"You know, you're really good at this." Those few words from an SF State faculty member helped an alumna now on the faculty of Princeton University to recognize and achieve her potential. The anecdote, shared in the letters section of this issue of SF State Magazine, is a vivid reminder of the role that a university plays not only in transferring knowledge, but in unleashing each individual's power to discover, create and achieve.
The stories in the pages that follow illustrate this University at its best, as a powerful catalyst for unleashing potential both large and small. Read how faculty help creative writers dig deep to find their voices. Follow a faculty member who scales mountains to uncover truths about her area of expertise. See how scientists delve to the molecular level to advance our understanding of the natural world.
Our cover story shows how a young John Handy, already enjoying successful night gigs as a jazz musician, polished his potential further by day, developing at SF State the composition skills that would contribute to his world-class stature. You will read how potential achieved can have an exponential effect—one alumna, nationally recognized for her teaching, fosters the potential of hundreds of high school students. You will learn of our students' potential for protecting the environment, and how they are beginning to realize that potential today, in their residence hall. You will be reminded of how our state legislature can be an important catalyst for change, when reading about the groundbreaking legislation that has made our new doctorate in education possible.
You will also learn how far SF State's values, innovations and commitment to social justice can travel. To Mongolia with Peace Corps volunteer Melinda Cordasco—one of more than 1,200 SF State alumni who have volunteered with the program since 1961. To developing countries worldwide where RoughRider wheelchairs developed at SF State literally open new paths and possibilities for thousands.
This issue's special insert highlights yet another University-associated catalyst—the group of generous donors who support our University and its life-changing activities.
We hope you find this issue of SF State Magazine an informative and engaging read, that you finish it and think, "Improving lives … they're really good at that."
Robert A. Corrigan