williebrown.jpgThe Africana Lecture Series is offered weekly by the American multicultural studies (AMCS) department, featuring guest presentations and discussions that focus on historical and contemporary topics relating to people of African descent. This lecture series is in honor of Dr. LeVell Holmes and his contributions to the Sonoma State University community. All lectures are free and open to the public, and take place in Salazar 2022 on Tuesdays, noon to 12:50 p.m., unless otherwise noted.

artfromheart.jpgOne of the oldest continually held fundraising events in the area is back. The 31 annual Art from the Heart celebration at the Sonoma State University Art Gallery is set for January 31.

"This is a win-win for both professional artists and the University Art Galley," says Carla Stone, the gallery's exhibition coordinator. Over 150 artists from across the United States, including many from Sonoma County, have created original works of art specifically for the event. "Art from the Heart is a must for novice and seasoned collectors alike," says Stone. "With modestly priced works of art sold during a silent auction, the event is a wonderful way to have a good time and support the gallery, which in turn supports the careers of these fantastic artists. And you have a chance to go home with an original work of art."

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In celebration of Black History Month, Sonoma State University's Library Art Gallery is showing a historical photo exhibition of the Negro Leagues, featuring photographs of players from 150 years to Jackie Robinson signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1946 to officially break the color barrier.

The traveling exhibit is from the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Mo. "Back in the 1800s, there were a few black players on white teams," said SSU librarian Karen Brodsky, who curates the gallery. Referring to a photo from 1887, she continued, "But somebody on this team refused to have his picture taken with a black player." The result was a "gentleman's agreement" to disallow black players, which was formalized in writing a decade later.

thach.jpgSonoma State University wine business professor Dr. Liz Thach has earned her third Gourmand World Cookbooks award since 2007.

"Call of the Vine: Exploring 10 famous vineyards of Napa and Sonoma" took the title for the Women and Wine Book category in the United States and will via for the title of best in the world at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Yantai, China in June.

"This award feels different than the others," says Thach."It's not dry business text, it's a story," she says, admitting that this award came as a surprise. "This book is more personal. I put a lot of heart and soul into it."

bouchainedonation.jpgSonoma State University has received a $500,000 donation toward the Wine Spectator Learning Center from vintners and philanthropists Tatiana and Gerret Copeland, owners of Bouchaine Vineyards in Napa Valley.

The Copeland/Bouchaine Terrace and Gardens will be a focal point for hospitality and industry gatherings at the new center, which is slated to open in 2016 and will house SSU's Wine Business Institute.

William Silver, dean of SSU's School of Business and Economics, announced the donation Wednesday. "The Copelands are savvy and well respected winery owners," he said. "This investment is recognition of the importance of SSU's wine business programs."

parkinsonaward.jpgFour undergraduate SSU students were honored at a California State University biotechnology symposium in Santa Clara this week for their work on a new device to help those suffering with Parkinson's Disease.

The team presented a prototype for what they call "PD Analytics," a low-cost device that can quantify tremors associated with Parkinson's Disease. The project aims to monitor and record the tremors of an individual Parkinson's Disease sufferer to allow for adjustment of medication accordingly in real time. To do this, they've constructed a glove capable of measuring intensity and frequency of tremors--the idea being that it can be emailed to a doctor right away. Though other universities are working on similar projects, what sets SSU's apart is its simplicity and low cost.

conoleycolor.jpgSSU English professor Gillian Conoley continues to impress her peers, the latest instance coming from "Peace," a volume listed as one of the top standout poetry collections of 2014 by the Academy of American Poets.

This follows the 2013 honor of being included in W.W. Norton's Postmodern American Poetry Anthology (2nd edition) that celebrated the works of renowned poets Allen Ginsberg, Robert Creeley, Denise Levertov, Amira Baraka, Charles Olson, and Barbara Guest.

engineeringscience.jpgLast year, SSU approved the funding of a proposal to integrate music into courses in the School of Science and Technology. In their proposal, professors Haider Khaleel, Lynn Cominsky and Bala Ravikumar called for funding from the university for student use of the Green Music Center as a laboratory in some engineering science courses.

Khaleel credits his inspiration for introducing music into his courses to his interest in music outside of teaching. "Being a musician and an engineering professor, I naturally try to give applications to music and audio," he said. "So in addition to real-life practical examples, I use musical examples whenever possible."

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