Award-winning authors, activists and scientists among SF State Alumni Hall of Fame inductees

Rebecca Solnit stands in front of a building in downtown San Francisco

Author Rebecca Solnit is the 2018 Alumna of the Year

Distinguished alumni from the fields of literature, science, music and community service will be honored at San Francisco State University’s 24th annual Alumni Hall of Fame celebration at The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco on Friday, Nov. 9. In addition to recognizing three Hall of Fame inductees, San Francisco State President Leslie E. Wong and the University community will also honor writer and activist Rebecca Solnit, the University’s 2018 Alumna of the Year.

“SF State has produced graduates who are not only leaders in their fields but are tireless advocates for their communities and causes. They’re changemakers,” said Executive Director of Alumni and Constituent Relations Caitlin Tramel. “The Alumni Hall of Fame celebration is a chance to shine a light on the many contributions of these inspiring Gators.”

Alumna of the Year

Photo of Solnit

Rebecca Solnit (B.A. ’81) graduated with a degree in English language and literature and went on to write more than 20 books on a range of topics, including the environment, community, art, politics, hope and memory. Her anthology of political essays “Call Them by Their True Names” is currently on the longlist for the 2018 National Book Award. Solnit has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism and the Lannan Literary Award for her books. Since the 1980s she’s worked on environmental and human rights campaigns, most notably the Western Shoshone Defense Project.

2018 Hall of Fame inductees

Photo of BurchardEsteban G. Burchard (B.S. ’90) studied cell and molecular biology and is currently a professor and physician-scientist at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Burchard is the director of the UCSF Asthma Collaboratory, a large interdisciplinary research program focusing on minority children and gene-environment interactions for asthma. He is leading the largest study of asthma in minority children in the U.S.

Photo of JinhoJinho "Piper" Ferreira (B.A. ’06) was an Africana studies major and went on to become a writer, actor, rapper and law enforcement officer. His alternative hip-hop band Flipsyde has toured internationally with artists such as Snoop Dogg, Akon, the Game and more. In 2009, Piper won the Creative Promise Award for screenwriters at the Tribeca Film Festival. Soon after, his career path shifted. Appalled by the 2009 death of Oscar Grant at the hands of a BART police officer in Oakland, he enrolled in the police academy in 2010. He graduated in the top percentile of his class and became an Alameda County deputy sheriff in 2011.

Photo of KittyKitty Tsui (B.A. ’75) studied English language and literature and is what many would consider a modern Renaissance woman. She’s been an author, activist, artist, actor and athlete. Tsui is widely recognized as one of the foremothers of the Asian Pacific Islander lesbian movement in San Francisco. Her writing has been collected in more than 90 anthologies worldwide and has been translated in German, Japanese and Italian. Lambda Literary Report listed her as one of the 50 most influential lesbian and gay writers of the decade. This fall, Tsui is one of 12 queer Asian Pacific Islander poets to be honored in “A Day in the Queer Life of Asian Pacific America,” a poetry and video exhibit at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.

Click here for more details on the upcoming Alumni Hall of Fame celebration.