The theme of this issue of SF State Magazine is transformation. Little did we know when we started work on it just how much the University would be transformed before the issue was done. The transformation that COVID-19 has forced on the world, on each of us, and the rapid adjustments we had to make as a University as a result have left me breathless and inspired.
Thanks to the efforts of students, faculty, staff and administrators, the University moved all teaching and most offices and services to remote modes — incredibly, in just a few short days. Working together, we met the pressing need to protect our own health and the health of our communities by transforming our work in ways unimaginable earlier this winter. Our faculty are adapting face-to-face classes to remote instruction that meet student learning outcomes. Our advisors and student services professionals are working with students via phone and the internet to ensure that our students make degree progress and stay connected to the University. Other staff members are ensuring that the University’s core business and infrastructure processes continue. It has been a challenge, one that San Francisco State University has met well.
Our thoughts are first and foremost with those who have the virus or who have family or friends who are ill. For others in our community, the economic consequences wrought by COVID-19 have been painful. Very quickly, student requests for emergency financial aid increased, including a dramatic increase in demands on the HOPE Crisis Fund, a resource for students in financial crisis resulting from the pandemic. Not surprisingly, though, the generosity of our alumni, faculty and staff also soared — including one alumna who wrote quickly to offer $100,000 to assist students with financial emergencies. I am very grateful to all who have donated to the Hope Crisis Fund. We will be sure to share with you stories about how this support will allow us to continue to transform students’ lives.
As hard as the current moment is, it will end, and I assure you that San Francisco State will emerge stronger and even more committed to its students, alumni and community. We will continue our work as a transformative university, so well documented in this issue. Over the last few months, I have had the pleasure of seeing firsthand what a transformative education looks like here. I have seen it in the work of our deeply engaged students, in the research and teaching of our faculty, in the work and commitment of our staff, and I have seen its impact in the myriad accomplishments of our alumni. In this issue of SF State Magazine, you will see it, too.
Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.