graduate, they’ll get hands-on experience with what they’ve learned in the classroom.

In the Nursing Skills Laboratory, for instance, students learn to give injections, dress wounds and turn an immobilized patient. Across the University, laboratory experiences are an essential part of learning.

“The lab environment affords hands-on opportunities, provides practice and modeling, and enhances creativity. Labs also are used for practice and/or remediation. These are only a few of the uses and high points,” says Bernice Bass de Martinez, provost and vice president of academic affairs.

Among new labs is a sprawling food lab in Mariposa Hall. It features five state-of-the-art kitchens, a pantry, and a food services lab. One kitchen is specially designed for those with disabilities.

“Students need to be involved in all aspects of food handling and preparation, and this requires most of the components of a full kitchen,” says professor Barbara Kilborn of the family and consumer sciences department. “Our future professionals will need to know how real people can improve their eating and cooking habits.”

Also, the Psychology Clinic was recently renovated with the financial help of Labs Put Learning to Work alumni and professors, and now has new furniture and a new library. The clinic is designed to provide graduate students with experience in counseling under faculty supervision. Community members get free therapy sessions.

On the other side of campus, a loud microturbine generator is the star of a new lab in the department of mechanical engineering. Students are getting their hands on one of many solutions to the state’s growing energy shortage. The cogeneration lab produces electricity using a micro-turbine, which operates on natural gas. It then uses the exhaust heat to produce steam that powers a large refrigerator.

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Frequent Fulbrighter Takes Finance Know-How Abroad

Consider him the Ambassador of Accounting. Eugene Sauls returned to campus this spring after completing a Fulbright lectureship at the University of Rijeka in Croatia. It was the globetrotting accounting professor’s third Fulbright, including a stay in Turkey in 1984 and Hungary in 1992.

In each case, Sauls gave lectures and worked with professors at the host university.

While in Croatia, Sauls taught classes in Western-style accounting practices. “It seemed to work very well,” he says. “Occasionally, I said something that they just didn’t understand, so we had to work at it for awhile.”

Of course, there were differences as well. “The Croatian students were not accustomed to challenging a professor. It took them a while to get used to that and to constant questions from me,” he says.

In Turkey, Sauls was actually able to bring about a change in the education system. “I sent a letter to the head of Turkish education with my observations of their system compared to ours. Within weeks, radical changes were made that were consistent with my suggestions,” he says.

Students weren’t the only ones learning. On each Fulbright, Sauls developed a sense of the country.

“Turkey was more exotic. Hungary was more cosmopolitan. Croatia is more Californian,” he says.

The advantage of making an overseas trip on a Fulbright, Sauls says, is that you get more attention from the leaders of the community and from the embassy.

In Croatia, for example, Sauls and other “Fulbrighters” were invited to lunch with Croatian president Stjepan Mesic. It was the day after Slobodan Milosevic stepped down in Yugoslavia and Sauls was able to ask Mesic about the change.

“He was not overly optimistic,” Sauls says.

Details: (916) 278-6578.

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