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By Miriam Raftery


January 19, 2016 (San Diego) — San Diego State University will welcome back Aztecs with new programs, people and places around campus when school begins on January 20. Here’s a look at some things to look forward to:


New Faculty

Four new faculty members will begin this semester — two professors will join the Department of Psychology and two will join the Department of Biology. They include:



  • Jillian Wiggins studies brain activation patterns and her research is interested in understanding factors (e.g., genetics, social, family) that affect brain function in children and adolescents without disorders, in addition to youth with autism, depression, anxiety and irritability symptoms.
  • Dustin Thoman is a social psychologist specializing in social and cultural influences on motivation whose research investigates how one’s social identity and social interactions influence interest and belonging and self-regulation.



  • Nicholas Shikuma studies how microbes mediated marine animal development and how this affects the health of diverse animals.
  • Xiaofeng Xu’s research focuses on land-atmosphere interaction.


Arts Alive: Interdisciplinary Teaching Exchange program

Three new courses through the Arts Alive Interdisciplinary Teaching Exchange program will be available this semester. These “stacked courses” involve two or three faculty members from different disciplines who design courses with input from each other. The courses are taught “stacked” — that is they are offered at the same time on the same day, each assigned their own space in which to meet but allowing for the faculty to have the students from each of the courses meet together and collaborate. The stacked courses offered this spring are:


1. ENGL 220: Introduction to Literature, taught by Professor of English & Comparative Literature William Nericcio


2. MUSIC 351: Music and Culture: Psychedelic Rock of the 1960s, taught by Associate Professor of Music Eric Smigel


3. BIO 600: Seminar, taught by Professor of Biology Anca Segall.


4. ART 441: Graphic Design III, taught by Assistant Professor School of Art and Design Arzu Ozkal


5. COMM 462: Ethnography and Communication, taught by Associate Professor of Communication Kurt Lindemann


6. THEA 525: Dramaturgy, taught by Assistant Professor of School of Theatre, Television, and Film Shelley Orr


Zahn Innovation Platform Launchpad

gift from the Moxie Foundation created the Zahn Innovation Platform Launchpad, formally the Zahn Innovation Center, with a focus on collaboration across disciplines, the exploration of new ideas and the launch of new ventures. The ZIP Launchpad facilitates problem-solving and inspire students, faculty and staff to pursue the commercialization of their social and commercial based ideas. This month, a call for proposals will go out for the inaugural Zahn Professor of Creativity and Innovation, a rotating two-year appointment for an SDSU faculty member to pursue work that accelerates entrepreneurship across campus. The position is set to be appointed by May.


Campus Construction and Parking Updates

Roof work on South Campus Plaza will be complete by mid-January, allowing interior work to continue unabated through El Niño weather. The $143-million project will include housing for more than 600 students, along with shopping and dining designed to serve both the campus and its surrounding neighborhoods. The plaza is on track to open fall 2016. SDSU's Engineering & Interdisciplinary Sciences Complex is preparing to pour concrete foundations. The $90-million complex, which is a key piece in SDSU’s drive to become a top-50 public research university, is on schedule to be completed in January 2018.


This semester, some areas and parking lots are closed due to campus construction. The W Lot near Storm and Nasatir Halls will still be used as a construction lay down area. The A Lot on the corner of College Avenue and Canyon Crest Drive is being used as a construction site. College Avenue at Lindo Paseo is fenced off and will be closed for the South Campus Plaza project. Parking Services has more tips for parking and traffic during the first few days of classes.


New Women's Resource Center Opens

SDSU's new Women's Resource Center will open to students on Wednesday, Jan. 20. Located at 5121 Campanile Drive on the corner of Lindo Paseo and Campanile, the center provides a vibrant, brave and inclusive space that educates, empowers and advocates for women’s rights and issues. Students, faculty and staff are welcome 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Fridays. There will be an open house at 12 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 22. Contact the center’s Coordinator Jessica Nare for more information. The center’s grand opening will be at 3 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 29.


Pride Grand Reopening and New Coordinator

The Pride Center will reopen at its Campanile Drive location on the first day of spring classes with a fresh look and a new coordinator — Christopher Lujan, who has a bachelor’s in human services from California State University, Dominguez Hills and a master’s in educational counseling from the University of La Verne. Lujan previously worked at the Los Angeles LGBT Center as the education coordinator for homeless LGBTQ youth. The Pride Center, which creates, sustains and strengthens an open, inclusive, safe and affirming gathering space and campus environment for persons of all sexual and gender identities and their allies, will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Fridays. An official grand reopening celebration is planned for Feb. 29. For more information about the event and others at the center, follow The Pride Center at SDSU Facebook page.


New Passport Office on Campus

A new Passport Acceptance Facility will open at the International Student Center this February, located near the corner of 55th Street and Aztec Circle drive. The office will streamline the process for obtaining a U.S. Passport for students, faculty, staff and members of the community. The convenient location should prove useful considering SDSU recently ranked No. 15 among all universities in the country for the number of students studying abroad. The facility will take passport photos and process applications on a walk-in basis from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.


Aztec Shield App Launch

The SDSU Police Department is releasing “Aztec Shield,” a new mobile safety app that enables students, faculty, staff and visitors to reach the university police department from their smart phones. The app can be used in both non-emergency and emergency situations and is available at no charge to Android and iPhone users. Aztec Shield users can request help from the police department, locate campus safety shuttles, report suspicious activity and participate in a peer-to-peer safety service.


SDSU Bookstore Deals and Discounts

SDSU Bookstore will continue offering its Price Match Pledge to students — the store will match textbook prices from KB Books, and An aztecnology sale at the SDSU Bookstore for students, faculty and staff will take place through Feb. 2. Deals include a $50 Bookstore gift card with purchase of a laptop, case and protection plan.

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