There was something especially thrilling about the San Francisco Giants World Series win earlier this fall. It wasn’t just the excitement of our hometown team making history. There was even more cause to celebrate because an underdog had forged ahead to victory.
This is something we can appreciate at San Francisco State, a feisty university, where dedicated and determined faculty, students and staff have always made the occasional doubter think twice about our capabilities.
Over the years we have faced stiff competition in California higher education. We have worked without the resources enjoyed by some of our neighboring private institutions, and recent reductions in state funding have put an even finer point on this. But even with the odds stacked against us, we continue to be a formidable player on any academic field. The proof can be found in the latest student successes, faculty breakthroughs and alumni accomplishments described in this issue.
These stories span the globe and so does their impact, whether it is work by Cynthia Gómez to improve access to HIV care in the Bay Area, or Federico Ardila’s search across two hemispheres for leading mathematicians. Read on for more examples, including Whirlwind Wheelchair’s latest delivery to Haiti, one professor’s quest to help businesses thrive in challenging economic times, and a team of researchers’ work to prepare Africans for malaria outbreaks.
Along with these accomplishments, we offer several fine examples of additions SF State has made to the historical record. Our cover story details James Lee’s journey into Afghanistan in search of narratives that have been largely missed in the nightly news. Other stories include Susan Wels’ discoveries about Amelia Earhart, and David Kiehn’s findings about San Francisco in the days before the 1906 earthquake.
San Francisco State also continues to play an important role in the artistic life of the Bay Area and the nation. In this issue we share news of Emmy and Grammy award winners, one Theater Hall of Fame inductee, and a new film from a Pulitzer Prize winner. We look back at the tenure of the late August Coppola, a dean who helped push this campus to expand its vision for creative arts. If only he could see how our dreams have grown as we begin the first steps toward the Mashouf Creative Arts Center, a $240 million facility that will be made possible through a partnership of public and private funding.
We are grateful to alumni Manny Mashouf and Neda Nobari, who have made the lead gift of $10 million to the Creative Arts Center Campaign as we are grateful for the generosity of all SF State donors.
I would like to thank each one of you who have donated your time, talents and financial resources to making this campus a winning one. As the cheers for the Giants begin to fade, I look forward to many more reasons to keep rooting for the Gators.
Robert A. Corrigan