CHSS Connection

May 10, 2023


Seven Hills Conference Center was filled with CHSS faculty, students and staff at the first-ever CHSS Undergraduate Showcase on May 4. More than 80 students across nine CHSS departments presented 40 projects. At a lunch program preceding the poster session, Associate Dean John Elia welcomed the attendees, and Assistant Dean Valerie Francisco-Menchavez gave a keynote speech. This was followed by flash talks by students Humberto Buisan (Apparel Design & Merchandising); Ysobelle Flores, Monika Sabelja & Nhi Tran (Public Health); Nathan Burns (Sociology); and Eduardo Hernandez (Criminal Justice Studies). Showcase attendees celebrated the students’ accomplishments with cake and churros.

collage of students presenting posters

Congratulations to the 2023 CHSS Faculty Excellence Award Winners!

Sherria Taylor, Martin Dixon, Sonja Lenz-Rashid, Julie Chronister

SF State’s College of Health & Social Sciences will present its 2023 Faculty Excellence Awards at the College’s Fall Opening Meeting. These awards were established to underscore the College’s deep commitment to excellence in teaching, scholarship and service.

Excellence in Teaching Award (Tenured Faculty): 
Sherria Taylor, Associate Professor of Child & Adolescent Development

Excellence in Teaching Award (Lecturer Faculty):
Martin Dixon, Lecturer Faculty, Kinesiology

Excellence in Service Award:
Sonja Lenz-Rashid, Professor of Social Work

Excellence in Scholarship Award:
Julie Chronister, Professor of Counseling

Jennifer Daubenmier, Sister Angelica, Judy Daubenmier

Pictured: Jennifer Daubenmier (left) with Sister Angelica and Judy Daubenmier in 2014

Jennifer Daubenmier, associate professor of Holistic Health Studies, published a peer-reviewed paper in American Catholic Studies, “The Nun Hit by a Brick: Sister Angelica Schultz and the Struggle for Civil Rights in Chicago.” Daubenmier and her mother, Judy Daubenmier, Ph.D., provide a historical analysis and narrative of the life of Sister Angelica Schultz, OSF, a Catholic nun who marched in the Chicago open housing marches with Martin Luther King, Jr. in the summer of 1966. Sister Angelica was hit by a brick by white Catholics as she peacefully marched through the white neighborhoods with an interracial crowd and became a footnote in history as possibly the first clerical figure to be attacked by people of her own religion in the service of civil rights. She participated in at least three other marches within two weeks of being attacked. The article details Sister Angelica’s motivation to step into harm’s way, the backlash she received and how she used her relative power and status as a white Catholic nun in the struggle for social change. Jennifer Daubenmier is the great-niece of Sister Angelica.


Professor Erik Peper (Institute for Holistic Health Studies, Department of Recreation, Parks & Tourism) co-authored an article, "The Healing of Vulvodynia from the Client’s Perspective," with Pamela Jertberg in the Spring 2023 issue of Biofeedback. In the article, a client describes her personal journey of healing from vulvodynia with use of biofeedback techniques.

Over the past two months, Clare Sears, associate professor of Sociology and Sexuality Studies, has presented their historical research on anti-crossdressing laws and drag show bans at multiple events. On March 3, they delivered the keynote speech at the 2023 Women and Gender History Symposium at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champagne. On March 28, they presented at a Sociology and Sexuality Studies brownbag at SF State. On April 7, they gave the opening keynote talk at the Queer Your Mind conference at SF State. And on April 29, they spoke at Legalize Drag, a community drag show fundraiser at Club Oasis in San Francisco. Sears also published an article on the history of drag show bans in Jacobin magazine, and they were interviewed about this work by Berlin newspaper nd.DieWoche.

Jessica Wolin, lecturer in the Department of Public Health, will present on May 31 at the 2023 CSU Academic Resources Conference for staff of all CSU campuses. Wolin and colleagues from Cal Poly Humboldt and CSU Monterey Bay will lead the workshop, "Education with Dignity: Supporting Students’ Basic Needs on CSU campuses." They will discuss how all faculty and staff have a role to play in fostering a community of care on CSU campuses.

Holistic Health students Nicholas Heinz and Singing Chen had posters accepted for presentation at the 53rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, to be held May 31-June 3 in Orlando, Florida.

The posters to be presented are “Benefits of holistic health stress management classes Outcome Comparison between in-person and online classes” (authors Heinz, N., Peper, E., Harvey, R. & Almendras, M.) and “Improvement of health: Decrease in menstrual cramps” (authors Chen, S., Peper, E., Heinz, N, & Harvey, R.).

Collage of students inside and outside conference

Students and faculty from campuses across CSU met for the CSU Health Policy Conference, held April 10-12 in Sacramento. Students majoring in public health or related health sciences were joined by faculty to get a unique opportunity to see firsthand how public health policy is made and shaped. The conference included meetings with state legislators, administration officials, policy advocates and staff from the state Department of Public Health.

Students in adventure class gather round a fire in the Presidio

Associate Professor Aiko Yoshino took students from RPT 230: Growth Through Adventure on a three-day overnight camping adventure in the Presidio, which is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Students used critical lenses to observe non-traditional visitors’ experience from equity and inclusion standpoints, visited and learned the challenges experience by people on this land based on their intersectional identities, created and shared poems, and made connections of the primary outdoor adventure experience with the literature that they read in the course, such as “The Unlikely Thru-hiker: An Appalachian Trail Journey,” by Derick Lugo.

People in lounge at naming ceremony and portraits of Briana Fernandez Diaz

The Department of Sociology & Sexuality Studies held a ceremony on May 1 to name its new undergraduate student lounge in HSS 375 in memory of student Briana Fernandez Diaz, who died in September 2022. Members of her family were present for the dedication.

“We are honored to have worked with Briana and witness her passion. The Department of Sociology and Sexuality Studies, San Francisco State University and San Francisco more broadly have lost a smart, bright and gentle light. We dedicate this student lounge in her name and in her legacy in hopes that the conversations, ideas and projects of the next generation of students in this space continue the bright light that Briana shone in her short time here.”

—Department of Sociology & Sexuality Studies

Anastasia Garcia, a student in ENG 695: Internship in Professional Writing and Rhetoric, completed an internship working with CHSS Director of Communications Michael Broder. Her assignment was to write a series of five stories on the theme of student success. For this work, she interviewed CHSS faculty, students and advisors, and wrote on the topics of student organizations, advising, changing majors, learning problem-solving skills and developing relationships with professors. The stories were published individually on the CHSS website as they were written. They are now published together as a resource for students with the heading “Student pathways to success.”

SF State Transforms newsletter banner

SF State Transforms, a campus National Science Foundation ADVANCE grant, has released a Spring 2023 project newsletter highlighting faculty and the project’s equity-focused efforts to transform campus. SF State Transforms aims to increase the participation and advancement of women in academic STEM careers, with a focus on TT faculty positions and advancement.

This newsletter (the project’s fifth) celebrates the accomplishments of Valerie Francisco–Menchavez, CHSS assistant dean for restorative and transformative racial justice; announces this year’s PERC Portal Launch; and highlights Transforms programs, partnerships and other campus equity efforts. Please reach out to for more information.

Current Events

Runway: Kinetic (fashion show)
Thursday, May 11, 7 p.m., Annex

CHSS RTP Workshops for Tenure-Track Faculty
Thursday, May 11,  2:30-4 p.m.; Friday, May 19, 10-11:30 a.m. (See details below.)

Commencement 2023
Friday, May 26, Oracle Park, San Francisco

Save the date: CHSS Writing Retreat
Friday, June 2, 9 am.-4 p.m., Romberg Tiburon Campus (Details to follow.)

CHSS will be hosting workshops to answer questions about the RTP process in preparation for Fall eWPAF submissions on Thursday, May 11 from 2:30-4 p.m. and Friday, May 19 from 10-11:30 a.m. These workshops are for candidates up for comprehensive review, tenure and/or promotion and also RTP committee members and chairs that might need a refresher. In addition to the workshops, I am also available for individual RTP consultations any time.

Please email Kate Hamel at to RSVP for the workshop of your choice or set up a time for an individual appointment.

Photo Galleries

“Coffee and Conversation” RSCA Breakfast

collage of presenters and audience at Coffee and Conversation event

The first “Coffee and Conversation” Research, Scholarship and Creative Activities (RSCA) Breakfast was held April 27. The event featured lightning talks by Assistant Professor of Child & Adolescent Development Rachel Flynn, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology Andy Yao, Assistant Professor of Public Health Supriya Misra and Assistant Professor of Counseling Cynthia Martinez.

Explore SF State Day

Collage of department tables on Quad at Explore SF State Day

CHSS departments were among the many that tabled on the Quad and talked with admitted students and their families at Explore SF State Day on April 22.

Submit an Item

The deadline to submit items for the May 24, 2023 issue of CHSS Connection is May 19. Send submissions to