SSU IN THE NEWS - Press Democrat, June 16, 2014

Sonoma State University expects $3.3 million budget hike

SSU President Ruben Armiñana has announced that with the Governor's final budget offer to the California State University system of $142 million holds, the campus will hire a minimum of 45 new permanent faculty over the next three academic years.

The hiring of 15 new faculty each academic year in 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 will help SSU meet Arminana's first priority of better serving students by keeping them on track to a timely graduation.

stearns.jpgDr. Thaine Stearns has been selected as Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities, effective July 1, 2014.

Dr. Stearns has served as interim dean in the School for the last three years. Under his leadership, the School has developed and implemented several major initiatives, including the Humanities Learning Communities; the Center for Ethics, Law, and Society; the Weill Hall Artists in Residence; the Arts & Humanities "First-Stop" Advising Center. Beginning in Fall 2014, the Sophomore Year Research and Creative Experience courses will be launched.

roberteyler.pngA blogger from US News and World reports asked for some advice from a wise financial soul to help college grads who are looking for work or just landed their first job.

Economics professor Robert Eyler had some compelling thoughts about living without a paycheck or on a pretty slim one for those first entering the world of work.

Think about it all as financial yoga; hurts now, helps later.

1. Increase your ability to use new and difficult technology tools.

For recent graduates who have the latest smartphone and tablets, the market will pay a premium for folks that utilize these tech tools well in traditional markets. For example, bring ideas to markets like finance, accounting, traditional sales, and other services that are potentially slow movers on technology may help you land a job more quickly. Develop knowledge of a statistical package (SPSS, STATA, SAS) and Excel for sure; if you have these abilities, bring that up immediately in an interview. If you can use Prezi for presentations, say it also.

homestayfamilya.jpgSince 1979, the Sonoma State American Language Institute (SSALI) has provided international students with a chance to learn the English language as well as to absorb American culture.

However, it has become increasingly difficult to offer this experience, as there are fewer and fewer places to house students involved in the SSALI program.

For years the SSALI program has relied upon a core group of homestays, local families who have voluntarily opened their doors and allowed a student, or several, to stay with them during a SSALI semester.

Unfortunately the pool of acceptable homes has shrunk tremendously, leaving many students' housing situation uncertain. However, when a student and a homestay family come together, results can often be wondrous.

blackgradscelebrate.jpgThe first multi-cultural graduation reception held in the Student Center grand ballroom on the Friday before Commencement was a beautiful, multi-generational success. "The students, led by Kelly Hodgins, did an excellent job putting together an event that far exceeded expectations," said HUB director Mark Fabionar. "Students, faculty, administrators and community members deeply appreciated the opportunity to celebrate our students and communities."


The recently broadcast PBS documentary "Ruben Salazar: Man in the Middle" was supported by the SSU Special Collections Dept. which contributed research and film footage for this production and received a closing credit. It can be viewed online at

Ruben Salazar Hall, which was originally the location of the SSU University Library, is named after the famous Latino journalist who worked for a time at the Press Democrat in the late 1950s. He later moved to the Los Angeles Times.

The University Library is also the curator of the Ruben Salazar Collection which is comprised of clippings of Salazar's news stories and includes articles about him, bibliographies, photocopies of photographs, documents, and ephemera.

denybozeman.jpgA fraternity drag fest and a CD full of comforting songs are part of recent efforts at SSU to raise awareness about the stigma of mental illness in the community.

Having seen students, faculty, staff, administrators, friends and family affected by depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar and other mental illness, combined with a passion for educating others, inspired two SSU faculty recently to team up to produce a children's CD in hopes of comforting families and individuals affected by mental illness. Donations for the CD have already raised more than $6,500 for the non-profit agency.

Super Kids Camp provides a fun, recreational, educational, and motivational experience for campers, ages 5-11, this summer at Sonoma State University. Registration is now open and the first week of camp starts Monday, June 2.

Each weekly Super Kids Camp session will include a fun theme, local field trip, special events, pool time, and rock wall climbing. Other camp activities include arts & crafts, sports, science, and group play. All are held in the Student Recreation Center.

"Our low camper to counselor ratio makes it possible to promote a non-competitive environment in all camp activities," says Mike Dominguez, Kids Camp Coordinator. "Our Super Kids Camp counselors are CPR and first aid certified. They are high energy and active SSU students who are enthusiastic about working with children."

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