If you live or work in San Francisco, chances are you've seen our street banners that proclaim SF State is the city's creative spark. In this issue you'll see abundant truth in that advertising.
Dozens of SF State artists -- including household names like Robert Bechtle and Ruth Asawa -- have created the sculptures, murals and other installations that make our walks more interesting and the places we spend time more inviting. Among the city's collection, Brian Goggin's Language of the Birds, captured on the cover, was selected as one of the nation's best examples of public art. Another example of SF State creativity soaring to new heights: Jonas Rivera's Up, the Pixar hit described as "the first great film of 2009."
I'm proud to say that these are not the only SF State innovators this year to receive national recognition for their talents. Professor of Biology Frank Bayliss will soon travel to the White House where he will receive one of just 22 awards for mentoring from President Barack Obama. Because of Professor Bayliss' work, many students whose talents might have been lost are making important contributions to science.
At the frontier of scientific research itself, Bayliss' colleague, Vance Vredenburg, continues to share the important implications of his amphibian studies through outlets such as National Geographic, CNN and Science. And while the latest Beethoven cycle release from our world-renowned Alexander String Quartet was nominated for Album of the Year in the United Kingdom, it's equally exciting to note that the Afiara Quartet, who trained under "The Alexanders," played Carnegie Hall as winners of the prestigious Concert Artists Guild Competition.
Rave reviews have also come to our College of Business. Its MBA program was ranked No. 23 in the United States and No. 29 worldwide in a study that measured how well institutions are preparing students for environmental, social and ethical complexities of modern-day business. Also guiding people into today's workforce is alumnus Cliff Flamer, a career counselor recently declared the world's best resume writer.
From California, where Bonnie Rose Hough is ensuring that low-income citizens receive legal defense, to Cambodia, where Mu Sochua is defending basic human rights, the contributions of SF State alumni are changing lives for the better.
A special supplement to this issue recognizes with gratitude those whose gifts support thousands of students, faculty and staff and help make all this good work possible. Your generosity will allow us to educate future artists and innovators like the ones detailed in these pages. We can't thank you enough for helping us keep the creative sparks flying.
Robert A. Corrigan