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Provost's Communications Fall 2023

R2 Carnegie Classification Information Session

November 2, 2023

You are invited: R2 Carnegie Classification Information Session

Sara Gast, Deputy Director of Carnegie Classifications, will be on campus Nov. 8 to discuss the Carnegie Classifications of Higher Education. These classifications serve as a comprehensive tool for categorizing higher education institutions. They were first published in 1973 and are now updated every three years. These classifications are invaluable for facilitating meaningful comparisons and analyses, enabling educators, researchers, and policymakers to gain insights into the unique characteristics of each institution.

During her presentations, Ms. Gast will provide an overview of the classifications, share reflections on the current methodology, and outline the next steps for releasing the framework for the 2024 classifications. She will delve into the importance of nuances of this framework, shedding light on its role in comprehending the diverse landscape of colleges and universities. Following the presentation, there will be an opportunity for questions from the audience.

Date: Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Time: 1 p.m.

Venue: Cottonwood Suite III, University Union

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Guidance for Faculty on Supporting Students During Middle East Violence

October 31, 2023

Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

As I’m sure you are witnessing firsthand, many of our students are deeply affected by the ongoing violence in the Middle East. Whether due to their personal connection to the region, the disturbing images on social media, or rising societal unrest, students experiencing emotional distress may find it difficult to focus on their studies.

As educators, we are responsible for maintaining an environment that fosters both academic and emotional growth. It is crucial that we support our students during these challenging times. Please be flexible with students who are experiencing emotional distress related to events in the Middle East. This flexibility may include reasonable extensions on assignments, leniency with attendance policies, and consideration of a student’s emotional state when enforcing deadlines. By providing this support, we can help our students cope with the emotional impact of the ongoing violence without adding to their distress or sidetracking their educational progress.

I understand that each student's situation may vary, and the level of flexibility may differ accordingly. You must use your own best judgment when assessing the individual needs of your students. Remember that students look to their instructors as their main point of contact with Sac State; your empathy and understanding will go a long way in helping our students navigate this challenging time.

Please encourage students affected by the situation to contact Counseling Services at (916) 278-6461. The team offers individual, group, and after-hours crisis counseling. The CARES team provides support to students who are in crisis or experiencing unique challenges to their education. The team coordinates referrals to campus and community resources and offers follow-up support to address a variety of issues. The CARES office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with case managers meeting primarily by appointment. Students can find instructions on scheduling an appointment by viewing the Make an Appointment Instructions.

I know your students’ wellbeing is your top priority, as it is mine. Let us work together to ensure our campus environment is as empathetic and compassionate as it is academically enriching. Your continued understanding and support of your students is critical to making that happen.

Carlos Nevarez
Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs

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An Introduction from Chancellor Mildred Garcia

October 23, 2023

Dear Colleagues,

I write to you – the California State University community – during these first weeks of my tenure to introduce myself and to convey to you how honored I am to serve as the CSU’s 11th chancellor – the first Latina nationwide to be appointed to lead a four-year university system.

I am humbled to serve as chancellor because the story of the CSU reflects my own. As some of you know, I am a first-generation college student from humble beginnings, supported by my amazing parents, family and beautifully diverse neighborhood in Brooklyn, where I was born and raised. My parents’ dream was the same as that of so many families in our community: to create a better life for the next and future generations. Thanks to my parents’ vision and sacrifice – and to the undeniable power of a college degree – I have lived that dream.

Making that same dream attainable to America’s new majority – represented by first-generation students, low-income students and students of color – has been my greatest inspiration and constant motivation throughout my career.

I know that you – the CSU’s world-class faculty and mission-driven staff – share that inspiration and motivation. You could work anywhere, but you have chosen this remarkable, vital, one-of-a-kind institution. With extraordinary personal drive and an unwavering commitment to the highest standards of excellence, you provide the CSU’s dynamically diverse students with the pathway and roadmap to reach their goals and become productive and engaged citizens, enriching our society and strengthening our democracy. Together, 56,000 strong, you have dedicated your professional lives to identifying, inspiring, honing and unleashing the genius that lies within each and every Cal State student.

I am thrilled – and profoundly privileged – to join and support you in this work.

I noted above that the California State University is a one-of-a-kind institution. I assure you, that is no overstatement. I return to the CSU after having served for almost six years as president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), working to advance public higher education policy and practice on a national scale.

I mention this because my work at AASCU afforded me a unique perspective of our country’s higher education landscape. And it confirmed for me what I already knew. The CSU stands alone, as the nation’s premier four-year university system. We change lives, transform entire family trees, elevate communities and drive our state’s social and economic vitality, and we do so at a scale unmatched by any other institution in our country.

And, importantly, even as we are horrified and heartbroken by the recent acts of terrorism, hatred and the tragic loss of innocent life in Israel and the Gaza Strip, all of which the CSU unequivocally condemns in the strongest terms as antithetical to our core values, the CSU stands as a place where our students – where all of us – can be supported and find strength in community. The CSU also remains a place where we are free and safe to share our perspectives, experiences and worldviews so that we may learn from and about one another and come to greater understanding.

I am so proud to serve the CSU, and to join you in advancing our shared mission. There’s no limit to what we can accomplish together.

Thank you for all that you do for the CSU’s 460,000 students, this extraordinary university system and the great state of California.


Mildred García, Ed. D.

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Fall 2023 Graduate Studies Events for Students

October 16, 2023

Dear Colleagues,

This message has been sent to you on behalf of the Office of Graduate Studies (OGS) regarding upcoming events about graduate studies opportunities. Students, both at the undergraduate and graduate level, are encouraged to participate in these events. Please feel free to share this information with your students.

1. Graduate & Professional School Information Day

The Sacramento State Graduate Diversity Program will be hosting Graduate & Professional School Information Day on Tuesday, Oct. 24, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the University Union Ballroom. This is a free event open to all current Sacramento State students and alumni. Students are welcome to walk in the day of the event, but are asked to RSVP for event accessibility planning.

2. Are you an undergraduate student and aren’t sure that graduate school is right for you?

The Office of Graduate Studies hosts virtual Planning for Graduate School at Sac State events throughout the semester!

Fall 2023 sessions are as follows:

3. Interested in attending law school? Register for a WashU School of Law Information Session

The School of Law at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri has collaborated with Sacramento State to an offer to a virtual information session for students (undergraduate & graduate level) who are interested in attending law school in the future. This free information session will take place Friday, Oct, 20 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

  • If you would like to attend this session, you will need to register here.
  • For an overview of the JD program at Washington University, click here.

Questions about the information session can be directed to the Office of Graduate Studies at

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Faculty-Led Round Table on Crisis in the Middle East

October 13, 2023

To All Members of the Campus Community:

The conflict in the Middle East is causing pain, grief, and confusion for many in our Hornet Family and beyond. In an effort to promote dialogue and education around these complex issues, faculty members from across departments are collaborating on an event to promote education, discussion, and to engage the needs of our students and the larger Sacramento community.

This round table discussion and is being organized by Dr. Harvey Stark, from the department of Humanities and Religious Studies, and Dr. Sahar Razavi, professor of political science and director of the Iranian and Middle East Studies Center. ASL-English interpretation and captioning will be provided for the program. For additional accommodations, please reach out to The event is free and all members of the campus and community are welcome and encouraged to attend. Details are listed below.

Sac State comes together to navigate and learn about the Israeli-Palestinian crisis

Tuesday, Oct. 17

5 to 7:30 p.m.,

University Union Ballroom

During times of crisis, it is critical that we create spaces for education, dialogue, and discussion. If you are hosting an educational event around the crisis in the Middle East, please send details to so that we can share details with the campus community.

For those in need of resources, please see this message sent out by Vice President for Inclusive Excellence Mia Settles-Tidwell on Monday/ Let us continue to stand together against violence, to support one another and to engage with empathy during this difficult time.

Carlos Nevarez
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

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October Academic Affairs Newsletter and Message from the Provost

October 9, 2023

Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

Happy Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month! As our campus celebrates the contributions, culture, and heritage of the more than one third of our student body who identify as Latinx, I am proud to announce that Sac State has once again received the prestigious Seal of Excelencia certification from Excelencia in Education, a national organization that promotes Latinx student success. As one of only 39 colleges and universities across the United States to hold the Seal of Excelencia, including just seven of the CSU’s 23 campuses, our Seal of Excelencia recertification recognizes our unwavering commitment to empowering our Latinx students to succeed and follow their dreams and marks us as leaders in addressing educational disparities.

As a federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) since 2013, this recertification is not an excuse to rest on our laurels; it is a reminder of our imperative to continually innovate and improve our teaching and support practices to ensure that we are honoring the trust put in us by thousands of Latinx families every year. Accepting our recertification in Washington on behalf of our university and seeing the live feed of President Wood and other campus leaders cheering us on from the Global Lounge, I was filled, not only with pride, but also a renewed sense of responsibility. Our Latinx students are counting on us to continue—and exceed—our efforts on behalf of their success.

After becoming an HSI ten years ago, four-year graduation rates for Latinx students at Sac State rose from 9% to 28%. Building on that success, we will soon be adding a faculty HSI director to our campus. And Sac State was just awarded $3 million for a U. S. Department of Education Developing Hispanic Serving Institutions grant. Our project, TECH4Equity, aims to expand flexible online course options that align with customized online wraparound student support services. It will build our technological capacity to address student demand in an evolving higher education landscape that threatens our enrollment and fiscal stability.

Truly, our Seal of Excelencia recertification is the beginning, not the end, of our journey to exemplify the full measure of what an HSI can be. As we continue celebrating Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month with an exciting variety of campus events and activities, let us also reflect on new ways we can uplift our Latinx students—as well as our Latinx faculty and staff. With the work that earned us the Seal of Excelencia as a blueprint for our future, we must always strive to ensure our campus is fulfilling our promise to be a welcoming and inclusive home to our Latinx community for generations to come.

Please scroll below to learn about more great things happening in Academic Affairs. Thank you for your unwavering dedication to the success of all our students, and for being part of the journey as we shape a brighter future for our university and the communities we serve.

Carlos Nevarez
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Arts and Letters

National Arts & Humanities Month - October is National Arts & Humanities Month, and Sac State's College of Arts & Letters is celebrating with a diverse array of events. Throughout the month, visitors can immerse themselves in the creative spirit, from weekly student shows at the R.W. & Joyce Witt Gallery, providing a platform for budding artists to showcase their talents, to the Festival of New American Music, a lively celebration of contemporary compositions. Check out all the A & L October events here.

NEA grant supports new play by faculty member - Nicole C. Limón, Theater & Dance, received a grant from The National Endowment for theArts and the City of Sacramento Office of Arts and Culture to create an original devised play called "Just A Pinch," focusing on the treatment of women and people with uteruses during outpatient gynecological care. It was performed to sold out houses on the weekend of September 8-10. Follow her work on Instagram @matriarchytheatre.

State Hornet named finalist for top honor - The State Hornet, Sac State’s student-run newspaper that is overseen by the Communications Department, has been nominated for a second Pacemaker Award from the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP). The State Hornet is among 27 finalists the ACP has named in the second year of its Multiplatform Pacemaker competition. The winners will be announced at the ACP Pacemaker and Individual Awards ceremony at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 30, at the Fall National College Media Convention in Atlanta. The Hornet won the Online Pacemaker Award in 2022-23.

Interdisciplinary Conference in the Humanities - The Department of World Languages and Literatures is renewing its tradition of an annual Interdisciplinary conference. The Sixth Interdisciplinary Conference in the Humanities will be held Saturday, October 21 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the University Union and will bring together scholars, researchers, practitioners, and students for a series of panel discussions and a keynote presentation. The event will publicize research in language and literature, as well as deepen public engagement with the humanities in Sacramento and beyond. The theme of this year’s conference is “Language Justice” and will examine unexpected connections across linguistic, geographical, and disciplinary borders and explore language as a vehicle for justice.

Upcoming faculty presentations in Ukraine and Mexico - Andrew Connelly and Summer Ventis from Sac State’s Art Department will be exhibiting artworks with the artist collective ARTNAUTS in Ukraine. The exhibit will travel and be seen in schools, hospitals and military units in and around Lutsk in northwest Ukraine in December. Brenda Romero, World Languages & Literatures, will present "The Concentration of Japanese Immigrants in Mexico: Exploration of a Silenced Past Through the Lens of Literature" at the International Congress of Mexican Literature to take place in UNAM, Mexico City Oct. 23-27.

College of Busines

Enhanced BHON Support - The College of Business is thrilled to announce that Five Star Banks has not only renewed its commitment to the Business Honors (BHON) program but has also doubled its annual sponsorship from $10,000 to a generous $20,000. This significant increase will now cover both BHON cohorts, ensuring an even brighter future for the college’s talented students.

Empowering Change: Strategic Planning & Cultural Evolution - The College of Business is embarking on an exciting journey of transformation. We have partnered with The Grove Consulting Group to craft a dynamic new strategic plan that will shape the future of our College. Additionally, we are dedicated to fostering a culture that thrives on collaboration and innovation. Stay tuned as we work together to bring positive change to our academic community.

Carlsen Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Carlsen Center director wins international entrepreneurship award - Cameron Law, Executive Director of the Carlsen Center, received the Ecosystem Champion Award at the 2023 Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) in Melbourne, Australia, in September. Law was among 18 individuals and organizations receiving awards at the event that recognizes excellence in entrepreneurship, policymaking, investor support programs, and research. The award announcement noted that Law is a “mindful and engaged leader across local, national and global entrepreneurial communities” who is “always ready to support his community.” This was the second time Law was nominated for an award from the GEC.

Startup Challenge October 13-15 - The Startup Challenge gathers entrepreneurs, business mentors, and industry experts to take brand-new ideas and turn them into a real business over one weekend. The event starts with networking Friday night, then moves into the next phase Saturday with 60-second pitches of new ideas. Teams are formed around the most popular ideas and the work begins to turn those ideas into businesses. Partners from the Sacramento region, including seasoned entrepreneurs, coaches, and subject matter experts will be on hand to guide the process and make sure participants are on the right track. Once again, to demonstrate Sac State’s Anchor University initiative, participants will include entrepreneurs, students, and interested individuals with diverse skill sets from throughout the Sacramento region. The event culminates with presentations of the new businesses to a panel of judges Sunday night, with the most developed businesses receiving prizes including cash and continued training opportunities. The event will be held at the Carlsen Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship. Register for the Startup Challenge here.

Save the date: Global Entrepreneurship Week is November 13-17 - The Carlsen Center invites the campus community to mark their calendars for Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), an inspiring week of innovation, networking, and entrepreneurial exploration. GEW is a dynamic series of events and activities that celebrate the spirit of entrepreneurship in our community. GEW celebrates entrepreneurship, fosters collaboration, and propels our community's business ecosystem forward. Check out the events from last year’s GEW here.

Community Engagement Center

Civic Engagement Resource Fair - Information and inspiration will be available at the Civic Engagement Resource Fair on Tuesday, Oct. 10, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Library Quad. Community change makers will be presenting at tables during this event to discuss important topics of policy change, equity, and equality, and to provide valuable resources on opportunities for student involvement in civic affairs. This is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to learn from community and Sac State partners how to make a difference and be a part of affecting change.

Network Café: Immigration Support Services - Network Cafe is held on the 3rd Thursday of each month and brings together over 70 representatives from local human-services organizations to learn about services, collaborate on issues, and generate solutions to serve our community. Not-for-profit agencies are invited to join Network Café as we continue to support local communities as they navigate the path to security, health, and prosperity. This month’s Network Café will meet on Wednesday, Oct. 25, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and feature presentations from Anti-Human Trafficking Outreach & Training Specialist Rodger Freeman of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Community Engagement Manager Julie Rietema of World Relief Sacramento. Register for the Oct. 25 Network Café here. Sign up for the Network Café mailing list here.

College of Continuing Education

Sac State’s CCE to Offer One-of-a-Kind Certificate Program - The College of Continuing Education at Sac State has added an exciting new certificate option in Cultural Competency, becoming the only Sacramento-area college to do so. The Cultural Competency Certificate Program is designed to build cultural competence among a wide range of service providers. The program focuses on a variety of vulnerable populations and their experiences with public service professionals, including law enforcement, courts, corrections, social workers and those working in the healthcare system. The curriculum will enhance critical thinking through an analysis of intersectionality (race, class, and gender) and various vulnerable populations, while increasing participant engagement through reading, discussion, role-plays, and active learning. Find out more about the Cultural Competency Certificate Program at Sac State here.

Master of Public Health degree life-changing for working parents - “Completing the Master of Public Health program at Sac State was a life-changing experience,” says Erica Davis. Today, Erica is an Environmental Health and Safety Professional and she credits the MPH program at Sac State’s College of Continuing Education with getting her there. “The faculty is amazing. It really is a safe space where you can share your thoughts, feelings, and see a change. I don’t think you will find that anywhere else. I couldn’t have asked for a better cohort, faculty, or advisor,” Erica says. “I believe that the program has provided me with an even greater network of amazing and talented individuals. Also, the curriculum is tailored to the work that is done in public health, which essentially gives you a hands-on educational experience.” The Master of Public Health program can be completed in two years, including one summer (five consecutive semesters). Classes are offered in hybrid format, with classes taking place in-person two evenings per week. With a practice-based approach to coursework, students learn the foundational material and apply it in a real-world setting. Read more about Erica’s story here.

College of Education

Girl Power Grant - Aaminah Norris, Interim Associate Dean, Research & Engagement, has been awarded a grant from The National Science Foundation in the amount of $108,325. This is in support of the project: “Collaboration Between Girl Power By Design and Managing Identities Projects.”

HSI education grant call for applications - The National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families is accepting applications for our professional development grant program for early career faculty at Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) or Emerging Hispanic Serving Institutions (EHSIs). The $2,500 grant program is aimed at supporting professional development activities that will enhance the grantees professional growth as scholars and educators at HSIs and EHSIs. Applicants must be an early career investigator (up to 7 years post Ph. D) from an Hispanic Serving Institution or an Emerging Hispanic Serving Institution. Applications are due Oct. 20 at 5 p.m. PST and can be submitted here.

New faculty book on education experiences of Sacramento’s Black children - Vajra Watson, along with Professors Maisha Winn and Torry Winn of UC Davis, has edited a new book, Faith Made Flesh: The Black Child Legacy Campaign for Transformative Justice and Healthy Futures. Faith Made Flesh brings together the experience, insight, and stories of those actively addressing societal and educational disadvantages of Black children in Sacramento and seeks to offer viable solutions to racial injustice by centering the voices of organizers, policymakers, educators, scholars, and young people alike.

COE professor elected president of disability equity organization - Teaching Congratulations to Jean Gonsier-Gerdin, Teaching Credentials, who has been elected to a 2.5 year term as President of the Board of TASH! TASH is an international nonprofit organization that advances equity, opportunity and inclusion for people with disabilities, with a focus on those with the most significant support needs, in the areas of education, employment, and community living through advocacy, research and practice.

College of Engineering & Computer Science

Building classroom equity through active learning - The Electrical and Electronic Engineering (EEE) department received a $595,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for their Project-ACE (Active-learning-based engineering Curriculum transformation for excellence in Equity). This innovative initiative seeks to enhance the educational experience for students by reimagining six key EEE courses. These courses will shift away from traditional lecture formats to embrace project-based learning with real-world applications and undergraduate research experiences. The three-year project, which will be led by EEE associate professor Praveen Meduri, aims to improve student engagement, reduce dropout rates, and promote equity.

Office of Graduate Studies

Graduate and Professional Information Day - Sac State is set to hold their annual Graduate and Professional Information Day on Tuesday, Oct. 24 from 11a.m. to 2 p.m. in the University Union Ballroom. The event will provide information to all students and alumni about graduate school opportunities. It’s a great opportunity to meet graduate and professional school recruiters and obtain valuable information about admissions policies and procedures, availability of financial aid, and other pertinent information. You can find out which schools are registered to attend or to find out more information here.

California Forum for Diversity in Graduate Education - The annual California Forum for Diversity in Graduate Education is being held on Saturday, Oct. 14 at the University of San Francisco. The forum has been designed particularly to meet the needs of advanced undergraduates and master's candidates who belong to groups that are currently underrepresented in doctoral-level programs. Each California Forum for Diversity in Graduate Education will bring together approximately 1,000 pre-selected, high-achieving students who will explore graduate opportunities and resources by participating in numerous workshops conducted throughout the day.

Probationary Faculty Development Grant - The Probationary Faculty Development Grant is open for applications until Monday, Oct. 9. Each year, all probationary faculty members are invited to submit applications for the Probationary Faculty Development grant. Seven faculty are selected to receive $500 in professional development funds and 3 units of release time to implement a project that is research related, a creative activity, or a pedagogical enhancement. You can find out more about applying or submission requirements here.

College of Health & Human Services

Criminal Justice faculty member receives teaching award - Nicole Fox, Criminal Justice, was recently awarded the 2023 National American Society of Criminology Excellence in Teaching Award. The award, established in 2008, recognizes excellence in undergraduate and/or graduate teaching over the span of an academic career. Dr. Fox, whose teaching covers global criminology, human rights, gender, law, and criminological theory, also serves on the United Nations Economic and Social Council and contributes to the UN Commission on the Status of Women.

Associate Dean invited to become board-certified - Robert Pieretti, HHS Associate Dean, was invited by the American Board of Child Language and Language Disorders. (ABCLLD) to become Board Certified in Child Language due to his recognition by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) for advanced knowledge, skills, and leadership in the area of child language. The invitation comes to individuals that the board independently recognizes for their expertise in child language and language disorders and for their significant contributions to the field of speech-language pathology.

New faculty bus tour - HHS held its New Faculty Mentoring Bus Tour in September as part of its New Faculty Mentoring Program. The group explored HHS-specific clinics and departments in Folsom Hall. Then new faculty and their mentors took a bus that traveled through Sacramento where they explored the Downtown Sac State building and saw sites like the Sacramento Capitol, Old Sacramento, and the Crocker Art Museum.

Faculty work on Parkinson’s highlighted - Matt Brown and Gwen Begue from the Kinesiology department were featured in a Sac State article that highlighted their work on whether exercise can improve the lives of Parkinson’s patients. You can read it here.

International Programs & Global Engagement

IPGE launches Terra Dotta ISSS Portal - The Office of International Programs and Global Engagement (IPGE) announces the launch of the Terra Dotta ISSS Portal. The new portal, which went live on Sept. 25, is the result of a monthslong collaboration between IPGE and IRT. The platform is a centralized location for international students and visiting scholars to seek immigration and other services through IPGE and manage their profile. Students will also be able to electronically request recommendations from academic advisors and faculty via the portal. It also serves as a paperless record-keeping system for students’ immigration documents and facilitates compliance-related reporting to the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Access the portal here.

University Library

Banned Books Week - Banned Books Week is held every October as a celebration of our freedom to read and a time when we reckon with and push back on the record number of attacks on one of our most basic liberties: the right to read and write about any topic. Join the Sac State Library in celebrating our core values of diversity, intellectual freedom, social responsibility, and the public good–and push back on censorship–by hanging a limited-edition poster found at the User Services desk of your favorite university library.

Library Research Workshop - EndNote 21 creates, stores, and manages your references while seamlessly integrating with MS Word allowing you to create and format bibliographies in thousands of citation styles. Join us for this 50-minute workshop to see how EndNote 21 will work for you. EndNote 21 creates, stores, and manages your references while seamlessly integrating with MS Word allowing you to create and format bibliographies in thousands of citation styles. Join us for this 50-minute workshop to see how EndNote 21 will work for you. Register here.

Media Viewing with the Library - The University Library offers several ways for you and your students to view media either in the library or at home. Schedule a visit to the Media Viewing Room, watch DVDs or listen to CDs at any PC workstation, or borrow a portable DVD player from the 1st Floor Service Desk for a 24-hour loan. More information on our website.

College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics

Solar eclipse viewing party - On Oct. 14 from 8 to 11 a.m. the Astronomy & Physics Department will host a solar eclipse viewing party to celebrate the partial solar eclipse. There will be a viewing area set up in the garden area behind the Planetarium and eclipse viewing glasses and telescopes with solar filters will be available for safe viewing. Maximum coverage will be at 9:20 a.m. Planetarium Coordinator Kyle Watters will be hosting free planetarium shows from 8 to 10 a.m. on a first come/first serve basis. For more information contact the department at

Chemistry professors secure $420,000 NSF grant - Stephan Paula and James Miranda of the Chemistry Department received a large and prestigious grant in September. The goal of the new NSF/RUI grant is the development of small molecules that are capable of stimulating the activity onan enzyme that moves calcium ions across cellular membranes. These molecules will find use as novel experimental research tools for the study calcium levels inside cells. They also hold promise as new therapeutic agents against heart disease. The project will provide research opportunities for undergraduate students interested in careers in biotechnology and involves collaborators at Sacramento State, in industry, and at the University of Newcastle in Australia.

Fall 2023 Student Research Symposium - The Annual Fall Student Research Symposium will be held Oct. 23 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the University Union Ballroom. The symposium reception celebrates the research and scholarly achievements of NSM students and allows them to display their research, which is done alone or with multiple students and always with guidance of faculty mentors. During the reception, research posters are displayed with students standing near-by. Students can be approached to answer questions and discuss their theories and research. The event had over 200 attendees last year and organizers anticipate having a large turnout again this year.

Offices of Research, Innovation, and Economic Development (ORIED)

Research Enhanced Support Grant program - President Wood and Provost Nevarez are excited to extend an invitation to faculty to participate in the inaugural Research Enhanced Support Grant program. This grant is an opportunity for faculty to secure funding that will empower them to contribute new knowledge and innovative scholarship to their respective disciplines as well as provide transformational educational experiences for their students. This program is funded by the President’s Office and is administered by Academic Affairs with support from the Offices of Research, Innovation, and Economic Development (ORIED). This inaugural competition will support campus scholarship activities during the Spring 2024 and/or Fall 2024 semesters. Applications are due Oct. 30 by 5 p.m. You can find the grant guidelines here.

ORIED now accepting applications to Fall 2023 IDEA program - ORIED is inviting applications for the next cycle of the Incentive for Developing External Awards (IDEA) program. IDEA provides up to $2,500 in additional employment or professional development funds as an incentive for faculty to write a competitive grant proposal for external funding to further their research, scholarly and/or creative activity. IDEA is open to all tenured and tenure-track faculty, and lecturers with multi-year appointments of at least 0.5 time base. Applicants must identify one specific grant solicitation or a formal request for proposals to which they are interested in submitting a proposal. For this cycle, the grant proposal submission deadline must be between Feb 1, 2024 and July 31, 2024. Find more information here. Questions? Email IDEA applications due Oct. 23 by 5 p.m.

Protected Writing Time back for Fall 2023 - ORIED is pleased to announce Protected Writing Time is back for Fall 2023. Protected Writing Time provides a supportive, structured environment for scholarly writing. Faculty and staff are invited to use Protected Writing Time to focus on research, manuscript development, grant proposals, or other scholarly activities. It may be used for whatever your research and creative activity agenda requires. We are holding this time in the University Library, Room 4026F (Faculty Study) from 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Reserve a seat now. Benefits include a quiet place on campus away from day-to-day distractions; snacks, water and a printer; and ORIED staff are nearby to answer questions and provide assistance.

College of Social Sciences & Interdisciplinary Studies

Dr. David Covin Memorial Service - Sac State Professor Emeritus David Covin passed away on June 3, and the campus community is honored him with a celebration of his life, accomplishments, and legacy on Saturday, Oct. 7, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Capistrano Concert Hall. Well-known for his brilliance, wisdom, and wit, Dr. Covin helped found Sac State’s Cooper Woodson College Enhancement Program to guide African American students to success. He was also active in equity-based initiatives in the larger Sacramento community including founding the Sacramento Area Black Caucus and starting a local publishing company, Blue Nile Press, to highlight Black authors.

Annual Psychology Research Conference - The Psychology Department invites the campus community to celebrate the outstanding research accomplishments of Psychology students and faculty on October 31 from noon to 3 p.m. in the University Union Redwood Room. The Annual Research Conference has always been a popular showcase with hundreds of attendees including the president, provost, and SSIS dean. You can find more information here. To request ADA reasonable accommodations that would allow you to participate in this event, please contact Alex Bornino at no later than five business days before the event.

CHLFSA Panel on Intersectional and Evolving Chicanx/Latinx Identities - Join the Chicanx/Latinx Faculty and Staff Association on Monday, Oct. 9, from noon to 1:15 p.m. as Chicanx/Latinx Faculty at Sac State discuss how race, class, gender, and colonialism have shaped, and continue to shape, Chicanx/Latinx identities. Join virtually at

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P3 and NPP Research Showcase

September 26, 2023

Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

Last year we created the Provost’s Progress to Promotion (P3) program and the Novel Projects for Professors (NPP) program. These two new research initiatives are designed to assist Assistant, Associate, and Full Professors who take on projects which advance campus imperatives that are not otherwise supported. The P3 program assists Assistant and Associate Professors on their path to promotion while also advancing one or more of our campus imperatives. The NPP Program assists Full Professors as they take on a new project that supports projects that are new and novel to that faculty member that advanced one or more campus imperatives. For both programs, projects focused on any of the RTP areas: Teaching Effectiveness, Scholarly and Creative Activities, Service to Campus, and Service to Community.

We are excited to announce that faculty who participated in the P3 and NPP programs are ready to share their research with their colleagues.

Please join me in celebrating their work:

What: P3 & NPP Showcase

When: October 4 from 3 to 5 p.m.

Where: Center for Teaching and Learning, AIRC 3005

I am looking forward to engaging with the results of this work and learning more about how the P3 and NPP programs helped faculty advance campus imperatives.

Carlos Nevarez
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

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Travel Ban Repealed

September 21, 2023

Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

Governor Newsom signed SB 447 into law on September 13, lifting a ban on state-funded travel to states with anti-LGBTQIA+ laws. The new law replaces the ban with an anti-discrimination campaign directed toward those states. Effective immediately, state funds may be used for travel to all states and the Provost’s office will not factor a destination state’s discriminatory laws when approving or not approving travel requests. Travel to states under the ban occurring prior to the repeal may not be reimbursed with state funds. Travel that occurred September 14 or later will be supported.

This is an abrupt reversal of a policy that deeply impacted our campus and the CSU system, particularly the ability of faculty to travel to pursue research and scholarship opportunities. Many of us have been feeling overworked and overburdened recently, and dealing with one less bureaucratic frustration certainly feels like a relief. But, as we move forward to the post-travel ban era, please remember the tense national atmosphere that brought about the ban and be sensitive to our colleagues and students who may be experiencing heightened feelings of isolation and marginalization as California shifts gears in its pursuit of civil and human rights.

When AB 1887 was originally passed into law in 2016 enacting the travel ban, it had a simple purpose that now seems a little optimistic: to pressure a handful of states that had passed laws discriminating against LGBTQIA+ people to change those laws. But what seemed at the time to be a few isolated incidents of harmful legislation has escalated into frightening movement of 26 states passing laws designed to isolate, humiliate, and intimidate people—including children—based on their identities. Meanwhile, more discriminatory laws are being introduced and school boards nationwide, including in California, are approving policies that further endanger and dehumanize LGBTQIA+ youth.

Clearly, the threats that the travel ban sought to stop are far from behind us. I ask that you keep the values of our campus in mind as you travel about the country. And remember that you have colleagues who may be unsafe travelling to regions hostile to their existence. Reinforce that we all belong—here, nationwide, and everywhere.

Carlos Nevarez
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

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Latine Green and Gold Speaker Series

September 12, 2023

Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

National Latinx (or Latine) & Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes and honors the history and contributions of the people and cultures that originated in Mexico, South and Central America, the Caribbean, and Spain. To mark this important month, the Division of Inclusive Excellence has organized a meaningful—and entertaining—program that I encourage you to engage with and share with your students. If it is appropriate to your courses and subject area, please consider giving your students extra credit for attending and helping us build greater understanding and belonging on our campus.

The Green and Gold Speaker Series on Latine Belonging connects to this year’s theme, Journey to Belonging, and is titled “Beats of Belonging: Latine Revolution and Restoration”. It will launch on September 26, 2023, featuring Las Cafeteras in the University Ballroom.

A little about Las Cafeteras:

Born and raised east of the Los Angeles River, Las Cafeteras has taken the music scene by storm with their infectious live performances that cross genre and musical borders. Their electric sound & energy has taken them around the world playing shows from Bonnaroo to the Hollywood Bowl, WOMAD New Zealand to Montreal Jazz, & beyond! Singing in English, Spanish, and Spanglish and adding their own remix of sounds, from rock to hip-hop to rancheras. Las Cafeteras use music as a vehicle to build bridges among different cultures and communities and create "a world where many worlds fit." Join the Latine Community in Exploring Belonging at an HSI with an interactive workshop, followed by an exciting Las Cafeteras performance!

Las Cafeteras will facilitate an interactive workshop to allow participants to engage in the Power of Storytelling. Participants will be given tools to begin to extract their own personal narrative, and will work through breaking down stereotypes, using ‘conscious comedy,’ and engaging in conversations about race, identity and privilege.

The interactive workshop will take place from September 26 from 2:30 to 4 p.m. with the performance to follow from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the University Union Ballroom.

You can register or request accommodations here.

If you have any questions, please contact Kimberly Donaville-Davis at

Thank you,

Carlos Nevarez
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

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Message from the Provost: Welcome to Fall 2023!

September 5, 2023

News from the Office of the Provost

Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

Welcome to the new academic year! I hope you all had an enjoyable summer and are ready for the semester ahead. I’d like to extend a special welcome to our new faculty. Thank you for choosing to join the talented and dedicated faculty of Sac State. I hope you are building meaningful engagement with your new students as you settle into our beautiful campus. This new academic year will be like no other. Change is in the air; I ask you to embrace that change.

As the lively atmosphere to which the first week of class can attest, we are a face-to-face campus. While we continue to offer online and hybrid class and meeting modalities as warranted, we want our faculty and staff to know and understand our students as people. We forge those kinds of personal connections and foster a sense of belonging on campus by being together. This provides students the opportunity to develop problem-solving and networking skills and connect with other students from a wide range of backgrounds. Being a face-to-face campus means our students will graduate with the well-rounded skills to be the leaders we know they can be.

There has never been a more exciting time to be together with the Sac State family. We have a new president—a Sac State alum—whose school spirit and enthusiasm for the life-changing power of a CSU education is electrifying the student body and starting new conversations among faculty and staff about new possibilities and innovations. President Wood is committed to deepening our commitment to equity-based education with bold actions. This is the time to have a growth mindset, to take on new teaching practices, scholarship, and research. President Wood and I want to encourage all faculty research, but especially research that takes on issues of equity and social justice and/or includes students as researchers. Make sure you take advantage of the resources on the Offices of Research, Innovation, and Economic Development (ORIED) website. There you will find links to searchable funding databases, Sac State and CSU system support, and templates and tutorials that can help faculty meet their research goals.

But our enthusiasm for new possibilities must be tempered by acknowledging our challenges; chief among them, the well-being of our students. Pandemic learning loss is real. It’s up to us to take a developmental approach to teaching and learning, reach them where they are, and take them to the next level. We are also increasing our focus on serving the “whole” student and supporting their emotional, mental, and physical health as well as their academic performance. Student Health, Counseling & Wellness Services has a variety of resources for faculty to better meet our students’ needs. Please make use of them.

Congratulations to faculty who were promoted for the 2023-24 Academic Year. You can find a list of the promotions here. Please scroll below for additional important announcements from the colleges and centers under Academic Affairs.

A few reminders as we begin the new semester and academic year:

  • Service expectations for faculty: All faculty are expected to engage in department and university service. Our collective bargaining agreement Article 20.1 A and B spells out service as an expectation. Sac State campus policy on faculty responsibilities and professional ethics also states that “faculty members must share responsibilities of their departments” and “will regularly attend department meetings” and “will provide significant service to the campus including participation on Dept, College, and/or University committees to which they have been elected or appointed.”
  • Course modality consistency: Students need to know that the course they signed up for will be presented in the modality that they have been led to expect and that fits their needs. Faculty are expected to adhere to the modality as published on the schedule.
  • Faculty office hours: Faculty are required to hold office hours. Please review the campus policy here for the specific requirements for full- and part-time faculty office hours.

At Sac State, our mission is to enact our values and create a campus where students, faculty, staff, and our community thrive. As the Academic division of the University, we are core to that mission. Your dedication helps us provide every Sac State student the best education possible. Our students deserve nothing less than the very best.

Carlos Nevarez
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Highlights & Announcements

College of Arts & Letters

New A&L newsletter for Fall 2023 - The College of Arts & Letters is beginning a new monthly newsletter to share everything the college has to offer. Subscribers will receive exclusive updates on captivating shows, mind-opening exhibits, breathtaking performances, inspiring readings, intriguing debates, and more – all contributing to our vibrant arts and letters community. Sign up here:

Dean Meyer elected president of arts board - Sheree Meyer, Arts & Letters dean, has been elected president of the board of directors for the Sacramento Philharmonic and Opera (SP&O). Meyer has served on the board since 2016, including as its vice president from 2021 to 2023. During her tenure as president, she plans to prioritize strengthening and expanding SP&O’s musical and educational impact on the region; growing, diversifying, and developing its board; and enhancing its collaborations with other Sacramento arts, educational, and cultural organizations.

National Endowment for the Humanities grant - Sac State received $9,998 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in July for our work in cultural preservation. The NEH award recognizes the significance of the Sacramento State Art Collection, which represents regionally significant art movements in northern California as well as works by local Chicano and Native artists.

Professor receives grant for art and ecology project - Scott Parady, Art, founder of the Cobb Mountain Art and Ecology (CMAEP) project, recently received the Forest Health Grant awarded by the Clearlake Environmental Research Center, to restore 28 acres of overcrowded forest land to a biodiverse flora and fauna more capable of surviving wildfire, pest infestation, drought, and climate change. The CMAEP mission is to integrate art-making, sustainable living, and land stewardship with a diverse group of up to 10 artists.

The Carlsen Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Stinger Expo is back - Support over 40 Sac State student entrepreneurs and craftspeople at the Stinger Expo Tuesday, Sept 12, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the University Union. There will be vintage clothing, crafts, jewelry, plants, bath goods, henna, and much more. Stinger Expo was innovated by two members of The Hive entrepreneurship club and was first held in the Carlsen Center during spring semester 2022. It has since vastly expanded and is now taking place in the University Union ballroom to accommodate many more student entrepreneurs. Find out more about Stinger Expo here.

E3: Equity for Every Entrepreneur - In partnership with the City of Sacramento and Forward Cities, the Carlsen Center is excited to announce the Equity for Every Entrepreneur (E3) Sacramento initiative. This unique program, kicking off the week of September 25, will help our community take the next steps on the path towards designing, leading, and sustaining a more equitable entrepreneurial support community within the Sacramento region. As part of the initiative, program organizers are inviting a diverse cross-section of local entrepreneurs, small business owners, and community champions to the Ecosystem Town Hall which will be held the evening of Wednesday, September 27. President Wood will provide a welcome address.

Startup Challenge - The Startup Challenge gathers entrepreneurs, business mentors, and industry experts to take brand-new ideas and turn them into a real business over one weekend. Our partners from the Sacramento region, including seasoned entrepreneurs, coaches, and subject matter experts, will be on hand to guide the process and make sure participants are on the right track. The event will be held October 13 through October 15 at the Carlsen Center. The Startup Challenge begins with networking Friday night, then moves into the next phase Saturday, starting with 60-second pitches of new ideas. Teams are formed around the most popular ideas and the work begins to turn those ideas into businesses. Attend the September 19 info session to find out more.

Community Engagement Center

Civic Engagement Resource Fair - Information and inspiration will be on hand at the Community Engagement Center's Civic Engagement Resource Fair on Tuesday, October 10, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Sac State Library Quad. Community change makers will be available to discuss important issues of policy change, equity, and equality, and to provide valuable resources regarding opportunities for student involvement in civic affairs. Come learn from community and Sac State partners that are making a difference and how you can be a part of affecting change. Find out more here.

Network Café 9/21 and 10/25 - Faculty, staff, and students are invited to join Network Café and participate with local communities on a path to security, health, safety, and prosperity. Network Café offers an opportunity to connect with representatives from many local human services organizations to increase understanding, collaborate on current issues, and generate solutions to serve the community. Join us from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. September 21 via Zoom and October 25 in person at the Harper Alumni Center. Sign up here to receive reminders. Registration is required for the in-person event and will open soon on the CEC Network Café page.

Faculty Learning Community: Integrating Community Engagement into your Academic Career - This FLC is intended to both introduce and enhance community engagement for faculty and students. Attendees will learn about community-engaged learning and community-based research while developing a three-year plan of progression in research, teaching, and service toward your RTP and professional goals. Participants will be guided through the process of developing a three-year plan for community engagement that will benefit their progression through the RTP process and enhance students' connections to campus and community. Days and times TBD, online via Zoom. Signups will open soon through the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL).

Writing Partners - Writing Partners is now accepting interested faculty members who would like to participate in the Writing Partners program during the Fall 2023 semester. Writing Partners is a Service-Learning experience that offers Sac State students an opportunity to teach and learn through a letter exchange with students from elementary schools in the Sacramento region. Sac State faculty are paired with K-12 teachers to make this letter exchange between students possible. Sign up here. For more information, please contact Noel Mora, community partnership coordinator:

Attention Service-Learning faculty and course schedulers - For your Service-Learning course to appear in CEC Connect, your course must have the correct course attributes entered into CMS. Please see that your course has CSLI (select value “R” if required, or “O” if optional) and S4 (select value “SRV LRN”). Please check for both fall 2023 and spring 2024 courses. Have questions? Please reach out to Noel Mora, Community Partnership Coordinator:, or Dr. Chong Choe-Smith, Faculty Associate for Community-Engaged Learning:

College of Continuing Education

Sac State’s CCE to offer one-of-a-kind certificate program - The College of Continuing Education at Sac State has added an exciting new certificate option in Cultural Competency, becoming the only Sacramento-area college to do so. The Cultural Competency Certificate Program is designed to build cultural competence among a wide range of service providers. The program focuses on a variety of vulnerable populations and their experiences with public service professionals, including law enforcement, courts, corrections, social workers and those working in the healthcare system. The curriculum will enhance critical thinking through an analysis of intersectionality (race, class, and gender) and various vulnerable populations, while increasing participant engagement through reading, discussion, role-plays, and active learning. Find out more about the Cultural Competency Certificate Program at Sac State here.

CCE alum named Teacher of the Year - Congratulations to Donja Harding who was named the 2023 Natomas Unified School District Teacher of the Year. Harding is a proud alum of the Community College Faculty Preparation program offered by Sac State’s College of Continuing Education. Her teaching experience includes a variety of educational settings and grade levels. She has taught a wide range of subjects, such as middle and high school history and English, geometry, AVID, and public speaking at MTI College. Read more about Harding’s accomplishments here.

Sac State student receives Gilman Scholarship to study abroad - Oscar Ponce has been studying Health Science at Sac State since the Fall of 2022. When he received an email from Gabriel Hernandez, the Senior Program Coordinator of the Faculty-Led Study Abroad (FLSA) program encouraging him to apply for the Gilman Scholarship, he did so. Since receiving the scholarship, Oscar was able to attend the Faculty-Led Student Abroad programs in Costa Rica and Mexico. Faculty-Led Study Abroad (FLSA) programs are short-term international experiences designed for students who would like to study abroad and stay on track for graduation, but cannot spend an entire semester or academic year abroad. Read more about Oscar’s story and the transformational experiences available through FLSA programs here.

Alum of Sac State’s paramedic program is making a difference in Hawaii - Lyle Najita was a student from March 2019 to September 2020 in Sac State’s Paramedic Program offered through the College of Continuing Education. Today, Lyle works as a paramedic in a private mental health clinic in Honolulu, Hawaii. We recently had a chance to catch up with Lyle, who was happy to share his experiences as a student.

“At 59, I was the oldest student in the class,” Lyle explains. “I came into the program without a lot of EMS experience. They accepted me into the program in spite of this.” Read more about Lyle’s story here.

College of Business

Ping Tong named Interim Associate Dean - Ping Tong, Marketing, has been appointed as Interim Associate Dean of Academic Programs in the College of Business. Dr. Tong joined Sac State as an Assistant Professor in 2007, eventually earning the rank of Full Professor. She has served previously in various capacities, including Director of the Business Honors program, and most recently as Chair of the Marketing and Supply Chain Management Department.

Maleeha Khan named ED for graduate programs - Maleeha Khan has been hired as Executive Director for Graduate Programs for the College of Business. Khan holds a BSBA in Accounting from Sac State and an MBA with a concentration in Finance from the University of San Francisco. She progressively assumed administrative roles of increasing responsibility at UC Davis and the University of San Francisco. She will oversee the COB’s six graduate programs: MBA, MS Business Analytics, MS Finance, MS Accountancy, MBA for Executives, and Online iMBA.

College of Business professor wins best paper award - Dr. Partha Mohapatra’s paper “Aristocracy or Meritocracy? The Role of Elite Pedigree and Research Performance in New Accounting Faculty Placements” by Sid Carin Bundy; Partha S. Mohapatra; Matthew Sooy, and Dan N. Stone., Issues in Accounting Education, was voted Best Paper by the American Accounting Association.

COB looks forward - The College of Business will be engaging in a year-long strategic discovery process to update its mission, strategic plan, and culture with a view to fostering innovation, collaboration, and success for all of our students.

College of Education

State of California awards Sac State $6.5 million for ECE Center - In June, California Assembly member Kevin McCarty was on campus to present a check for $6.5 million to fund a new center for early childhood education. The Innovation Center for Early Childhood Education, which will be housed in the College of Education and will launch as early as Fall 2023, will better prepare teachers to work with preschool through third-grade students. Additionally, it will help expand and improve existing preschool and transitional kindergarten (TK) programs in Sacramento. Pia Wong will serve as Interim Director. Read more here.

Call for proposals for study on the BIPOC student COE experience - The College of Education is funding a commissioned study to understand the subjective experiences of students of color at the college, assess barriers, and possible support measures. Expectations are for a qualitative project, either focus groups or interviews or both. Send a one paragraph email to Dean Sidorkin ( with your vision of the project, and your current CV that would demonstrate your experience with qualitative research. Compensation may be either release time in the spring of up to 3 units, or an additional employment agreement for $6K, paid upon delivery of the report.

Substitute Teacher Fair September 22 - An annual event hosted by COE, the Substitute Teacher Fair is designed to put current students on-track to becoming a teacher and current bachelor's degree holders together with representatives from local school districts to fast-track the hiring process. If you have earned at least 90 units of university credit at Sac State and/or at a community college, or you have already earned a bachelor’s degree, you are eligible to become a substitute teacher. The fair will be held Friday, September 22, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Harper Alumni Center RSVP here.

College of Engineering & Computer Science

ECS leadership changes - Behnam Arad, Computer Science, has been hired permanently as Associate Dean of Research for the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Associate Dean Mariappan "Jawa" Jawaharlal has been voluntarily reassigned to serve as the Interim Associate Vice President in the Offices of Research Innovation and Economic Development (ORIED). Most of Jawa’s AD duties and responsibilities will be absorbed by Dean Shafizadeh and AD Arad.

NSF renews Sac State cybersecurity grant - A College of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS) cybersecurity workforce development program will continue for another five years with renewed funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The CyberCorps Scholarship for Service (SFS) program provides tuition and other financial support for students who commit to work for the government in the field of cybersecurity upon graduation. Sixty Sac State students have graduated from the program since it began in 2010, landing jobs with the FBI, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, national cybersecurity research labs and other local, state, tribal, and federal government agencies. The new grant award of just over $3 million, funded by the NSF and co-sponsored by Homeland Security, will support an additional 26 students through 2028.

Computer Science student Julian Hernandez was awarded first place at the annual California State University Systemwide Student Research Competition for his project, “Searching for Litter with Computer Vision,” which was also the winner of the ECS Pitch Competition with the Carlsen Center last fall. The CSU competition is an annual event that brings together scholars from all 23 CSU campuses and showcases undergraduate and graduate research, scholarship, and creative works by recognizing outstanding student accomplishments. Undergraduate and graduate student participants from all disciplines are judged by experts for their oral presentations and written abstracts. Students who compete in the CSU Student Research Competition can win $500 for first place and $250 for second place recognition in their session.

College of Health & Human Services

HHS leadership changes - Raquel Quirarte was selected in May to be the Director of Student Success for the College of Health & Human Services, a new position for the college. The Director of Student Success is responsible for HHS graduation rates and all HHS student success initiatives on campus and in the region.

HHS staff member wins outstanding staff award - Heather Crummett, budget analyst for the College of Health & Human Services, was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Resource Development and Sustainability Award at the Sac State’s 2023 Outstanding Staff Awards. The Outstanding Staff Awards recognize employees who demonstrate excellence in their work and go above and beyond in their pursuit of the strategic imperatives in the 2023-2028 Strategic Plan. Heather’s award recognizes her commitment to go above and beyond to increase practices that promote the principles of a philanthropic culture, environmental sustainability, accessibility, and the efficient and coordinated use of human capital.

Summer FLSA highlights - The Department of Public Health and Division of Criminal Justice Center for African Peace and Conflict Resolution (CAPCR) both hosted faculty-led student abroad trips this summer. The Public Health program traveled to Costa Rica to allow students to experience a unique culture first-hand and view a different society through the lens of health, risk prevention, and well-being. The CAPCR program traveled to Ghana where students learned about justice, international human rights, restorative and community justice, and the conflict resolution process.

New RPTA minors this fall - Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration programs are growing. RPTA has two new minor programs beginning this fall: Minor in Hospitality and Tourism Management and a Minor in Park Management. The RPTA Minor Programs are designed for non-RPTA students who are looking to enhance their education and are a great compliment to any major and make a great addition to resumes or transcripts. RPTA majors cannot complete a minor program, but are eligible to complete Certificate Programs Find out more about these new minors here.

HHS sponsors event for the unhoused - Hundreds of people without stable housing came to the Sac State Campus on August 12 to receive food and other services from an army of volunteers including students from Nursing, Social Work, and Audiology. Homeless Connect, organized by Josh’s Heart, is a daylong event that offered members of the city’s homeless population a chance to relax, enjoy a meal, shower, get a haircut, and obtain basic medical care while connecting to critical services to help lift them from the streets.  Read more about the Homeless Connect event here.

International Programs and Global Engagement

“Unconference” will explore international collaboration - The Office of International Programs and Global Engagement (IPGE) is hosting a unique event with faculty and staff across campus. Unconferences are gatherings of people united by a passion, where the content and structure of the day is driven by the participants. This Unconference is designed to encourage partnering across disciplines and explore international collaboration both within our university and outside and is part of Sac State’s commitment to growing our international engagement in new and innovative ways. Watch the invite video here or contact IPGE AVP Piram Prakasam at

University Library

Faculty resources at the University Library - Start the school year right with help from the University Library. In addition to supporting your classes with our Course Reserves and librarian-led Instructional Sessions, you can reserve a faculty carrel for your research projects, or spend time in our Faculty Lounge and collaborate with colleagues. Information on all of our services can be found on our website.

StingerStudio Makerspace - Bring making into your curriculum with StingerStudio Makerspace. StingerStudio is now open in the University Library and is available for instructional sessions and as a resource for class assignments. To learn more about how to incorporate making into your classes, please contact our staff:

Sac State Scholars - Create your faculty profile on Sac State Scholars. Sac State Scholars is the university’s institutional repository and research networking platform where our faculty’s research, scholarship, and service are highlighted and celebrated. It is automatically available to all tenure-track faculty and part-time lecturers (with 0.5 FTE) with three-year contracts. Others with an active research history can also request a profile. Start your profile today, or visit our website for more information.

College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics

NSM Associate Dean Yinfa Ma retires - Associate Dean of Research and Engagement, Yinfa Ma, retired on June 30 after five years at Sac State. Beloved and respected, Dean Ma was feted with a fond farewell attended by deans, associate deans, and many other faculty and staff from across campus. During his tenure at Sac State, Dean Ma helped elevate research and engagement and expand the College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics. Known for his positive attitude, Dean Ma will be greatly missed. Katherine McReynolds, Chemistry, will be stepping in as Faculty Fellow for Yinfa Ma.

The SURE Program and the Fall Research Symposium - The College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics puts forth a student research grant opportunity each year. The Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Awards begins its application process in January. Along with a Faculty Mentor recommendation, students submit their research ideas, transcripts, resume, and state why they are qualified for the SURE Research Grant. This year out of 40 applicants, 17 students were chosen as recipients of the SURE Research Grant. The student research transpires throughout the summer and concludes with the presentation among the student research at the NSM Fall Research Symposium which will be held October 23 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the University Union Ballroom.

NSM Summer salsa making competition - The College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics Dean’s office hosted a staff summer event to bring some summer comradery and fun to the college staff and faculty. The competition had 9 participants making salsa for a healthy and hungry turn out of NSM staff and chairs. Winner of “Best Tasting Salsa” was Information Technology Consultant–and new staff member–Juan Avitia. The positive response to this returning event means it will definitely be back next summer.

NSM faculty-student research highlights - Associate Professor Kimberly Mulligan, Biological Sciences, and graduate student Joseph Yule were awarded a CSUPERB Faculty-Graduate Student Research Collaboration Grant; Jamie Kneitel, Biological Sciences, and graduate students, Jasmine Rios, Melanie Dibbel & Emily Flores had a Research Paper published July 2, 2023: Beyond the Hydro-Regime: Differential Regulation of Plant Functional Groups in Seasonal Ponds. Diversity 15: 832.

Offices of Research, Innovation, and Economic Development (ORIED)

New AVP for ORIED - Mariappan "Jawa" Jawaharial has been named Interim Associate Vice President for The Offices of Research, Innovation, and Economic Development (ORIED). Jawaharlal had been serving as Associate Dean in the College of Engineering and Computer Science. He replaces Yvonne Harris who was named Vice President of Research and Innovation Partnerships at Northern Illinois University in May.

ORIED now accepting applications to Fall 2023 IDEA program - ORIED is inviting applications for the next cycle of the Incentive for Developing External Awards (IDEA) program. IDEA provides up to $2,500 in additional employment or professional development funds as an incentive for faculty to write a competitive grant proposal for external funding to further their research, scholarly and/or creative activity. IDEA is open to all tenured and tenure-track faculty, and lecturers with multi-year appointments of at least 0.5 time base. Applicants must identify one specific grant solicitation or a formal request for proposals to which they are interested in submitting a proposal. For this cycle, the grant proposal submission deadline must be between Feb 1, 2024 and July 31, 2024. Find more information here. Questions? Email IDEA applications due Oct 23 by 5:00 pm.

Find resources for faculty on ORIED website - Jawa and Provost Nevarez encourage all faculty to make sure they are taking advantage of the resources on the ORIED website. There you will find links to searchable funding databases, Sac State and CSU system support, and templates and tutorials that can help faculty meet their research goals.

College of Social Sciences & Interdisciplinary Studies

Environmental studies prof wins outstanding educator award - Michelle Stevens, Environmental Studies, received the national Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) Award for Outstanding Educator in 2023. The Outstanding Educator Award recognizes SWS members who have made special public, academic, or professional contributions to wetland education. Stevens and her students are an important part of an ongoing effort to restore the riparian habitat at Bushy Lake, which is located on Cal Expo property within the lower American River Parkway. In partnership with Sacramento County Parks, Cal Expo, and others, they have been planting native grasses, pulling invasive weeds, cleaning up trash, and monitoring the activities of turtles and birds.

Faculty Led Study Abroad to Egypt - Faculty and students from the College of Social Sciences & Interdisciplinary Studies traveled to Egypt over the summer to gain a deeper intellectual understanding of the mission and purpose of the Cooper Woodson College Educational Equity Program. ETHN 98-01 - “CWC Goes to Egypt/Kemet” is a FLSA experience designed to introduce students to teachings on Pan African philosophers, intellectuals and the social/historical moments that speak to the trajectory of the African educational experience in the U.S. This year’s course, held from June 16 to 24, was a nine day, eight night journey through Nubia, Luxor, and Cairo. For more information about the trip or CWC, contact Andrea Moore:

New Ethnic Studies video lab - Work has started on a new Ethnic Studies lab for students. It is located in Library 19 and 20. The new lab features 50 new video stations, expanding resources for students to study and complete work on campus.

Office of Undergraduate Studies

New TOPSS director named - The Office of Undergraduate Studies (OGS) announces the appointment of Will Mechling as Director of the Transforming Outcomes Project at Sacramento State (TOPSS). TOPSS is a four-year degree completion program administered and delivered inside two Folsom and Mule Creek state prisons through a partnership between Sac State and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Prior to his appointment as TOPSS director, Mechling led the innovative Pawsitive Change program.This trailblazing program partnered at-risk shelter dogs and incarcerated men and women. Overseeing this program's growth across six separate adult and youth facilities in California, Mechling's leadership was instrumental in its expansion and success. Dean of Undergraduate Studies James German says of Mechling: “Will is poised to bring a passionate and impactful presence to our institution as we strive to break the cycle of incarceration and pave the way for a brighter future.”

Faculty in the News

The Gerwig Effect: Sacramento native's success paving the road for next generation of filmmakers

Kathy Kasic, communications, speaks on the significance of seeing Sacramento - raised Greta Gerwig’s smash movie “Barbie” and its influence on the film industry as a whole for women.

Poll: California voters agree political disinformation is a big problem. But how to fix it?

Kim Nalder, political science, speaks on the current uphill struggle to aid voters in separating fact from fiction when it comes to politics.

Is tipping out of hand? You need a ‘moral compass’ to figure it out, California expert says

Amanda Shigihara, sociology, discusses the unseen influences that play a role on whether or not an individual tips.

Thousands more prisoners across the US will get free college paid for by the government

David Zuckerman, communications, explains how TOPSS and other college programs are changing lives by making graduation a reality for incarcerated members of our community.

Is this all there is? How to plan a more satisfying retirement.

Francine Toder, emeritus faculty, discusses how one can plan for a more fulfilling, rich, and purposeful retirement by accessing the things you value.

Titan deep-sea tourism raises questions around ethics, safety and science

Amy Wagner, geology, discusses the safety and ethics of submersibles, as well as whether deep sea tourism has any scientific merit.

How North Bay food, labor costs impact restaurant menu prices, grocery receipts

Sanjay Varshney, finance, breaks down how multiple factors such as grocery, staff, COVID fallout, and weather can impact the financial well being of an individual.

Why do extremists bring conspiracies to public meetings? Sacramento State professor gives context

Christopher Towler, political science, discusses what drives radical extremists to attend local community meetings, and how local governments have reacted to such groups in the past.

Stitching in her own direction, Sac State professor brings love of fashion to the next generation

Jaleh Naasz, fashion merchandising and management, uses fashion camp to bring the wonder of expression, design, and fashion to younger members of society.

Society’s true crime obsession contains ethical questions about the genre’s exploitive nature

Dr. Danielle Slakoff, criminal justice, discusses our society’s fascination with true crime and the underlying ethics in indulging in such media.

Grade Appeal Information for Students For Fall 2023

September 2, 2023

Sac State Students,

Please see the following information and the attached flyer about the university’s Grade Appeal Process for this semester.

Grade Appeals are for situations where a student wants to appeal the final grade they receive in a course due to any of the following reasons: violations in grading due to arbitrariness, capriciousness, discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation, and/or violating another university policy). Grade Appeals can only be submitted in the semester after the one in which the final grade was assigned. So, only Spring 23 and Summer 23 courses can be appealed this semester.

If you believe this situation may apply to you for a Spring 23 or Summer 23 course, you need to follow these steps:

Step 1: Discuss your concerns about the final grade with the instructor by this Friday, September 8th (if your instructor doesn’t respond by this date, or discussing it with them doesn’t resolve the issue, then go to step 2)

Step 2: Contact the Chair of the Department for the class by Monday, September 11th to let them know of your concerns. The Chair will reach out to the faculty member to see if a resolution can be worked out. If no resolution is reached, then go to step 3.

Step 3: The Chair signs your grade appeal form, and you begin preparing all your grade appeal documents to submit (see the checklist after the Grade Appeal Form on what documents are needed).

Step 4: Submit your completed grade appeal to Academic Affairs at or in Sacramento Hall room 230 by Friday, September 22nd at 5 pm. The Department Chair's signature must be on the appeal form and all required documented included or the appeal will be incomplete and denied.

If you miss any of these steps or deadlines, you will be ineligible to file an appeal for the class. This is the ONLY opportunity to submit an appeal for a Spring 23 or Summer 23 class.

The policy and forms can be found on the Grade Appeal Website.

Please reach out to the Grade Appeal Manager in Academic Affairs, Dr. Emily Wickelgren at with any questions about an appeal or the appeal process.

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Message from the Provost: Preparing for the start of classes

August 25, 2023

Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues-

As we begin the new academic year, I would like to encourage you to make student, faculty, and staff wellness your highest priority. We need to recognize that wellness serves as the foundation for learning and success. As we know from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, no one can perform intellectually or professionally when their basic human needs are unmet. By taking the time to intentionally increase our focus on creating a culture of wellness on campus, we can make Sac State a better place to work, learn, and thrive.

Student Wellness

The well-being of our students will always be our top priority. After a year of increasing concern over campus safety, President Wood is putting safety front and center in his new administration by creating the Presidential Taskforce on Campus Safety and committing resources—including hiring 7 full time counselors—to address this pressing need. Ensuring that our students have the support they need to achieve their goals and live happy, healthy lives is a responsibility that falls to each of us. Indeed, a recent poll by Inside Higher Ed found that a majority of students say they want their professors to be involved in promoting students’ physical health and wellness.

To help us meet this expectation, Student Health, Counseling, and Wellness Services (SHCWS) – formerly Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS) — will once again offer a workshop for faculty, staff, and student assistants on how to support and assist students experiencing heightened emotional distress. Please sign up for the workshop if you have not already taken it.

An important part of promoting student wellness is by making sure they feel welcome and included in their classes. The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) provides many excellent resources for getting faculty started on Fall courses. This includes guidance on a setting up a safe, accessible, and equitable classroom and using inclusive language in syllabi to ensure students with diverse skills, abilities, and cultural or social backgrounds feel they belong. CTL also Getting Started Resources can also help you with course modality, using Canvas, communicating with students, academic assessments, and getting help when you need it.

We also have a special responsibility to protect our students from sexual assault and support those who have experienced it. I encourage faculty to include a Title IX statement on all syllabi with the following information:

Sexual assault on campus is a violation of our students' rights under Title IX. This law factors into Sacramento State's policies on investigating and providing resources for anyone who has experienced sex/gender discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct (including sexual assault and rape), sexual exploitation, dating or domestic violence, stalking, and related retaliation. With limited exception, all university employees who know or have reason to know of allegations of the above listed prohibited conduct must promptly inform the Office for Equal Opportunity (OEO). Employees are required to disclose all information including the names of the parties, even where the person has requested anonymity. The OEO will determine whether confidentiality is appropriate given the circumstances of each incident. This incident reporting tool is available for that purpose.

Promoting academic honesty is another way of supporting our students. A variety of campus stakeholders are researching best practices as we learn to accept the reality of AI in the classroom and can help you if you are struggling. Please visit the CTL’s collection of ChatGPT Resources or consider attending the upcoming seminar on instructional uses of AI at 12 p.m. on September 1 hosted by Dean Sidorkin of the College of Education.

Faculty and Staff Wellness

We can’t care for our students if we don’t care for ourselves. That’s why I’m so happy that Human Resources has launched a new Employee Wellness webpage for faculty, staff, and managers. This site contains tools and employee benefits to support the physical, financial, and social wellbeing of Sac State employees and our families.

As we prepare for our students to return, please engage with these resources. When we treat our students and each other with kindness, we embody our goal of being a healing campus. We are one university, and we only succeed when we succeed together.


Carlos Nevarez
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

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Archive of Provost Communications