culturalgrad.jpgSonoma State University's cultural graduation ceremonies take place on Thursday and Friday, May 14-15, and will include student performances, speeches and refreshments.

seawolfscholars.jpg"My mom passed away a week before my freshman year of high school, and I knew that education would be my fallback," says Chris Villedo, a freshman sociology major at Sonoma State University. "So the next four years I really focused on my education." He says Seawolf Scholars, a foster youth assistance program started last semester, has already helped guide him through financial aid, register for classes and navigate complex paperwork and registration requirements. "Having programs like this on campus helps students be more confident about what they want to do in college," says Villedo.

May is National Foster Care Month, and Sonoma State University's new Seawolf Scholars program is helping former foster youth navigate the new and turbulent world of college life.

softballsixteen.jpgAfter using the late innings to earn wins in their first two NCAA regional games, the Sonoma State softball team exploded for an 11-3, 5-inning win over Montana State Billings on Sunday afternoon in Seaside, Calif. to clinch their first-ever trip to the NCAA Division II Super Regionals.

The Seawolves will now travel to St. George, Utah to take on Dixie State in the "Sweet 16" of the NCAA Div. II Softball Championship as one of the final 16 teams remaining.

csuresearchferraro.jpgSonoma State University biology master's student Michelle Ferraro took home second place (and a $250 prize) in the graduate division for biological sciences at the 29th annual CSU Student Research Competition, held May 1-2 at CSU San Bernardino, for her presentation titled "Evaluating Optimal Foraging Theory in a Free-Roaming Marine Predator."

The competition featured over 250 participants from all 23 CSU campuses. Undergraduate and graduate students competed in separate divisions by discipline. Ferraro is mentored by biology professor Dan Crocker.

woman with young child in ssu ballroomMore than 100 low-income, mostly Spanish-speaking parents visited Sonoma State University on May 2 to learn how they can make attending college possible for their children and themselves.

The parents and their children are part of the Avance Parent-Child Education Program. Ten groups participated in the nine-month program, which stresses its message of "graduating from college begins at birth. "The future of our county, our workforce, our quality of life, is dependent on the educational attainment of Latino children," said Alfredo Perez, executive director of First 5 Sonoma County, which has funded Avance since 2010. "We owe it to our children to give them the future they deserve by investing in programs like Avance."

woman crouching near wetland in GMC parking lotManaging the impact of development on water resources is now an urgent challenge in California. Sonoma State University's Center for Sustainable Communities (CSC) has developed a new, open-source "early intervention" tool to evaluate development's impacts on water resources.

"This tool is especially relevant to the current drought and the long-range concerns about reduced water availability and climate change," says the Alex Hinds, interim director of the center. He developed the tool along with staff members Allison Lassiter and Wayne Goldberg, and eight SSU students, under contract with California's Department of Water Resources. Goldberg and Hinds are both former community development directors in Santa Rosa and Marin County, respectively. Goldberg was also interim city manager of Santa Rosa.

women's tennis award winnersWomen's Tennis: Martinez and Ward Snag 2015 All-PacWest Women's Tennis Honors
Sonoma State Seawolves Leire Martinez and Jacquelyn Ward have been selected to the 2015 All-Pacific West Conference Women's Tennis Team. Martinez was a second team pick in singles play while she and Ward earned second team accolades as partners in doubles play.

Men's Tennis: Holbrook and Lee Net All-PacWest Men's Tennis Honors
Philip Holbrook and Noah Lee are on the 2015 All-PacWest Conference Men's Tennis Team in both singles and doubles. Holbrook was selected to the second team in singles with Lee receiving third team honors. The duo was honored together as third team in doubles.

facultyawards.jpgSonoma State University professors Lynn Cominsky and Suzanne Rivoire have earned the university's Excellence in Scholarship awards for their dedication to academic excellence.

Provost Andrew Rogerson presented the awards at Sonoma State's University Research Symposium on April 15. "When students collaborate with faculty on research, they learn first-hand how experts solve practical problems. Their teachers become role models, mentors and guides for continuous lifelong learning," he said. "This is the classic teacher-scholar model that we value so highly at Sonoma State. Both Lynn Cominsky and Suzanne Rivoire exemplify this ideal and are well deserving of recognition."

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