SF State launches hub to better connect students to hands-on experiential education

Author: Kent Bravo
August 22, 2023
Person in a blue shirt looking at a poster board while they present the information.

At the end of the academic year, colleges at SF State will often host showcases where students get the opportunity to present their research, scholarship and creative activities.

The hub serves students of all majors and minors

Let’s say you’re a student who wants to participate in research or hands-on activities that'll complement your major or minor. You’ll probably ask yourself, “How do I get started?” Thankfully, San Francisco State University has the answer: Start with SF State Create.

SF State Create is a new hub focused on creating, facilitating and connecting students to research, scholarship and creative activities (RSCA), an inclusive term for hands-on investigative, experiential and creative work across all academic disciplines. Launched by the University’s Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, SF State Create currently offers services remotely but has plans for a physical space in the future.

“San Francisco State is focused on increasing its emphasis on experiential education, and SF State Create helps with that,” said SF State Professor of Biology Gretchen Le Buhn, a co-director of SF State Create. “Getting those in-person connections, having one-on-one relationships with faculty and building community by participating in scholarship together are all critical to student success, particularly for our underrepresented students.”

With SF State Create, students will have better access to RSCA information, opportunities and services such as:

  • A marketplace that lists on- and off-campus jobs and independent study opportunities that include RSCA components
  • The latest information about events and gatherings that complement a student’s field of study
  • Scholarships and awards to fund RSCA opportunities

“RSCA opportunities open up doors for students in a way that is unique compared to their usual day-to-day,” said SF State Professor of Kinesiology Kate Hamel, a co-director of SF State Create. “They allow skill building for workforce development. Some of it happens inside the classroom. This is another opportunity to do it outside of the classroom.”

Because the word “research” is often associated with STEM fields, the SF State Create co-directors want to emphasize an important message: the hub and University help facilitate RSCA opportunities for all students.

“There are so many opportunities for every student, regardless of their field of choice, to engage in research, learn research methods and share their work, but they often don’t know what is available or how to find it,” said SF State Create co-director Joshua Singer, an associate professor in the School of Design. “Providing a central place where students can have better access to opportunities, resources and guidance is critical in getting all students engaged in these transformative experiences.”

Nathan Burns, who graduated from SF State this past spring, is the perfect example of why the University wants to ensure all students have access to RSCA opportunities. During their last semester, Burns presented their original zine at the CHSS Undergraduate Research & Creative Works Showcase.  The zine, titled “SURV(IO)LANCE,”  incorporates academic research and Burns’ personal experience as a queer, trans, disabled person to discuss surveillance.

“Research has been such a key component of my SF State experience,” said Burns, who earned a degree in Sociology and a minor in LGBTQ Studies. “For the CHSS showcase I was able to print a few copies of the zine to share with people in attendance. It was so exciting to be able to not only share my research with other campus members, but get to see just how much incredible work is being done across campus that I otherwise might not have heard about.”

Learn more about SF State Create and how you can get involved with RSCA opportunities.