News & Accomplishments

  • Showcase of Undergraduate Research at the 2019 Science Symposium
    Undergraduates presented their research projects on April 30 at the 7th Annual Science Symposium in the Student Center Ballroom. Over 25 judges evaluated the 192 posters and 377 student presenters with top awards going to:
    Best Poster
    Presenters: Jonah Baumgartner, Ryan Quiambao, James Normantas
    Title: Project PocketSight
    Advisor: Dr. Don Estreich, Department of Engineering Science
    Big Picture
    Presenters: Ian Furniss and Kenneth Kleinsmith
    Title: PLAD: Power Line Arc Detector
    Advisor: Dr. Mohamed Salem, Department of Engineering Science
    Bright Idea
    Presenters: Jennifer Juarez-Yoc, Kayla Hontz, Alejandra Perez, Jessica Torres, Derek Girman
    Title: eDNA sampling of the California Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma californiense) in Vernal Pools of the Santa Rosa Plain
    Advisor: Dr. Derek Girman, Department of Biology
    SCI 120 Best Poster
    Presenters: Sophia Demetriou, Carly Spencer, Ruby Wagner
    Title: How do Different Riparian Factors Affect the Stream Temperature in Copeland Creek?
    Advisor: Dr. Robin Glas, Department of Geology
    Presenters: Lindsey Wachsman, Laura Enzor, Sean Place
    Title: Interactive effects of ocean acidification and elevated temperature differentially impact acid-base balance in Antarctic fish
    Advisor: Dr. Mackenzie Zippay, Department of Biology
    Read more about the week of Research and Creativity at "Faculty and students join forces in 'Week of Research and Creativity'" and see the "Symposium Program".
  • Students Showoff at Inaugural Seawolf Pitch Competition
    On April 25 cross-disciplinary student teams presented their product pitches at the inaugural Seawolf Pitch Competition. A panel of entrepreneurs and business leaders from Make Media, Business Design Corporation, Wildbrine, Global Packaging, Sonoma County Economic Development Board, Traditional Medicinals, North Coast SCORE, Burr Pilger Mayer, Umpqua Bank, Rodney Strong Vineyards, and Sonoma State University were invited to judge the competition, which included 1-minute pitch presentations followed by a venture expo. Student venture teams from various disciplines at Sonoma State University competed in one of four tracks: entrepreneurship, engineering, prototype, and social entrepreneurship. A total of $5,000 in cash prizes were awarded to winning teams including multiple engineering student projects. Student ventures that placed first were Line Mogul for entrepreneurship, PLAD for engineering, Pocketsight for prototype, and EMOTE for social entrepreneurship. For a complete list of winners and participants, please visit Seawolf Pitch Competition. The Seawolf Pitch Competition was conceived by Dr. Sergio Canavati, Chris Stewart, and Dr. Karen Thompson as part of the SBE’s Entrepreneurship Hub which serves all Sonoma State University students.
  • Biology Graduate Student Receives AAUW Career Development Grant
    Jazmyne Gill, a biology graduate student in Dr. Mackenzie Zippay’s lab, has been awarded the 2019-2020 American Association of University Women (AAUW) Career Development Grant. This highly competitive national competition only funds one recipient a year. Congratulations, Jazmyne!
  • Professor Brigitte Lahme Receives National Student Advocacy Award
    Brigitte Lahme, Math & Stats Department Chair, was honored by Cengage Learning and the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition for her student advocacy work, specifically in student learning, development, and success. "She said mathematics is empowering for students and improves lives, and she has a passion for helping first-year students," writes Susan Minichiello in the Press Democrat. Funded by a NSF STEM Talent Expansion grant, Professor Lahme transformed first-year mathematics curriculum at SSU. She was nominated for the award by Provost Lisa Vollendorf.
  • Dr. Claudia Luke, Director of the SSU Center for Environmental Inquiry, was awarded the Paint the Community Green, Environmental Stewardship Award from the North Bay Leadership Council. She was honored at the NBLC Awards Luncheon on November 2, 2018. Special guests AVP for Academic Programs Karen Moranski, Chris Halle, Sci & Tech Dean Lynn Stauffer, CEI and Galbreath Preserves donor Bob Johnson, SSU VP for Advancement Gordon McDougall, Kirsten Tellez, and supporters Robbie and Dan Rhodes joined in the celebration of Claudia's distinguished contributions in support of our environment.

    From left to right: Karen Moranski, Chris Halle, Dean Lynn Stauffer, Bob Johnson, Gordon McDougall, Kirsten Tellez, Robbie Rhodes and Dan Rhodes

  • SST Students Present at ISAM 2018 Conference!
    A team of multidisciplinary students presented a poster this summer at the International Symposium on Academic Makerspaces (ISAM) at Stanford University titled "Using the Makerspace to Create Educational Open-Source Software for Electrical Circuits: A Learning Experience".
    The students worked on creating an electrical circuit application to be used in the engineering classroom for the mixed reality platform, HoloLens, made by Microsoft, while utilizing the Virtual Immersive Teaching and Learning (VITaL) Laboratory at the SSU Makerspace.
    The team members consisted of SST students Dana Conard and Blake Vollmer from the Computer Science Department, Corbin Shatto from the Electrical Engineering Department, along with Hannah Bowman from the Anthropology Department from the School of A&H. Each student contributed his or her expertise in creating the software which included 3D modeling and coding, subject matter content, and user experience and design with a focus on accessibility.
    The students' work has drawn attention from the virtual reality (VR) community and are currently being mentored by a local software company. The team will continue to work on expanding their current tutorial over this academic year.

    From left to right: Hannah Bowman, Corbin Shatto, Dana Conard and Blake Vollmer

  • Girls Tinker Academy 2018 – Making dreams come true!
    For July 26-August 2, 24 middle school girls from throughout Sonoma County attended the Girls Tinker Academy, a free two-week STEM summer program hosted by the School of Science and Technology and led by Math Professor, Natalie Hobson, and Computer Science Professor Anamary Leal. The girls participated in a range of programming designed to engage and inspire them through hands-on Maker activities and other STEM-focused events. The Academy girls are also partnered with Sci & Tech upper-division undergraduate mentors for sustained STEM support well into the future. See Academy photos. The Press Democrat covered the academy in "STEM camp at Sonoma State University boosts confidence for middle school girls" and the SSU website highlighted it as "Sonoma State University Hosts All-Girls STEM Camp".
  • 2017-2018 Accomplishments
    The 2017-2018 Science & Technology Accomplishments Document highlights the many teaching, research, and service activities of our School. It has been a productive and impactful year, and we have a lot to celebrate and acknowledge!
  • Biology Graduate Student Wins 2nd Place at CSU Research Competition
    Kristen Hosek, a biology graduate student at SSU, won second place in the Graduate Session in Biological and Agricultural Sciences at the 32nd Annual CSU Research Competition hosted by Sacramento State on May 4 and 5, 2018. Congratulations, Kristen!
  • Over the past few years, Dr. Kurt Sollanek, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology, has been leading research on behalf of Entrinsic Health Solutions, Inc., investigating the beverage hydration index (BHI) value of enterade ORS—an all-natural, glucose-free amino acid beverage. You can read more about the research and results on Entrinsic Health’s News & Media page.
  • SSU Geology Student Receives Outstanding Student Award from AWG
    The Association of Women Geoscientists (AWG) is presenting Maureen Redmond, SSU Geology major, with the Outstanding Student Award. This annual award recognizes excellence in geology departments from campuses around the Greater Bay Area.
  • Emily Rosa Featured as a Student Success Story by CSU
    Professor Lisa Bentley’s research student Emily Rosa is a featured student success story on the CSU's webpage. Rosa achieved a spot in the prestigious DaRin Butz Foundation Research Internship Program at Harvard University over the summer of 2017. She was one of eight students selected.
  • Simonnet's Artwork on Nature Cover
    Aurore Simonnet’s illustration will be on the cover of Nature magazine's November 2 issue. Simonnet is the scientific illustrator for SSU E/PO. November 2 Nature Magazine's Cover
  • Martha Murphy Named Fall 2017 Honoree for Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award by NAGT Geo2YC
    Martha Murphy, Department of Geology, is one of three honorees selected for the Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award given by the National Association of Geoscience Teachers Geo2YC Division. Along with her fellow nominees, she will be considered for the Annual Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award for 2017. She will be featured in an upcoming issue of their newsletter, Foundations.
  • Chemistry Professor Awarded NSF RUI Funding
    Dr. Carmen Works has received a 3-year award from the National Science Foundation for her project Mechanistic Investigation of Iron-Iron Hydrogenase Model Compounds for the Reversible Oxidation of Molecular Hydrogen, for a total of $180K. This supports Dr. Works' lab with several undergraduate researchers contributing to the project.
  • Dean Lynn Stauffer Named One of INSIGHT Into Diversity's 2017 Inspiring Leaders in STEM
    The award recognizes leaders from underrepresented groups who are making a difference in STEM fields. Stauffer is recognized for her many achievements, including the establishment of the WICS group, the STEM Certificate Pathway program with Piner High School, and the S3 grant. Congratulations, Lynn!
  • Professors Shott and Targett in The Chronicle of Higher Education
    The Chronicle of Higher Education’s July 17 article titled, "How Community Service Can Help Your Career," features professors Martha Shott and Thomas Targett (Departments of Mathematics & Statistics and Physics & Astronomy, respectively) and SSU's community service requirement in the Retention, Tenure and Promotion (RTP) process.
  • Professor Lynn Cominsky Named California Academy of Sciences Fellow
    Dr. Lynn Cominsky, Chair of the Physics & Astronomy Department and Director of SSU's E/PO group, has been selected as an Academy Fellow by the California Academy of Sciences. The selection reflects Cominsky's outstanding contributions to the field of astronomy.
  • 2016-17 Science and Technology Annual Accomplishments Summary
    This year has been another productive and laudable year for the faculty, staff and students in the School of Science and Technology. The SST Annual Accomplishments Report 2016-17 includes many of the teaching, research and service activities of our talented team of instructors, technical and administrative staff, volunteers, students and other members of the Science and Technology community.
  • Biology Professor Dan Crocker presented the 2016-17 President’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship
    Dr. Dan Crocker was presented the 2016-17 President's Award for Excellence in Scholarship at the 2017 Faculty Research and Scholarship Symposium on Thursday, May 4. Dr. Crocker is an internationally recognized scholar in marine ecological physiology with a distinguished record of research achievement including highly-regarded publications, substantial funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, and esteemed contributions to his research community included his appointment as a California Academy of Sciences Faculty Fellow. He is a strong advocate of the teacher-scholar model and is deeply committed to undergraduates and graduate students. Dr. Crocker is most deserving of this special recognition.

    Science and Technology Dean Lynn Stauffer congratulates Dr. Crocker at the awards ceremony

    Faculty colleagues Drs. Mackenzie Zippay and Lisa Bentley celebrate with Dr. Crocker

  • Lynn Cominsky to receive 2017 Malina Astronautics Medal
    Lynn Cominsky has been selected by the International Astronautical Federation to receive the 2017 Frank J. Malina Astronautics Medal. The award has been presented annually since 1986 to educators who have demonstrated excellence in taking the fullest advantage of the resources available to them to promote the study of astronautics and related space sciences. Dr. Cominsky will be presented the medal at the International Astronautical Congress to be held in Adelaide, Australia in September 2017.
  • Dean Lynn Stauffer Featured in COA's Website
    In honor of Women's History Month, Dr. Lynn Stauffer, Dean of the School of Science & Technology, was featured on the Council of Aging's website. Dr. Stauffer spoke on how parents and educators can encourage and support women in STEM and her own experiences as a woman in STEM.
  • Engineering Students Win CSU I-Corps Award
    Jose Avila, Nader Srouji, and Michael Vargas were awarded the I-Corps Special Recognition Award for creating two devices that detect and reduce the risk of kidney disease. They were presented with the award at the 29th annual California State University Biotechnology Symposium in Santa Clara in January 2017.
  • SSU Observatory to Reopen in the Fall
    SSU’s Observatory is currently being renovated and is slated to reopen on September 8, 2017 with a ribbon cutting ceremony and the first public viewing night of the season. The Observatory, maintained and manned by the Physics & Astronomy Department, has been in operation for 41 years hosting astronomy classes, faculty and student research, and free public viewing nights.
  • Dr. Matt James Publishes Book on Charles Darwin
    Geology professor Matt James is the author of a new book Collecting Evolution: The Galapagos Expedition that Vindicated Darwin (Oxford Univ., ISBN 978-0-19-935459-7, April 2017). The result of many years of scholarly effort, the book chronicles Darwin’s expeditions to the Galapagos and makes a convincing case that the 1905-06 visit was the most impactful.
    Cover of Collecting Evolution
  • 2017 Annual CSUPERB Symposium
    Students and faculty from Biology, Chemistry, and Engineering Science presented at the 2017 CSUPERB Symposium on January 5 through 7 in Santa Clara:

    Top row: Anne Nelson and Patricia De La Torre; Abraham Palmerin and Professor Farid Farahmand. Middle row: Annika Holm; Tanner Kimberly; Gabriel Sacher. Bottom row: Jason Grunberger and Fernando Arellano; Justine Gray.

  • $580,000 NSF Grant Will Bring Maker Program and Makerspace to SSU
    Professor Jeremy Qualls, Physics & Astronomy, has received a $580,000 NSF grant to create a unique Maker program and Makerspace on campus for students, faculty, and staff to use. The grant will support the purchase of equipment like 3D printers, a computer controlled mill, laser cutters, etc., in addition to further developing Science 220: Dream, Make, and Innovate.
  • Four SST Faculty Members Receive Steve Norwick Memorial Fund Awards
    The Steve Norwick Memorial Fund Awards are made available by generous support from Steve Norwick's family and friends who continue to promote Steve’s love of field investigation and excellence in education. Each awardee receives $1,000 to engage students in field experiences.
    1. Derek Girman (Biology)
      1. Undergraduates with grad student Julianne Bradbury: Effects of cattle grazing on grassland vertebrate communities on Sonoma Mountain.
      2. Paige Hetler and Carrisa Foster with grad student Daniel Hudson: Effects of water quality on mate choice in 3 species of newts.
    2. Brendan Hamel-Bissell (Engineering Science) - Undergraduates TBD: A drone-mounted optical imaging system for hyperspectral analyses of Osborn Preserve habitats.
    3. Lisa Bentley (Biology) - Undergraduate: Measuring ecosystem sensitivity to drought at the Osborn Preserve as part of the global monitoring project, Drought-Net.
    4. Nathan Rank (Biology) - Juliana Aguilar: Assessing the spread of Sudden Oak Death in the Copeland Creek watershed.
  • Math Faculty Making the Way in Santa Rosa City Schools
    Mathematics Professors Ben Ford and Brigitte Lahme are partnering with Engineering, the School of Education and Santa Rosa City Schools to use maker-based curricula as a springboard for mathematics learning in grades K-8. The Project Make the Way partnership is showcased in a 4-minute video.
  • 2016 Santa Rosa Excellence in Education Award to Physics Professor
    Dr. Jeremy Qualls was awarded the 2016 Excellence in Education Award at the 4-year College Level by the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce. At the awards breakfast on Tuesday, August 16, Dr. Qualls’ commitment to his students was recognized (See Honoring Local Teachers for Excellence in Education). Dr. Qualls thoughts on teaching tell a lot about why he was selected:

    As a teacher, I serve not as a filter but as a pump. I seek to motivate and enhance students, not weed out the underprepared. Regardless of whether a student is a bit shy and prefers to sit in the back, is a bit boisterous and must be in the front, or is just there for the GE credit, my personal and direct engagement style allows me to carry the class as a unified cohort through a learning experience. I take students from just watching and following to internalizing and leading.

    Congratulations to Dr. Qualls!!
  • Dr. Anfison's Article on Geochronology is GSA's Most Cited Paper
    As of July 1, 2016, Dr. Owen Anfinson’s paper titled "Detrital zircon geochronology and provenance of the Neoproterozoic to Late Devonian Franklinian Basin, Canadian Arctic Islands" is the Geological Society of America’s most cited article.
  • Biologist Nick Geist in the News
  • 2015-16 Accomplishments
    The below link will take you to the School of Science & Technology’s accomplishments for 2015-16 academic year. Our dedicated faculty, staff, and students are involved in meaningful and impactful service, scholarship, and collaborations. Congratulations to all you have accomplished this year!
  • Dean Lynn Stauffer Wins North Bay Business Journal's Women in Business Award
    Dean Lynn Stauffer and 24 other local women have been recognized by the North Bay Business Journal as their 2016 Women in Business award winners. The Journal gives this award annually to North Bay women who have contributed to the local business community as leaders, innovators, and visionaries. The women selected come from a broad range of professions - wine, biotech, law, accounting, banking, health care, wealth management, human resources, small business, and, of course, higher education. Congratulations, Lynn, on this well-deserved award! We truly appreciate all you do for our School and Univeristy!
  • SSU's Nursing Program Ranked No. 21 in the Western U.S., No. 64 in Nation
    The Nursing Schools Almanac ranking reads, SSU "graduates 20-40 students annually from the traditional BSN program, with an impressive 96% NCLEX-RN exam pass rate." SSU was the second-highest ranked CSU campus.
  • 2016 Science Symposium
    The fourth annual Science Symposium was the largest yet! Thank you to all who presented. We are proud of and impressed by the outstanding research shown at this year’s Symposium. Congratulations to this year’s award winners:
    • The Best Poster, Betsy Smith, "Spatial & Temporal Variability of Winter Accumulation on Taku Glacier, Southeast Alaska between 2012 & 2015"
    • The Big Picture, Blanca Arango, "Eggshell Porosity Value on Western Pond Turtle Emys marmorata"
    • The Big Idea, Justine Gray, "Cloning and Characterization of Hemicellulose-Degrading Ensymes from Cellulomonas sp. Strain FA1"
    • The Peoples' Choice, Betsy Smith and Julia Freeman, "Topographic Interactive Model: Augmented Reality Sandbox"
    Thank you to all of the attendees for your support. 2016 Science Symposium program
  • Sluicing for Zircon
    Dr. Owen Anfinson, Assistant Professor of Geology, is featured on SSU's NewsCenter for his work with the mineral zircon. Dr. Anfinson has been sluicing zircon from sand collected from the eastern Klamath Mountains and the northern Sierra Nevada. Zircon contains uranium, which can be dated using a calculation that uses the element’s half-life and the amount of lead a given grain contains. This, in combination with technological advances, allows researchers to quickly date large samples of rocks. Dr. Anfinson is using these dates and geochemical fingerprints to compare rocks from different parts of the world in order to ""determine where our tectonic plates have been through geologic time."" Dr. Anfinson and a team of undergraduates are testing the hypothesis that large parts of California were once in a more northern part of Earth. They will be collecting and testing samples collected from Pt. Reyes this summer.
  • Engineering Science Helps to Address Workforce Shortages in North Bay!
    The Press Democrat on Sunday, May 22, 2016 includes a nice shout-out to our Engineering Science program. The article hits on the valuable partnerships we continue to build with local businesses to help address the talent shortages in the North Bay.
  • Dr. Sara Kassis receives a CSU Course Redesign with Technology (CRT) grant for 2016 - 2017.
    Dr. Kassis' proposal focuses on creating a hybrid virtual lab model for ES 110, Introduction to Engineering Laboratory. This will enable freshmen and incoming transfer Electrical Engineering students to conduct introductory electronic experiments individually at home using their own measurement and test equipment, which is purchased by the Department through this grant. The goals are to enhance student performance in ES 110 which, in turn, reflects performance in the upper level courses; and ensures that the gap in knowledge between the incoming first year freshman students, with no EE background, and the incoming transfer students, with some EE background, is minimized so that all students receive a quality education.
  • SSU EPO Group Awarded Funding to Extend Outreach
    The SSU Education and Public Outreach Group received a subaward from Space Telescope Science Institute to do Astrophysics education and outreach. The SSU EPO Group, led by Dr. Lynn Cominsky, has been doing similar work for various NASA missions for over a decade. The new 5 year award, titled Universe of Learning, is for $1.56 million.
  • NASA Funds CubeSat Proposal
    A multidisciplinary team of SSU personnel led by Dr. Lynn Cominsky was awarded $200,000 from the NASA Office of Education/Undergraduate Student Instrument Project (USIP) for their proposal "EdgeCube: A 1U Global Monitor for Earth's Ecosystems". The team includes faculty from SSU Schools of Science & Technology, Business & Economics and Social Sciences. SSU will be the lead institution with Santa Clara University, Morehead State University (Kentucky) and California Space Grant Consortium as collaborating partners. The proposal funds a diverse group of students to build and launch a CubeSat. The two-year award extends through 2017. Read the news release to learn more.
  • Professor Crocker Named Academy Fellow at the California Academy of Sciences
    Biology Professor Dan Crocker has been appointed an Academy Fellow by the California Academy of Sciences. This appointment reflects his distinguished contributions to the natural sciences - particularly in the fields of Ecology and Physiology.
  • Biology Faculty awarded National Science Foundation Funding
    Dr. Makenzie Zippay, Assistant Professor, received nearly $200K in NSF funding for her project "Stressors on Intertidal Mussels".
    Integrative biologist, Dr. Sean Place, received a new NSF award for his research into "Micro RNAs in Polar Fish". Dr. Place and members of his lab study the genomic response of marine organisms to environmental extremes.
    Professor Nathan Rank received NSF funding for his project “Response to Winter.” This is collaborative work with researchers at multiple sites and builds on years of research in the Rank lab.
  • Dr. Ledin Weighs in on the FBI and Apple Hearing
    Dr. George Ledin was featured in a North Bay Business Journal article detailing the Apple iPhone and FBI hearing that was set to start March 22.
  • Gravitational Waves, LIGO, and Dr. Lynn Cominsky
    It was announced last week that LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory) has confirmed a key component of Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity by detecting gravitational waves emanating from the collision of two black holes. Dr. Lynn Cominsky, Chair of the Physics & Astronomy Department and Director of SSU's E/PO, has been part of LIGO since 2007, first as a member of LIGO’s program advisory committee for a three year term, and now as the chair of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration’s education working group. "I am thrilled to be a small part of the LIGO outreach effort," Dr. Cominsky said in a statement issued after LIGO’s announcement. "Studying black holes has been most of my life’s work, and the discovery of gravitational waves using LIGO detectors will open an entirely new branch of astronomy." Read more on SSU's News Center.
  • Dr. Martha Shott Wins 2016 MAA Section Alder Award!
    Dr. Martha Shott, Department of Mathematics & Statistics, has been selected as the recipient for the 2016 Mathematical Association of America (MAA) Section Alder Award. From the MAA website: The MAA established the Henry L. Alder Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Beginning College or University Mathematics Faculty Member to honor beginning college or university faculty whose teaching has been extraordinarily successful and whose effectiveness in teaching undergraduate mathematics is shown to have influence beyond their own classrooms. Section Dr. Shott will be presented with the award on February 27 at UC Davis, her alma mater. Congratulations, Dr. Shott!
  • Dr. Lynn Cominsky Named as Recipient for the American Astronomical Society's 2016 Education Prize
    Dr. Cominsky has been awarded another prestigious honor by the American Astronomical Society. She has been named as the recipient of their Education Prize for 2016. This prize is given to recognize outstanding contributions in the education of the public, students, and/or the next generation of professional astronomers. Her leadership of SSU's E/PO Group, her development of numerous educator guides and K-12 resources, her work to help train thousands of teachers through the Astrophysics Educator Ambassador program, and her leadership of the education and public outreach efforts for many NASA missions (XMM-Newton, Swift, Fermi, and NuSTAR among them) make Dr. Cominsky a most well-deserved awardee.
  • Dr. Lynn Cominsky Wins AAS's Sally Ride Award
    The American Astronautical Society has named Lynn Cominsky the recipient of their Sally Ride Excellence in Education Award for 2015. This award recognizes outstanding educators from K-12 to college/graduate level in either the delivery of space education or the use of space in STEM education. Dr. Cominsky is the second person to receive the Sally Ride Award.
  • Dr. Lynn Cominsky Wins the Wang Family Excellence Award!
    The Wang Family Excellence Award recognizes four outstanding faculty members and one outstanding staff member of the CSU each year who have distinguished themselves by exemplary contributions and achievements. Dr. Lynn Cominsky, Chair of Physics & Astronomy and Director of the SSU E/PO, has been selected as the recipient of this prestigious $20,000 award for 2016 in the Natural Sciences, Mathematical and Computer Science and Engineering category.
  • Dr. Matty Mookerjee EarthCube Publications
    Dr. Matty Mookerjee has recently published two articles on his NSF funded Research Coordination Networks (RCN) project on integrating cyberscience and geoscience. Dr. Mookerjee undertook this RCN project to facilitate a larger NSF initiative called EarthCube. EarthCube is a community-driven effort to create a cyberinfrastructure for collecting, accessing, and analyzing data in the geosciences. The two articles, published by The Geological Society of America and EOS: Earth & Space Science News, center on an excursion led by Dr. Mookerjee to Yosemite National Park and Owens Valley to help computer scientists learn problems faced by geoscientists in the field, and to expose geoscientists to new technologies.
  • Microbial Wastewater Treatment System Testing at Local Winery
    D'Argenzio Winery in Santa Rosa's Vintners Square is serving as the testing ground for a pilot wastewater treatment system developed by researchers from SSU's Biology and Engineering Science Departments and the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology in Japan. The system uses a microbial fuel cell, or MFC. MFCs employ specially selected bacteria colonies that create current while metabolizing wastewater organics. The system could allow for better and greater reuse of winery wastewater for irrigation and to possibly make electricity without methane combustion. The SSU-Okinawa project is run by Drs. Michael Cohen, Biology, and Farid Farahmand, Engineering Science, and is one of 25 water-related projects supported by the WATERS Collaborative.
  • PG&E and the Center for Environmental Inquiry
    The San Francisco Chronicle recently reported on partnerships between local businesses and universities. One of the partnerships highlighted was SSU's Center for Environmental Inquiry partnership with PG&E. PG&E called on the CEI and their student’s expertise to learn how to manage potentially harmful vegetation growth under high power lines. Students were able to perform real-life research and help work towards a solution. This in turn has given students invaluable experience and skills that will undoubtedly benefit them when looking for work after college. This partnership is one of 60 partnerships CEI has with businesses.
  • FIS Mobile Opens Office in Petaluma
    FIS Mobile, formerly mFoundry, has moved to downtown Petaluma in the hopes of better serving its employees in the area as well as the numerous SSU computer science students that work as interns for the company. FIS Mobile, which makes banking apps, has worked closely with our Computer Science Department for 5 years, offering internships and ultimately hiring a number of our CS graduates.
  • Dr. Lynn Cominsky Featured in The Press Democrat
    Lynn Cominsky's life and many accomplishments were profiled in the October 18 edition of The Press Democrat. The article highlights everything from her academic accomplishments to her beloved "critters", and above all her "high-energy" - something to which many can attest, including Cominsky herself.
  • Nursing's Transition into Practice Certificate Program Continues its Success
    As the nursing community faces a wave of retirements, the need for skilled nurses has risen and word about the Transition into Practice Certificate Program is spreading. The Program, a partnership between SSU's Nursing Department and Sutter Health, places nursing students in an internship with one of 8 local hospitals. Participating hospitals must then offer a job, full-time, part-time, or on-call, after a successful internship. Although the percentage of student who obtain full-time employment is small, part-time or on-call work is important while looking for a full-time placement as it allows nurses to maintain their skills and therefore makes them more marketable.
  • Western Pond Turtles Released in Mountain Lake
    Twenty-four Western Pond Turtles were released into the newly restored Mountain Lake in the Inner Richmond District of San Francisco. The turtles and their release are part of a 7 year effort on the part of Sonoma State's Dr. Nick Geist and the San Francisco and Oakland zoos to restore the species. The turtles are outfitted with transmitters that will allow biologists to continue their research as they adapt and settle into their new home.
  • Science & Tech Reaching Internationally in Summer 2015
    Dr. Martha Shott, two SSU math students and several other CSU students and staff traveled to Thailand with the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program this summer.
  • Dr. Claudia Luke, Director of SSU’s Center for Environmental Inquiry (CEI) collaborated with a team of experts to help guide the integration of Ecuadorian national park lands into a public university. With her many years of experience of weaving together education and lands, Dr. Luke is sharing her knowledge internationally. See the NewsCenter article.
  • Dr. Joe Lin Recipient of Excellence in Teaching Award
    Dr. Joe Lin is the recipient of the 2015-16 Sonoma State University Excellence in Teaching Award. Dr. Lin’s work with advanced molecular and cellular biology students as well as his commitment to students pursuing careers in the health professions through the Health Professions Advisory Program (HPAP) are outstanding.
  • 2014-15 Accomplishments

    The links below will take you to listings of our accomplishments for 2014-15. Our faculty, staff and students are engaged in productive scholarship, impactful service, and meaningful collaboration. We have a lot to acknowledge and celebrate.

  • $400,000 NSF Grant Awarded to Dr. Rank
    Nathan Rank, Professor of Biology, has been awarded a $400,000 grant from NSF to continue his research on the montane leaf beetle. Dr. Rank has been studying the montane leaf beetle populations in Bishop, CA since 1984. You can read the full story on SSU's News Center.
  • Biology Graduate Student Wins Second Place in CSU Student Research Competition
    Michelle Ferraro, MS Biology, won second place in the Graduate Biological and Agricultural Sciences Session of the 29th Annual CSU Student Research Competition for her research project titled, Evaluating Optimal Foraging Theory in Female Northern Elephant Seals. Two hundred and sixty students from 22 CSUs presented 200 research projects. There were 60 judges from corporations, foundations, public agencies, and colleges and universities. In total, there were 19 sessions. First place for each session received $500; second place received $250. CSU San Bernardino hosted this year's Competition.
  • Dr. Geist's Paper Featured on National Geographic's "Phenomena" Website
    Professor Nick Geist's recently published paper, "Breathing in a box: Constraints on lung ventilation in giant pterosaurs", was featured on National Geographic's "Phenomena". The paper, published in the December 2014 issue of The Anatomical Record, focuses on large pterosaurs, the first known vertebrates to fly, and explores the mystery of how they breathed.
  • Dr. Wendy Smith Named as 2015 CANP Award Winner
    Wendy Smith has been named as one of the winners of the 2015 CANP (California Association for Nurse Practitioners) Award. The award serves to recognize CANP members who demonstrate excellence in furthering the nurse practitioner role in either legislative efforts or clinical application.
  • Geology Lecturer Publishes Map of Tiburon Peninsula
    David Bero, the Geology's Department's resident petrologist lecturer, had his official map of the Tiburon Peninsula and Ring Mountain published. The map is a culmination of 30 years of work and quite a big deal in the Geology community.
  • SSU Students Win the 2015 CSU I-Corps Student Challenge!
    A cross-disciplinary team of SSU students, Campbell Smith, (undergraduate, Electrical Engineering), Mitchell Hickey (undergraduate, Business Administration/Financial Management), Janene Grippi (undergraduate, Kinesiology) and Luis Reyes (undergraduate, Electrical Engineering) won the Innovation Corps (I-Corps) 2015 Challenge at the 27th CSU Annual Biotechnology Symposium. The team presented its product prototype PD Analytics, a low-cost device to quantify tremors associated with Parkinson’s disease. Eleven student teams participated in the final round of the I-Corps Challenge. Each participating team was evaluated based on the amount of learning it accomplished over the course of the Challenge, clarity of its product concepts, and justification of its problem-solution through customer discovery findings. In October 2014, the PD Analytics team received a CSU I-Corps micro-grant from CSUPERB to build a working prototype and conduct its first phase of customer discovery. Over the past several months the team participated in various training sessions to learn from commercialization experts and industry professionals. During this period, the team also conducted countless interviews with potential customers and Parkinson’s patients. Each of the winning team members will receive a scholarship that can be used towards any educational expenses. In addition, the PD Analytics team is eligible to apply for the 2015 national grand challenge to receive $50,000 startup money to fully develop its product. Dr. Farid Farahmand (professor of Engineering) and Dr. Kirsten Ely (professor of Entrepreneurship and Accounting) continue to act as the team's technical and entrepreneurial advisors, respectively. See Pictures from the event.
  • Lynn Cominsky Awarded the 2014 Aerospace Awareness Award
    Dr. Cominsky has been selected by the Women in Aerospace Awards Committee to receive the prestigious 2014 Aerospace Awareness Award. The award is presented for "Excellence in outreach and building public awareness of aerospace programs and developments; innovative approaches to increasing public understanding of aerospace development and activities; commitment to advancing and defining the roles that aerospace plays in all aspects of society; commitment to professional growth; and service as a role model or mentor that shows dedication to the advancement of women in aerospace." Dr. Cominsky was nominated by NASA Headquarters. An awards ceremony will be held in October in Arlington, VA.
  • SST's Summer High School Internship Program in the News
    The Press Democrat reported on SST's Summer High School Internship Program (SHIP) on August 9, 2014. See the article "College program gives young scientists lab time".
  • Science & Technology Accomplishments for 2013-14
    It's been a productive and successful year in the School of Science and Technology! Take a look at our list of publications, presentations, service activities, grant/funding activity, professional development and other important achievements in our school. We have a LOT to be proud of!!
  • CS Student Awarded Scholarship
    Computer Science student, Rachelle Thysell, has been awarded a GHC Scholarship Grant to attend the 2014 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference October 8-10 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing is the largest gathering of women technologists. Only 26% of grant applications were awarded. Rachelle will also be presenting a poster.
  • SSU Herpetofauna Project in the News
    The work of SSU Biology graduate student, Julie Byrne, is mentioned in an NBC News posting on May 29, 2014. The focus of the article is on the use of social media and citizen scientists to help track birds, plants and other species in everyday life. Julie is using iNaturalist in her study of the impact of climate change on lizards.
  • Waters Collaborative Funds SST Faculty for Spring 2014
    SSU WATERS, a collacoration between SSU faculty and the Sonoma County Water Agency, undertakes projects that enhance watershed management and academic training of students. This spring, six SST faculty were awarded funds to support their watershed projects. The funded projects from SST are:
    • Dr. Karina Nielsen (Biology) and Dr. Debora Hammond (Hutchins) - Copeland Creek Water Quality Monitoring
    • Dr. Mark Perri (Chemistry) - Pesticide Detection in the Copeland Creek
    • Dr. Fran Keller (Biology) - Restoration of Insect Biodiversity in Santa Rosa
    • Dr. Bulent Sokmen (Kinesiology) - Effects of Self-Paced Restoration Work on Oral Glucose Tolerance and Metabolic Demand
    • Dr. Farid Farahmand (Engineering) - On-line Meteorological Sensor Network at the Fairfield Osborn Preserve
    • Dr. Mike Cohen (Biology) - Development of Microbial Specific Genetic Markers to Track Sources of Fecal Pollution
  • I3 Program Funds Learning by Making with $3 Million Grant
    Professor Lynn Cominsky and Early Academic Outreach Director Susan Wandling have joined forces to win a $3 million grant from the U.S. Depart of Education. "Learning by Making: STEM Success for Mendocino County" aims to teach Mendocino high school students how to construct and design their own hands-on science and engineering experiments that involve making scientific measurements pertinent to the future of our planet and economy. The ultimate goal of the project is to increase the number of CSU and UC qualified students in Mendocino County while also ensuring their success in STEM.
    This project is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and is part of the nation's Investing In Innovation (I3) program, designed to support creative curricular programs that will improve student achievement and increase college enrollment. SSU earned one of 18 grants available nationwide. Learning by Making beat out 600 other proposed programs.
  • SSU Nursing Department Receives 2014 Funding
    Nursing's Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program has been awarded two Song-Brown awards - $185,000 FNP Base and $145,000 FNP Special Program funding. Both awards support efforts to expand the capacity of registered nurse education programs within the state of California.
  • First Meeting of the Engineering Industry Advisory Board
    The Engineering Industry Advisory Board met for the first time in late January. The Board is a panel made up of local tech professionals and science and engineering faculty from SSU. The goal of the board is two-fold: strengthen ties between industry and the engineering program and its students, and enhance continued education at the graduate level for tech professionals employed locally. Read the Press Democrat's article for more information, as well as SSU's News Center feature.
  • Tiny T-LogoCube Launched into Outer Space
    T-LogoCube, designed and built in part by SSU students, was launched into orbit on November 21. The tiny satellite, measuring only 5-by-5-by-15 centimeters, consists of a radio and a sensor that reads the earth's magnetic field. Students can communicate with the satellite twice a day via radio to tell to pivot, spin, and perform other maneuvers by using wire coils that react to the magnetic field and push the satellite around in orbit. This makes it quite probably the only satellite in orbit that can be reprogrammed in flight. The satellite is the product of a collaboration between SSU students, headed by Kevin Zack under the guidance of Dr. Lynn Cominsky and Garrett Jernigan, and students of Professor Bob Twiggs at Morehouse State University in Kentucky. Read the article in Press Democrat.
  • 2013-14 Provost Undergraduate Research Awards
    Sixteen SST faculty received $1,000 awards to support student research:
    • Nathan Rank, Biology, "Insect Diversity and Herbivores Loads on California Bay Laurel"
    • Michael Cohen, Biology, "Nutrient Mining by Plant-degrading Bacteria"
    • Karina Nielsen, Biology, "Elemental Analysis of Coralline Algae: variation in CA:Mg ratios in the intertidal zone"
    • Derek Girman, Biology, "Phenology and Microgeography of Herpetofauna in Response to Climate Effects"
    • Jenn Lillig, Chemistry, "Investigation of Key Molecular Features in the Targeting of Toxicity of Anti-Listerial Proteins"
    • Steven Farmer, Chemistry, "Investigation of Fluorescent Molecules from Gymnopilus Croceoluteus"
    • Mark Perri, Chemistry, "Pesticide Analysis of Local Water and Flora"
    • Carmen Works, Chemistry, "Isolation and Characterization of a Novel 15.6 kDa Protein isolated from Bovine Liver"
    • Haider Khaleel, Engineering Science, "Development of Optically Transparent Antenna for Flexible Self-Powered Wireless Systems"
    • Farid Farahmand, Engineering Science, "Water Monitoring Network Development at the Fairfield Osborn Preserve"
    • Farid Farahmand, Engineering Science, "Sensor Network Development at the Fairfield Osborn Preserve"
    • Lauren Morimoto, Kinesiology, "The Impact of Backward Walking on Hamstring Flexibility"
    • Lynn Cominsky, Physics & Astronomy, "CubeSat Project at SSU"
    • Thomas Targett, Physics & Astronomy, "The Size-Mass Relation of Galaxies at 3<z>4"
    • Hongtao Shi, Physics & Astronomy, "Proposal to Build and Test an Optical System for Applications in Medical Physics and Astronomy"
    • Hongtao Shi, Physics & Astronomy, "Modular Sensor Array Platform: Environmental Monitoring System for Scientific Applications"
  • SST faculty awarded GMC Academic Integration Grants
    The Green Music Center Board of Advisors and University Affairs Committee funded four 2013-14 academic integration proposals from the School of Science & Technology.
    1. Chemistry faculty, Drs. Fukuto, Lares, Lillig and Works, received $10,000 to offer two notable events: (1) a Nobel Laureate lecture and (2) a Chemistry of Wine lecture. Both events will have broad reaching interest. Students, faculty, staff and the community will be invited.
    2. "SSU Works", a cross-disciplinary project in sustainability, was awarded $10,000. Dr. Claudia Luke, Director of the SSU Preserves is collaborating with Paul Draper in Arts & Humanities to put on a Sustainability Expo along with other related events, performances, and programs.
    3. Drs. Cominsky, Khaleel and Ravikumar, from the Departments of Physics & Astronomy, Engineering, and Computer Science respectively, received $13,000 for their proposal "Integration of Music and Audio Principles within Engineering Science, Physics, and Computer Science Course".
    4. The proposal "Precision Measurements of Concert Hall and Classroom Acoustics", from Drs. Cominsky and Jones in Physics & Astronomy, will bring $18,450 of advanced acoustics equipment to enhance student learning in the Physics of Music course.
  • FNP Students Awarded Scholarships by the Healthcare Foundation Northern Sonoma County
    Two Family Nurse Practitioner students have been awarded scholarships by the Healthcare Foundation Northern Sonoma County. Typically only one award is given, but the foundation was so impressed with the SSU applicants that it awarded a $10K scholarship to Melanie Valesi, and a $5K scholarship to the runner-up, Carolina Dehesa Rosillo. Congratulations, Melanie and Carolina!
  • Local 3rd Graders hosted by SSU Chemistry
    The Chemistry Department hosted 100 third grade students from McNear Elementary School in Petaluma on Thursday, October 24. The youngsters delighted in learning about chemistry (especially the explosive demonstrations!) and life on a college campus.
  • Dr. Matty Mookerjee Awarded $299,329 in Funding for EC3
    Matty Mookerjee, Geology, was awarded $299,329 in funding for EC3 - Earth-Centered Communication for Cyberinfrastructure: Challenges of field data collection, management, and integration. The project helps facilitate the over-arching goals of the EarthCube project, which seeks to transform how research is conducted through the development of community-guided cyberinfrastructure and to integrate information and data across the geosciences. This NSF funded grant supports the assembly of a Research Coordination Network (RCN) that fosters the collaborations between Earth Scientists and Computer Scientists and Cognitive Psychologists.
  • Dr. Michael E. Smith Awarded $86,000 in Funding
    Professor Michael E. Smith of the Geology department was awarded $86 K in funding over 3 years from the National Science Foundation to pursue a research project, "Paleographic record of contractional to extensional tectonics in the Cordilleran hinterland, Nevada", that seeks to investigate the surface record of the processes that formed collapsed an Andes-like orogenic plateau and system of high altitude lakes in the location of present day Nevada. The project will directly involve several undergraduate researchers, and is a collaborative effort involving lead scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Texas-Austin.
  • SSU Nursing Students Making a Difference
    The exceptional work of SSU student nurses in Dr. Michelle Kelly's Community and Public Health course was featured by KRCB in May 2013. Hear about the pilot program assisting patients as they transition from hospital to home.
  • Steve Anderson, Physics & Astronomy, Wins Staff Excellence Award
    Steve Anderson is one of two winners of SSU's annual Staff Excellence Award. Steve stated in his application to SSU 32 years ago that "he would never leave and he would never get bored." And that he hasn't! This award recognizes his hard work, dedication, knowledge, and outstanding contributions to the faculty, students, department, school and university. Our most heartfelt congratulations, Steve!
  • 2013 CSUPERB Presidents' Commission Scholar Award goes to Chemistry student
    Chemistry major Jaimey Homen has been awarded $8,000 for her summer research project titled, "Quantum Yield Determination of an Iron PhotoCORM for Therapeutic Delivery of CO".
  • Agilent Scholars Named
    The Engineering Science Department has named Chio Saephan, Joshua Disbrow and Hamidou Drammeh as the recipients of the 2012-2013 Agilent Scholarship. The scholars will conduct research over the summer with ES faculty and Agilent engineers and will receive a $2000 stipend. They also get to carry the title of Agilent Scholar.
  • CSUPERB Grants Awarded to SST Faculty
    The CSU Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB) has awarded the following grants to our faculty:
    • Carmen Works and Jon Fukuto's (Chemistry) proposal, titled "Thinking Like a Scientist: A Freshman Year Experience for Chemistry and Biochemistry Majors at Sonoma State University", to the CSUPERB Programmatic Grant program was awarded $13,479. In this grant round CSUPERB received 5 applications from 4 different campuses; this is the only Programmatic Grant Award made this round.
    • Nathan Rank (Biology) was awarded $25,000 for his proposal, titled "Evolutionary significance of variation at metabolic enzyme proteins", to the Entrepreneurial Joint Venture (JV) Matching Grant program.
    • Joe Lin (Biology) was awarded $15,000 for his proposal, titled "Elucidating the Role of Peroxiredoxin 1 in B Cell Signal Transduction", to the CSUPERB New Investigator (NI) Grant program.
  • PATW Competition Held at SSU
    Dr. Haider Khaleel, Engineering Science, organized a Present Around the World (PATW) competition which was held April 19, 2013 at SSU. The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) sponsors the PATW competition worldwide to encourage and recognize young and talented engineering students and professionals. The competition also aims to develop and improve students’ and young professionals' presentation skills while providing an environment in which they can network, learn about the latest advancements in engineering and technology, and gain access to new ideas.
    The competition was judged by Drs. Haider Khaleel, Meng-Chih Su, and Salam Marougi. Two SSU Engineering Science majors won the competition. Scott Parmley won first place with his presentation entitled "Raspberry Pi Garden", and will go on to Toronto to participate in the regional finals. The trip is fully funded by IET. Parmley also received a cash prize of $250. Michael Chastain won second place for his presentation, "The Wattcher", and received a cash prize of $150. Both were awarded a year’s membership in IET.
  • Three SST Faculty Proposals Funded by GMC Academic Integration Project
    $100,000 that has been generated by GMC ticket sales and donor funds has been allocated for 2013 to fund projects that will develop and showcase interaction between academic programs ant he Green Music Center. The aim is to utilize the GMC in innovative ways - not just as a lecture theatre. Three projects from SST faculty were chosen to receive funding:
    1. Drs. Jack Ou and Farid Farahmand, Engineering Science, "Music, the Digital Way": This proposal seeks to develop two sets of hands-on activities that will enhance students’ understanding of Digital Signal Procession through music and concert hall acoustics.
    2. Drs. Jack Ou and Farid Farahmand, Engineering Science, and Ms. Kristen Daley and Mr. Tony Bish, Theatre Arts, "Preserves Soundscape Project": Engages biology, engineering, and performing arts students and faculty to interpret soundscapes of the SSU's Preserves through performances in the world-class acoustic environments of the Green Music Center.
    3. Dr. Brigitte Lahme, Mathematics, and Dr. Jeremy Qualls, Physics & Astronomy, "Academic Integration STEM Symposium": This proposal seeks to host a transformative experience for SSU students in the form of a culminating symposium to highlight SSU's commitment to STEM education and the successful Waterworks cross-campus theme.
  • Professor Lynn Cominsky Honored by the County of Sonoma Commission on the Status of Women
    The County of Sonoma Commission on the Status of Women has selected Lynn Cominsky as one of three recipients of their Women's History Month Award for 2013. The award is given to women who have made a positive difference in wome's quality of life in Sonoma County. Dr. Cominsky, along with her fellow recipients, will be honored at a luncheon on March 24, 2013.
  • Athletes at Santa Rosa High Schools to be Supervised by Kinesiology Grad Students
    In an effort to better evaluate head trauma suffered by student athletes at Santa Rosa high schools, the city is implementing a program where SSU Kinesiology graduate students will work directly with one of the five high schools as a certified athletic trainer. Armed with bachelor's degrees in athletic training and certificates that qualify them to work games, these students will be able to provide baseline cognitive testing that will better diagnose head injuries, thus enabling more efficient treatment and lessen any permanent damage. Visit The Press Democrat's website for more information on the city's decision and the program to be implemented next year.
  • Society of Physics Students Chapter Wins a 2012-2013 Marsh White Award
    SSU's chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) is a recipient of the 2012-2013 Marsh White Award. The Marsh White Award is an annual award of up to $300 given to select SPS Chapters who have submitted proposals for an educational outreach activity for youth. Commendable proposals are chosen by a panel of judges to receive funding. SSU’s chapter of the SPS includes: Jude Rowe, Jack Horowitz, Jessica Campion and Brandon Baker. They are advised by Dr. Hongtao Shi.
  • Emeritus Geology Professor and His Healdsburgites
    Rolfe Erickson, Emeritus Geology Professor, announced this month at the American Geophysical Union symposium that the rocks found in the asteroid field in Healdsburg’s Dry Creek Valley are not only 2.8 million years old, but they are indeed tektites - a rare rock that forms when a meteor almost a mile in width hits the Earth with enough force to melt its crust. Erickson and his co-authors (Stephen Norwick and Caitlyn Byrd of SSU, and Alan Deino of the Berkeley Geochronology Center) say these "healdsburgites" point to an asteroid impact whose exact size and location is yet to be determined, but could very well be the largest asteroid field in Western North America. For more detail on healdsburgites, visit the AGU's Fall Meeting website. Erickson and the healdsburgites are also featured on SSU's NewsCenter and in the Press Democrat.
  • Graduate Students Receive COAST Student Awards for Marine Science Research
    Jeffrey Sharick and Derek Somo from Dr. Dan Crocker's lab were both awarded the highly competitive COAST 2012-2013 Student Award for Marine Science Research. Only 25 of the 98 applications were successful in receiving awards. Titles of each student’s research project are available on the COAST website. Congratulations, Derek and Jeffrey!
  • Dr. Ben Ford Selected for Scholarship Award
    Ben Ford of the Math Department has been awarded the Bernie and Estelle Goldstein Award for Excellence in Scholarship. Each academic year, two members of Sonoma State's faculty are selected who show a strong commitment to the teacher-scholar model. Dr. Ford has an impressive and lengthy list of scholarly achievements and is highly regarded by his peers and the campus.
  • Agilent Technologies Donates Equipment to Engineering Department
    Agilent Technologies has donated test and measurement equipment valuing at over $220,000 to the Engineering Department. Agilent's sizable donation will help develop one of the most advanced measurement labs in the CSU system. Thanks, Agilent, for your continued support!
  • Dr. Lynn Cominsky Named AAAS Fellow
    Professor Lynn Cominsky, chair of the Physics and Astronomy Department and director of SSU's NASA E/PO program, has been named as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). AAAS fellows are elected by their peers in honor of their "scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications". Lynn Cominsky has received this fellowship in recognition of her outreach work in X-ray and gamma-ray astronomy and for being an inspiration to undergraduates.
  • Dr. Wendy Smith Awarded $170,000 in Song-Brown Funding
    Wendy Smith, Director of the Nursing Department's Family Nurse Practitioner Program, has been awarded $170,000 in funding by the state of California’s Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development’s Song-Brown Program. The Song-Brown Program "encourages universities and primary care health professionals to provide healthcare in medically underserved areas, and provides financial support to family practice residency, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, and registered nurse (RN) education programs throughout California."
  • Jean Bee Chan Recognized by MAA
    Dr. Jean Bee Chan, professor of mathematics, has won a Certificate of Meritorious Service from the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). The award is given to individuals who have made significant contributions to the MAA at the section and national levels. Jean, along with her husband Peter Stanek, won for the Gold (Northern California) Section.
  • Dr. Cushman Appointed Chief Editor of AoB PLANTS
    Dr. Hall Cushman of the Biology Department has been appointed Chief Editor of AoB Plants, an international journal published by Oxford University Press. AoB Plants publishes peer-reviewed articles that focus on all aspects of basic and applied plant biology.
  • Engineering Students Collaborate with Saturday Sidekicks
    Every semester since the fall of 2009, students in Dr. Farid Farahmand's Introduction to Engineering 110 class are given the task of developing ways of making playground activities accessible to children of all abilities. Students in the course are asked to attend Saturday Sidekicks throughout the semester to work with the children for whom they will be designing an electro-mechanical ball throwing machine. At the end of the semester, the engineering students unveil a working prototype of their machine. Dr. Farahmand has worked with Professor Elaine McHugh to develop the project over the years and as it has evolved, project constraints have relaxed and students' creativity has blossomed. You can also view a video of the prototypes in use on Dr. Farahmand's blog.
  • Third-Graders Celebrate National Chemistry Week at SSU with Chemistry Club
    The Chemistry Club was host to the third grade class of Novato’s Lu Sutton Elementary School this Thursday, October 25, to celebrate National Chemistry Week. The Chem Club put together eight hands-on experiments for the children, all aimed at teaching core concepts like the states of matter and the effects of temperature change and other factors on substances. The overarching goal, of course, was to excite the kids about science!
  • "STEMpowering the Future" Funded by Agilent
    Santa Rosa Junior College and the School of Science at Technology have been awarded funding by Agilent for "STEMpowering the Future". This project-based leadership venture supports collaborations with STEM transfer students at SRJC and SST students with Agilent industry professionals and university faculty to design, organize and facilitate two Sonoma County STEM enrichment events: STEMpowering Your Future conference for students in grades 6-12, and STEM Research Academy and Research Poster Symposium for junior college and university students. Thank you, Agilent, for making this possible and for paving the way to success for Sonoma County STEM students!
  • Dr. Tom Buckley Receives WATERS Collaborative Award
    Tom Buckley, Biology, has received $3,000 in funding from the WATERS Collaborative for his proposal "Leaf Physiology Spot Measurement Instrument", where students will use purchased sensor components to construct instruments that measure leaf physiology in riparian vegetation. The WATERS Collaborative makes funds available in both the fall and spring semesters to support faculty that are interested in engaging their students in service-learning projects surrounding watershed management issues.
  • Forty-Four Western Pond Turtles Released into the Wild
    Five years ago, Dr. Nick Geist and his lab of grad students began a collaborative project rearing western pond turtles with zoo keepers at the San Francisco and Oakland zoos. Once abundant along most of the western coast of the North American continent, the western pond turtle's numbers have steeply declined over the last few decades. They are now recognized as vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of nature.
    For the majority of the study, eggs that were carefully collected in the field were incubated, hatched and reared by herpetologists at the zoos. This year, however, the eggs were incubated in the field, which allowed for the collection of data on environmental conditions that could affect the hatchlings specifically their gender. These hatchlings were then brought back to the zoos to be hand reared by zoo keepers trained in herpetology. By raising hatchlings in captivity, the young turtles are able to grow faster, which in turn allows for the selection of larger juveniles to be released into the wild. A larger size is a deterrent for predators, therefore increasing the survival rate of the young turtles.
    This August, forty-four of the western pond turtles raised in this collaborative "headstart" program were released into the wild. The event was featured on National Geographic's "News Watch" and the SF Chronicle.
  • Geology Major Receives Outstanding Student Award from the Association of Women Geoscientists
    Jamie Bywater has been selected by SSU's Department of Geology as their 2012 Outstanding Woman Student. Each spring, the Bay Area Chapter of the Association for Women Geoscientists recognizes exceptional women undergraduate students from nine Bay Area universities. Each university is asked to select their most outstanding soon-to-be graduate studying earth sciences. Jamie Bywater, along wither her fellow nominees, will be recognized at a banquet held in their honor.
  • Woodard Scholarship Recipients Announced
    The Department of Geology has awarded three scholarships from the Geoffrey Davidson Woodard Fund. The scholarships are to be used towards the cost of attending a summer field course and are awarded based on a student's GPA and course performance. The recipients are: Rebekah Cesmat, who will be attending the Boise State University field camp in Sardinia, Italy; Tracie Riedel, who will be attending the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology field camp in the southern Colorado Plateau and Rocky Mountains area; and Ian Penn, who will be attending the University of Missouri field camp in the Wind River Range in Wyoming. Congratulations!
  • Dr. Lynn Cominsky Named Woman Physicist of the Month
    Dr. Lynn Cominsky, Professor and Chair of the Physics and Astronomy Department and Director of the Education and Public Outreach program, has been named September's Woman Physicist of the Month by the American Physical Society (APS). Each month, APS's Committee on the Status of Women in Physics highlights one exceptional female physicist who has positively impacted others. This award was given to recognize Dr. Cominsky's extensive accomplishments in research, education and public outreach, committee work, and teaching. Please visit American Physical Society to see the full article on Dr. Cominsky.
  • SHIP Student to Speak at Sonoma County Fair!
    Waleed Atallah, who worked with Dr. Ali Kujoory of the Engineering Science Department this summer as part of the Summer High School Internship Program (SHIP), will be speaking at the Sonoma County Fair. Fair organizers invited Waleed to speak at their "Greentivities" venue after learning about his summer project on solar-to-electrical energy system design. He will give his talk, "Solar Power Primer," on Tuesday, July 31 at 2 pm.
  • Students Receive CSU Funding
    The CSU Council on Ocean Affairs, Science and Technology (COAST) awarded funding to several SSU students in 2011-12:
    • Three $500 travel awards were given to support Biology graduate students.
    • Three $2500 internships were awarded to support students during the 2012 summer: two at Bodega Marine Laboratory with a leading California Department of Fish and Game abalone researcher, and one at PRBO Conservation Science.
    • One $1500 award was given to support an undergraduate in marine science research.
  • WATERS Collaborative Funded by the County of Sonoma
    Dr. Claudia Luke has been awarded $48,157.00 by the County of Sonoma for her WATERS (Watershed Academics to Enhance Regional Sustainability) Collaborative. WATERS is a collaboration between SSU and the Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA) with the primary goals of: creating a trained and local workforce of SSU graduates with knowledge, expertise and interest in water management issues; increasing and broadening SSU students, faculty, and staff contributions to SCWA projects and programs; enhancing public awareness and understanding of water management issues; and establishing an administrative structure an SSU-SCWA partnership that can effectively and flexibly meet the goals of the collaboration. The pilot project of the collaborative will center on water management issues of the Copeland Creek Watershed.
  • Sonoma State University's Research Academy
    Seventeen SRJC students participated in SSU's Research Academy, an eight-day intensive research program. Designed by Drs. Jennifer Whiles Lillig and Carmen Works, the program aims to introduce SRJC MESA all aspects of scientific research. Students will present their projects from 10-11 a.m. on Thursday, June 7, in Darwin Hall. To read more, please follow this link:
  • Computer Science Secures DOE Funding
    Computer Science professors Dr. Suzanne Rivoire and Dr. Ali Kooshesh have been awarded $26,433 by the Department of Energy to support undergraduate student research in collaboration with the Oak Ridge National Lab. The students' research will improve the energy efficiency of large-scale supercomputing centers.
  • Agilent Technologies/BEST Fund Scholarships in Engineering
    Through the generous support of Agilent Technologies and in partnership with the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce's Building Economic Success Together (BEST) program and Santa Rosa Junior College, several SSU students majoring in Electrical Engineering (EE) will be awarded scholarships for 2012-13. Three $2000 scholarships will go to freshmen majoring in EE and two other $1000 awards will go to SRJC transfer students entering the EE program at SSU. Scholarships will go to highly qualified students with distinguished records of academic performance. Scholarships recipients will also be paired with Agilent mentors in developing their understanding of the EE career and profession. Agilent Technologies is committed to help strengthen engineering education in Sonoma County through targeted funding in BEST's initiative to build a world-class workforce.
  • Nursing Receives Funding for FNP
    Dr. Wendy Smith has received $169,959 in Song-Brown Funding for 2012-13 to support the Family Nurse Practitioner program.
  • Chemistry Professor Awarded NIH Funding
    Jon Fukuto has received a $356,987 grant from the Department of Health and Human Services, for his project titled "BioChem & Pharmacology of HNO". The project will run 2012-2015.
  • CSUPERB Grants to SST Faculty in 2012
    Two SST faculty received recent CSUPERB grants. CSUPERB (CSU Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology) is a systemwide program supporting advancement in biotechnology across the CSU. Dr. Farid Farahmand, Engineering Science was awarded a $25,000 CSUPERB Entrepreneurial Joint Venture Matching Grant for his proposal titled "Developing a High-precision Movement Monitoring System for Patients Undergoing Radiation Therapy Treatments", from CSUPERB. Dr. Michael Cohen received a $15,000 CSUPERB Research Development (RD) Grant for his project, "Generation and activity of nitro-isoprenes in plants under heat stress".
  • Woodard Scholarship Recipients Announced
    The Department of Geology has awarded three scholarships from the Geoffrey Davidson Woodard Fund. The scholarships are to be used towards the cost of attending a summer field course and are awarded based on a student's GPA and course performance. The recipients are: Rebekah Cesmat, who will be attending the Boise State University field camp in Sardinia, Italy; Tracie Riedel, who will be attending the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology field camp in the southern Colorado Plateau and Rocky Mountains area; and Ian Penn, who will be attending the University of Missouri field camp in the Wind River Range in Wyoming. Congratulations!
  • Geology Major Receives Outstanding Student Award from the Association of Women Geoscientists
    Jamie Bywater has been selected by SSU's Department of Geology as their 2012 Outstanding Woman Student. Each spring, the Bay Area Chapter of the Association for Women Geoscientists recognizes exceptional women undergraduate students from nine Bay Area universities. Each university is asked to select their most outstanding soon-to-be graduate studying earth sciences. Jamie Bywater, along wither her fellow nominees, will be recognized at a banquet held in their honor.
  • Student Research Funded in Aerospace-related Fields
    Lynn Cominsky, NASA E/PO and Physics & Astronomy, has received a second year of funding from the NASA Spacegrant: Improving the STEM Pipeline program. The new award is for $10,000 and will support student research experiences in aerospace related fields in addition to other student support services in STEM.
  • Award goes to Chemistry Student
    Chemistry student, Matt Applesmith, was awarded a CSUPERB Presidents' Commission Scholar Award for his project "Acquisition of NMR Structural Data for Membrane-Associated Antimicrobial Peptides: A Summer Research Immersion in Protein NMR."
  • Nursing Club Gives Back to the Community
    The SSU Nursing Club engages in a number of community volunteer activities during the year. In February they spearheaded a drive to collect a supplies for the National Association on Mental Illness (NAMI) Sonoma County including bus passes, food, toiletries and clothing. In March students volunteered at Catholic Charities preparing meals. They also helped bag produce at the Empire Redwood Food Bank for distribution throughout Sonoma County. As noted on the club's webpage, "We have a great time putting our books & stethoscopes down and serving the community in a new way!"

    Nursing Club gives back to the community.
    Nursing Club gives back to the community.
  • ES Project Helps Child With Cerebral Palsy Play Ball
    Students in Professor Farid Farahmand's ES 110 class were asked to design a machine that could propel a ball using a push-button switch. As a result, Jazlyn LeClair, a child with Cerebral Palsy, is able to use the devise to play a game of kick ball with her peers. For more information about this project visit
  • Biology Professor Receives Grant
    Professor Thomas Buckley has received an NSF grant for $141,078 for his proposal "Mechanisms for the decline of leaf hydraulic conductance with dehydration, and plant and environment level impacts." Professor Buckley's contribution will involve cell pressure probing and modeling. The grant includes funds to hire a Master's student, undergraduate research assistants, and pressure probe-related equipment.
  • NSF EAR/IR Award to Geology
    Dr. Matty Mookerjee has been awarded $122,163 for his proposal "Acquisition of Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD) detector and sample preparation equipment." The EBSD will enhance the use of the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM).
  • CS Colloquium Speaker, Jacob Appelbaum, Gives Intriguing Talk
    There was standing room only for Jacob Appelbaum's talk "Anonymity, Privacy, Security, Internet Surveillance, and Censorship" on November 17th. Appelbaum, who is an independent computer security researcher and hacker employed by the University of Washington, discussed the recent Arab Spring uprisings, the NSA wiretapping of American citizens, and practical techniques and technologies for circumvention of networked authoritarianism. Representatives from PBS, the New York Times, the Press Democrat and Wired were in attendance.
  • Professor Matt James Elected Governing Member of Charles Darwin Foundation for Galapagos Islands
    Matt James has been elected a Governing Member of the General Assembly of the Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands (CDF), an international group of scientists, conservationists, and policy makers that provides scientific research and technical information and financial assistance to ensure the proper preservation of the Galapagos Islands.
  • Safe Sleep Practices for Infants Promoted by Nursing Students
    A group of 23 nursing students have spent the past year working on a "floor talker" campaign, in partnership with the Sonoma County Public Health Department, in an effort to promote safer infant sleep environments in Sonoma County. The floor talker campaign consists of large plastic decals, written in English and Spanish, to educate parents and caregivers on how to reduce the risk of suffocation and SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). These decals are in 48 retail stores and agencies in southwest Santa Rosa.
  • SSU NASA EPO Group Receives NSPIRES Funding
    NASA's Education & Public Outreach for Earth & Space Science (EPOESS) Program has awarded funding to the SSU NASA EPO group for their proposal S4: Small Satellites for Secondary Students. SSU NASA EPO Director, Dr. Lynn Cominsky, led the successful effort to obtain funding for the proposal totaling nearly $550K over 3 years.
  • Biology Grad Student Investigates Toxic Bay Area Algal Bloom
    Biology master's student, Adele Paquin, in collaboration with her advisor, Dr. Karina Nielsen, is studying a recent algal bloom along the northern California coast that caused a wave of death among abalone and other sea creatures. Her work is reported on in the SSU Newscenter and the Point Reyes Lightpublication.
  • CS Department Launches SSU Mobile App for iPhone
    A team of students and faculty from the Computer Science Department have created an iPhone app with features including campus maps, directories, calendars, news, KSUN radio and student email access. Find it in the iTunes store.
  • SST Student's Art Showcased in Dean's Office
    Leslie Prince, computer science and art studio double major, has created three wonderful paintings encompassing the nine departments in SST. Her work is on display in Darwin 115.
  • 100% Nursing DEMSN Graduates Pass National Exam
    The 2011 Direct Entry Masters of Science in Nursing (DEMSN) class had a 100% pass rate on the national Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) Certification Exam. This is a significant achievement and showcases the high-caliber of our Nursing Department. See the CNL Wall of Fame posting on the American Association of Colleges of Nursing website.
  • 2011 Santa Rosa Excellence in Education Award to Biology Professor
    Dr. Karina Nielsen has received the 2011 Santa Rosa Excellence in Education Award for 4-year universities. The award honors outstanding educators in all education levels who have been nominated for their contributions toward the education of our youth and their commitment to education. Dr. Nielsen teaches courses across the biology curriculum including engaging general education courses, advanced topics courses for graduate students, large lectures, small seminars, and laboratory-based and field-intensive experiences. Her research endeavors explore the "Science of the Salty, the Slimy & the Spineless in the Sea" and seek to better understand the fragile environment of the western coastline.
  • NSF Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Award to Chemistry
    Chemistry's proposal "MRI:The Acquisition of a 400 MHz NMR Spectrometer" was recently awarded $308,454. The funding will bring a high-power nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer to SST and allow the enhanced study of the physical and chemical properties of molecules.
  • NSF Collaborative Research Project Receives Funding
    Dr. Karina Nielsen has been awarded $370,000 for her contributions tothe collaborative project: "The role of calcifying algae as a determinant of rocky intertidal macrophyte community structure at a meta-ecosystem scale." Total funding for the project is $1,119,999 .
  • NSF Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) Award
    Chemistry Professor, Carmen Works, has been awarded $129,754 over three years for her proposal "RUI: Photochemical and Kinetic Studies of Iron-Only Hydrogenase Model Compounds."
  • SSU Alum Featured in National Geographic
    Sarah Ann Thompson, MS in Biology, is featured in a story on tide pools in the June issue of National Geographic magazine. Sarah completed her graduate work in marine community ecology under the guidance of Dr. Karina Nielsen and is currently a staff scientist at the Farallon Institute for Advanced Ecosystem Research.
  • Chemistry Students Admitted to PhD Programs
    Five soon-to-be chemistry graduates have been accepted to doctoral programs in chemistry, biochemistry, or chemical biology. Congratulations to Jenna Bernard (UC Berkeley), Samantha Carrington (UC Santa Cruz), Tyler Chavez (Johns Hopkins), Chris Bianco (Johns Hopkins) and Frankie Gonzales (UC San Diego).
  • Five Graduate Students Receive COAST Awards
    The CSU Council on Ocean Affairs, Science and Technology awarded five Biology graduate students funds to support their ongoing coastal and marine research. Summer 2011 COAST Student Awards for Marine Science Research were awarded to Joshua Cutler, Adele Paquin, Jill Stokes, Michael Tift, and Preston Malm.
  • CSUPERB Awards to SST Faculty
    Three SST faculty have been awarded funding from CSUPERB. CSUPERB (CSU Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology) is a systemwide program supporting advancement in biotechnology across the CSU.
    Dr. Jenn Lillig, Chemistry
    CSUPERB ResearchDevelopment (RD) Grant
    Proposal: "Mutagenesis and Modeling Studies of the Antimicrobial Peptide Carnobacteriocin B2"
    Funding amount: $14,992.
    Dr. Jon Fukuto, Chemistry
    CSUPERB Entrepreneurial Joint Venture (JV) Matching Grant
    Proposal: "Studies on the Biosynthesis of HNO"
    Funding amount: $10,000.
    Dr. Joseph Lin, Biology
    CSUPERB New Investigator (NI) Grant
    Proposal: "Generation of Antibodies to Characterize the Alternative Adaptive Immune Response in the Sea Lamprey, Petromyzon marinus"
    Funding amount: $15,000 (contingent on campus IACUC approval)
  • SST Chemistry Professor Receives Excellence in Teaching Award
    Dr. Steven Farmer of the Chemistry Department has been awarded the SSU Excellence in Teaching Award for 2011-12.
  • Biology Graduate Student Awarded Prestigious Fellowship
    Master's student, Andy Kleinhesselink, has been awarded a three-year NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. This highly competitive and very prestigious award will support Andy's Ph.D. Studies at Utah State University.
  • SST Faculty Proposals Funded
    Dr. Hongtao Shi, Physics and Astronomy, and Dr. Michael Smith, Geology, have been awarded Summer 2011 Fellowships under the SSU Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity Program (RSCAP). Dr. Shi's proposal is titled "Structure and Optical Properties of Mn-doped ZnS" and Dr. Smith is studying the "Modern and Ancient Rivers of the Uinta Mountains."
  • SSU students present at the CSU Chancellor's Office
    On January 25, two SSU students, Adele Paquin and Michael Tift, and their faculty mentor, Dr. Karina Nielsen, attended the first CSU Council on Ocean Affairs, Science & Technology (COAST) Faculty-Student Research Poster Reception at the Chancellor's Office in Long Beach. Student researchers and their faculty mentors from 20 CSU campuses and the marine consortia participated, showcasing the excellence and relevance of marine and coastal research throughout the CSU. Mike and Adele's poster highlights their work.
  • Geology Professor Wins Award
    Dr. Matt James received the 2011 Karl Kortum Award for Maritime History for his work detailing the 1905-06 research expedition to the Galapagos Islands of a team from the California Academy of Sciences. The award is administered by the San Francisco Maritime Museum.
  • Dr. Wendy Smith of the Nursing Department
    received Song-Brown funding for the maximum $170,000 to support the Master's in Nursing Program for Family Nurse Practitioners. The Song-Brown program is a workforce development program funded through the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD).
  • Cryomagnetics 17 Tesla Superconducting Magnet System in SST
    Physics Professor Dr. Jeremy Qualls works with students to study the frontiers of science in new magnetics research lab.
  • Insectapalooza is Saturday, October 30, 9am-4pm @ Darwin Hall
    Come to campus for a fun look at the world of insects. Activities, games, lectures, tours, exhibits, food and more!
  • ES Student Receives Award
    Engineering Science majors, Brandy Harris, is the recipient of the William Randolph Hearst/CSU Trustees' Award for Outstanding Achievement
  • Stats Students Pass Actuarial Exam
    The Department of Math and Statistics is proud to announce the recent accomplishments of two of its students. This summer, August Blodow and Jill Schlichting both successfully passed the actuarial examination in probability. August Blodow earned a perfect score of 10 out of 10. They are now both currently preparing for the second examination in financial mathematics.

    The Department of Math and Statistics offers a variety of options for students interested in pursuing a career in actuarial science. These options include majoring in Applied Statistics or the newly created major, Bi-Disciplinary Mathematics. Either of these programs is designed to allow a student to also major in another discipline, such Economics or Business, without having to earn as many units as are typically required to complete a double major. The Department also plans to begin offering a Minor in Actuarial Science beginning in Fall 2011. Interested students should contact Dr. Scott Nickleach to find out more.
  • Biology Professor Turns Biomass into Biogas
    Dr. Michael Cohen and members of his research laboratory are partnering with the City of Santa Rosa on the Fuel from Aquatic Biomass (FAB) project.
  • MESA showcased in the STAR
    Dr. Izabela Kanaana is the new director of the SSU MESA program.