What you missed over the summer

If you took a break from campus this summer, you may have some campus news to catch up on, including newsmakers like the "SpongeBob" mushroom and the University's rating as a top destination for minorities. Read on for more headlines you might have missed over the break.

Photo of a frog from the Rana similis species in the Philippines.

Thousands of citizen scientists counted bees in their yards during the Great Bee Count, organized by Associate Professor of Biology Gretchen LeBuhn. Results of this nationwide bee census will help LeBuhn study the health of North America's threatened bee population.

Photo of a frog from the Rana similis species in the Philippines.

Assistant Professor of Biology Vance Vredenburg is also asking for the public's help. He and his colleagues launched the Global Amphibian Blitz, a website where people can record the rare amphibians they have spotted in the wild, helping scientists complete a census of the world's frogs, toads and salamanders.


Photo of a frog from the Rana similis species in the Philippines.


Professor of Biology Dennis Desjardin identified two unusual fungi: a sponge-like mushroom, which he named after the cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants and a glow-in-the-dark mushroom that shines brightly enough to read by. Meanwhile, Biology Professor William Cochlan and a team of researchers were dispatched to Puget Sound, Wash. to study a microscopic alga that has killed millions of penned fish.

In psychology, new research warned us not to look back in anger. Assistant Professor of Psychology Ryan Howell's latest study suggests that the way we remember the past affects our happiness in the present. With funding from the National Institutes of Health, Associate Professor of Psychology David Gard and his students began a new study, which could lead to improved treatment for people with schizophrenia.

The campus welcomed Richard Festinger as the new artistic director of the Morrison Artists Series. This free chamber music concert series begins Oct. 21, and Festinger promises a mix of classical masterpieces and cutting-edge contemporary compositions.

Photo of a frog from the Rana similis species in the Philippines.

SF State was honored as a top destination for students from diverse backgrounds. The University made it into Diverse magazine's Top 100 list of colleges for minority students and was ranked 14th in the nation for the number of bachelor's degrees awarded to students of color. It was also included in Hispanic Outlook magazine's top 100 colleges for Latino students.

In the face of state budget cuts, the campus instituted a new six-college structure as a cost-saving measure. In addition, the California State University Board of Trustees voted to increase student fees for fall 2011.

Keep up to date with campus news by following us on twitter (@SFState_news) or Facebook or reading the latest SF State Magazine.

-- Elaine Bible