Selected Accomplishments

Arts Alive SDSU

Arts Alive SDSU provides opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to engage in transformational arts interactions as part of an arts-rich, robust educational community on the campus of San Diego State University. The Arts Alive SDSU initiative has four goals –increase awareness of events and opportunities, increase attendance at art events, increase arts making opportunities, and expand arts events and practices into the curriculum. Currently, the Arts Alive SDSU initiative works to promote the best and the brightest of existing arts offerings to students, faculty and staff. The initiative identified “signature events” that are the highest quality, academically-informed, and fully produced events from the arts schools. The signature events are promoted through traditional marketing, appealing to students via social media, and most significantly, through Pop Up performances. The pop up performances bring the arts outside of traditional venues to the center of student activity in the Love Library, the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union, the Farmer’s Market, and the benches in the Performing Arts Plaza (between the Don Powell Theatre and the Music building). More information about the Arts Visibility Initiative.
–May 19, 2014

Aztec Mentor Program

Wrapping up its first full year, the Campus Internship Work Group focused on building infrastructure and outreach to increase student and alumni involvement in the high-impact practices of mentorships and internships. With the hiring of an Internship Coordinator in Career Services, outreach to employers offering internships increased by 94 percent in the spring 2014 semester and more than 500 students participated in workshops about internships in the same semester. Career Services and the Alumni Association are also wrapping up their first non-pilot semester of the Aztec Mentor Program, also called AMP, an online student mentorship program designed to develop career readiness. In just one year of the program nearly 300 mentor-mentee pairings were made and more than 100 people attended a closing mentor appreciation event hosted by the two groups. People interested in learning more about the Aztec Mentor Program can visit the AMP web page.
–May 19, 2014

Aztecs Scholars Program

Nearing the end of a full year of concerted efforts to recruit and retain African American and American Indian students, advances are being made in the number of African American and American Indian students intending to enroll at SDSU. The Aztec Scholars initiative, which began last spring, focuses on a strategy of outreach events, personalized recruitment efforts and retention strategies focused on increasing African American and American Indian student numbers on the San Diego State campus. The Harambee (designed for African American students) and Elymash Yuuchaap (designed for American Indian students) efforts have yielded promising initial results with intents to enroll increasing 29 percent for African American students and 156 percent for American Indian students over last year. Attendance at the Harambee Weekend during Explore SDSU was up 55 percent over last year, with more than 250 African American students attending this year’s events. In addition to bolstering outreach efforts to these key populations, the Aztec Scholars initiative is also focused on retaining students from these communities by offering mentoring and other support programs to ensure they are well-connected to the overall SDSU community. Results from this year’s Harambee participants show that if they participated in both the Explore SDSU event last year, as well as a university seminar class providing guidance, mentoring and tutoring support, students had a higher GPA and were much less likely to be on academic probation – only 6.3 percent of student who participated were on academic probation versus 16.3 percent of those who did not.
–May 19, 2014

Commuter Student Resource Center

The Commuter Resource Center in the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union opened in January 2014. Programming in the Commuter Resource Center began in the spring 2014 semester and will be expanded in fall 2014. Additionally, more than 450 students are expected to participate in learning communities designed for commuter students this coming fall. Participation totals for the communities, which include students participating in between 4 and 9 units of coursework, depending on their level of college readiness, have steadily increased due to continued program success and support provided by the Commuter Resource Center. Students expected to participate in the programs are currently being invited to local receptions explaining the programs.
–May 19, 2014

Areas of Research Excellence

Four areas of excellence were identified through a campus wide process that focused on faculty led initiatives, on-campus peer and administrative review as well as external reviewers. Four areas included the 1) Clinical and Cognitive Neurosciences, 2) Viromics, 3) Climate Change and Sustainability Studies, and 4) Human Dynamics in a Mobile Age. Approximately $200k has been allocated for support and catalyze the four areas of excellence. More limited funds have also been distributed to areas of excellence not selected for the final four. More information about Areas of Excellence
–May 19, 2014

Get Together, Give Back

Get Together, Give Back is a program created to support faculty and staff morale. The program was created to provide opportunities for employees to socialize and connect, while providing a service component. The Get Together, Give Back program hosts multiple events throughout the year. More information about their inaugural event.
–May 19, 2014

Honors College

SDSU President Elliot Hirshman recently approved the University Senate’s recommendation to create an honors college on campus. Set to begin in the fall of 2015, its goal is an eventual enrollment of 1,200 high-achieving students from a wide range of disciplines contributing to a community dedicated to academic excellence. In his April 21 blog, the president described the Honors College as focusing “on inquiry, engagement, and interdisciplinary problem-solving.” He said participating students will “strengthen our campus culture and lay the foundation for even greater academic aspirations.” The newly approved honors college will improve upon the University Honors Program that has existed on campus for decades.
–May 19, 2014

The Pride Center

The Pride Center offered 27 programs to the campus community in its first semester on campus and had nearly 50 students participate in the programs offered. In addition to providing a safe space for members of the LGBTQ communities and their allies at SDSU, the center also provides leadership and career skill development opportunities through the hiring of student and graduate students to work on programming and community building efforts. More than 40 students applied for open jobs at the center in the spring 2014 semester and 10 were employed. The Pride Center is currently coordinating efforts for SDSU’s participation in the 2014 San Diego Pride Parade and Festival scheduled for July 18 to 20, 2014. For more information, visit The Pride Center’s programs and events page.
–May 19, 2014

Writing Center

The mission of the SDSU Writing Center is to help students at all levels and in all disciplines strengthen their academic writing abilities. In addition, the Center supports the efforts of faculty to incorporate writing into their classrooms and to conduct research related to writing and the writing process. The Center enhances the writing instruction that students receive in their classrooms through one-on-one attention from experienced readers who engage them in conversations about their writing and broaden their understanding of audience expectations and genre conventions. Although all facets of the writing process are addressed, the Center underscores the rhetorical aspects of the text and provides individualized instruction on writing in progress. The Center is designed not primarily to edit or “fix” students’ papers, but to help students improve their writing within specific disciplinary contexts and to help faculty develop meaningful, effective writing assignments.
–May 19, 2014

University Grants Program

The purpose of the University Grants Program is to support scholarly research; assist faculty at lower ranks meet qualifications for retention, tenure, and promotion; permit faculty to bring advanced projects to conclusion; and facilitate development of a research program that may be competitive for extramural funding. More information about the University Grants Program.
–May 19, 2014

Zahn Innovation Center

The Zahn Innovation Center is a commercial and social incubator that supports San Diego State University innovators and aspiring entrepreneurs—students, faculty and staff from any major or department on campus—as they transform their ideas into companies. New initiatives include expanding the Zahn Innovation Center from an engineering centric enterprise to a campus level center under the direction of the Vice President for Research. Faculty liaisons have been included from all colleges so as to increase cross campus communication. The number of participating teams of students, staff, and faculty has ca. doubled to 40 functioning teams in the Zahn Center with ca. 50 percent of the teams participating in a new emphasis on social enterprises. A new Director of Social Enterprises was hired using private funding to help catalyze this area.
–May 19, 2014

Student Research Symposium

The Student Research Symposium is a two-day event to recognize the outstanding scholarly accomplishments of SDSU students. The symposium provides a public forum where SDSU students present their research, scholarship, or creative activities. Strategic investments were provided to expand and support the Student Research Symposium as a signature SDSU program for undergraduates, masters and doctoral students.
–May 19, 2014

International Experiences

In an effort to meet the strategic plan goal – increase the rate of undergraduate student participation in approved international experiences to 30 percent within five years by providing funds for support services – strategic investments provided funds to expand the study abroad support services at the college level with a focus aimed at increasing the study abroad opportunities and participation rate. In fall 2014, the working group will have two pilot programs – examining databases to determine the best tool for collecting campus wide international data and creating a "one-stop" venue for students to find out about study abroad.
–May 19, 2014

Integrative Diversity

To provide a diverse educational experience for all students by leveraging our campus’ rich diversity, the Integrative Diversity committee has worked to create a model to address diversity in education at SDSU. The model developed has four levels and works to help students have a level of self-awareness, then learn about the diversity of others, take a cultural plunge and then apply their knowledge to issues of social justice and advocacy in society at large. Other parts of the integrative diversity model include required student leader diversity training conducted by the National Conflict Resolution Center, which piloted their trainings in spring 2014, providing activities that bring Aztecs together and comprehensively marketing those events, tracking and assessing the diversity programs, and ensuring students understand the value and importance of diversity being a key part of the SDSU student experience. More than 25 diversity programs are planned for the fall semester. In addition, student leader trainings have already begun for those students taking on a leadership position in the 2014-15 academic year.
–May 19, 2014

Learning Analytics

The Learning Analytics working group is currently evaluating approaches that allow for timely intervention to support student academic success. In spring 2014, they began a pilot project to evaluate learning analytics in science and statistic courses. The pilot is evaluating the impact of learning analytics on student success in science and statistic courses that have high proportions of D's, F's and W's. The working group will use the data from the spring pilot to outline a plan for fall 2014.
–May 19, 2014

National Branding

In an effort to sharpen SDSU’s distinctive profile as a research-intensive public university through new and targeted communication strategies, the Branding and Marketing working group has outlined three primary objectives. The first objective is for the university to redefine research. The group believes strongly that research at SDSU is more than "white lab coats." The second objective is to expand the recently launched branding and marketing program. The new branding and marketing program has seen early success. This success should be built upon, expanding the program to additional media channels to extend the message about research, as well as other SDSU messages. The third objective is to better communicate with current students, faculty and staff so they become more knowledgeable, if not champions, of the research message.
–May 19, 2014

Neighborhood Outreach

In an attempt to improve local neighbor relations, the Neighbor/ Community Relations Working Group have provided a set of recommendations that address noise, lighting, and student conduct in the surrounding community. Outcomes from the working group include installing new speakers at the softball field and instituting a mutually agreed upon decibel level for athletic events. The working group is currently working with Associated Students to coordinate a joint cleanup day with the City of San Diego.
–May 19, 2014

Enhancing Campus Climate and Culture for Persons of Varying Abilities

The Enhancing Campus Climate and Culture for Persons of Varying Abilities Working Group has been holding monthly meetings to identify issues, discuss possible directions, and become well-versed in the current status of the campus culture as related to disability and access. Input from various members of the university's community such as faculty, staff, students, etc., as well as input from the broader community has been solicited. This includes people with various types of disabilities, community stakeholders and other that access facilities on campus. The committee is gaining valuable input, both internal and external to the university, by engaging interested members of these communities. This information is contributing to the planning process and will ensure that the culture on campus is inclusive of people with varying abilities. The goal is to ensure all people, regardless of ability, are valued as part of the fabric of the university. Our aim is to change the mindset of “meeting minimum compliance” to creating a welcoming and inclusive environment, both physically and attitudinally, on our campus.
–May 19, 2014

Recruitment and Retention of Underrepresented Faculty

The Recruitment and Retention of Underrepresented Faculty Working Group created a video to support the recruitment of underrepresented faculty. Please feel free to share this video broadly.
–May 19, 2014

Faculty and Staff Compensation

Strategic investments supported faculty and staff compensation with the provision of funds for in-range progressions for staff and the faculty equity II program. In 2013/2014 the university invested approximately $800k for in-range progressions for staff and the faculty equity II program.
–May 19, 2014

The Pride Center

The Pride Center, serving SDSU's LGBTQ community, will open January 22. Under the guidance of center coordinator, C. Anthony Keen, student assistant staff has been hired and is currently being trained. In addition, an outreach internship position funded through a $10,000 grant from the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation will also be housed out of The Pride Center. Programming for the first two months of operations, as well as outcomes and measureable goals, has been solidified to guide the future success of the center. More information about the LGBT (Pride) Center.
–January 21, 2014

Commuter Student Success

Grand opening events for the new Commuter Resource Center in the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union are planned for January 22, 28, and 30. The Commuter Student Success Committee has established center objectives which include increasing commuter student sense of belonging to the SDSU campus, developing success pathways and learning communities for commuter students and establishing co-curricular learning opportunities through activities that support the unique needs of this population. In order to best serve the commuter student population, Commuter Resource Center Coordinator Melissa Gonzalez supervised the hiring of additional student assistants to staff the center outside of normal business hours. In the spring, the commuter student success committee will be surveying commuter students to further ascertain their needs and perceptions to better hone services for the future. More information about commuter student success.
–January 21, 2014

Zahn Center

New initiatives include shifting the Zahn Innovation Center from an engineering centric enterprise to a campus level center under the direction of the Vice President for Research. The number of participating teams of students, staff, and faculty has more than doubled to 40 functioning teams in the Zahn Center. Faculty liaisons have been identified from every college so as to increase participation across campus with the Center. The Center has expanded its scope to now include social enterprises along with commercial enterprises. The $50,000 Zahn Challenge was successfully completed with 10 teams receiving awards with funding to continue developing their ideas and potential enterprises. More information about the Zahn Center.
–January 21, 2014

SDSU Arts Visibility Initiative

Dear faculty and staff,

The arts at San Diego State University have a long and distinguished history. Each year, there are more than 350 creative and performing arts experiences on campus that express the strength of our dynamic and culturally diverse community. A central initiative in our new strategic plan, "Building on Excellence", calls for fully realizing the power of the arts on our campus and in our community. As part of the implementation of our strategic plan, I'm pleased to announce that a team of faculty and staff has begun work on arts programming that will inspire, engage and offer arts-making experiences to our campus community.

This initiative, titled Arts Visibility, will increase awareness of and participation in arts events at SDSU, integrate arts events and practices into the curriculum and increase arts-making opportunities. Dani Bedau will chair the initiative. She is a playwright, director and educator who has been director of the MA program in Theatre Arts and head of the university's Youth Theatre. Thank you to Dean Joyce Gattas, Dani Bedau and members of the Campus Art Events Working Group for moving this initiative forward.

The initiative is launching this semester with pop-up performances at the Farmer's Market and Library Dome. In addition, students in the School of Art and Design have begun to creatively paint the benches on the Performing Arts walkway between the Don Powell Theatre and the Music Building. In the spring there will be more concerts in the Library, performances at the Farmer's Market and other arts activities in the new Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union.

Each arts event has the power to inspire, to provoke discussion and to foster collaboration. It is an exciting time for the creative arts at SDSU, and I hope you will participate. Thank you for your support of the creative and performing arts on our campus.

Elliot Hirshman

More information about the Arts Visibility Initiative.
–December 9, 2013

Writing Center Opened

To: All SDSU Faculty and Staff

From: Nancy Marlin, Provost

Subject: Writing Center

The first goal of the university's Strategic Plan is Student Success, and one initiative to support that goal is the establishment of a Writing Center. Thanks to the strategic investment of resources and extraordinary work of many, especially Professor Suzanne Bordelon who is serving as the Writing Center's interim director and Professor Glen McClish, chair of Rhetoric and Writing Studies, I am delighted to announce that the Writing Center is now open.

As stated in its mission, the Writing Center is intended to "help students improve their writing within specific disciplinary contexts and to help faculty develop meaningful, effective writing assignments." Services provided include individualized sessions, group sessions for graduate students on thesis/dissertation writing and consultations for international and multilingual students. Classroom visits can also be arranged to describe the Center's services.

The Writing Center is located on the ground floor of the Professional Studies and Fine Arts building, room 116. It is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, and its free services are available to all students, faculty and staff. Appointments can be made online; drop-in appointments are also available.

Please encourage your students to use this wonderful campus resource. For additional information and online appointments visit the Writing Center Website.
–November 8, 2013

New Campus Internship Coordinator

To: All Faculty and Staff

From: Linda Lewiston, Acting Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Administration

Subject: New Campus Internship Coordinator I am pleased to announce that Heather LaPerle has been selected as the new Campus Internship Coordinator within SDSU Career Services. This newly formed position will be responsible for supporting centralized resources for internships at San Diego State University.

Heather, a double alumna of San Diego State University, brings more than seven years of advising and programming experience from her work with the College of Business, the Division of Undergraduate Studies, as well as Enrollment Services at SDSU. She has an impressive record of supporting student success in and outside of the classroom, giving her the ability to work across campus with students, faculty, alumni and administrators.

As Student Affairs and Career Services contribute to the goal within the campus’ Strategic Plan to strengthen internship and mentoring programs, Heather will bring valuable skills gained through her work for other university departments, as well as a finely honed view of the campus landscape and the present employment climate to this new role. She will start in her new position November 14.

Please join me in welcoming Heather to her new position in the Division of Student Affairs.
–October 30, 2013

New LGBT Center Coordinator Appointed

In accordance with the expectation to establish a LGBT (Pride) Center on campus set forth in the Strategic Plan, C. Anthony Keen was hired to serve as coordinator for the Pride Center and started in the position October 1st. Anthony will work with the strategic planning committee in developing an implementation timeline for the Center and its programming. Anthony previously worked as Residence Hall Coordinator for University Towers, with part of his responsibility in that position including co-coordination of diversity training for hall paraprofessional staff. Anthony also serves as chair of the LGBTQ Advisory Board and teaches in the Certificate of Cultural Competency program. More information about the LGBT (Pride) Center.
–October 10, 2013

Aztec Mentor Program in Career Services

Career Services and the Alumni Association launched their pilot of the Aztec Mentor Program, an online student mentorship program designed to develop career readiness. At present 321 mentor and 60 students are active in the system with more students expected to register by the start of the program on October 11. More information about the Aztec Mentor Program.
–October 10, 2013

Expansion of Learning Communities for Commuter & Hiring of Coordinator

Melissa Gonzalez, previously the Coordinator for Casa Azteca/Aztec Freshman Connection, is moving into the new Commuter Coordinator position created in the Strategic Plan. This new position will manage the Commuter Resource Area in the new Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union, as well as coordinate all learning activities for participants. Progress toward the goal of expanding learning communities was achieved with the addition of Aztec Freshman Connection learning community this fall, in addition to Casa Azteca and Compact Scholars. To accommodate this increase in participants, one graduate student assistant and more than a dozen student academic mentor positions were also hired.
–October 10, 2013