Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Two CSU STEM VISTA Americorps Positions at SEPAL for 2019-20! Apply now!


Interested on working on issues of inclusion, equity, and diversity in science education?

Want a paid internship for next year at SEPAL working with a diverse team of students, staff, and faculty?

CSU STEM VISTA Americorps Positions at SEPAL for 2019-2020!

Apply now!



For those who are graduating or have graduated, SEPAL has an exciting opportunity for a one-year, full-time paid position through the CSU STEM VISTA program.

Stop by the SEPAL Resource Center (HH 236) for more information ORSee attached brochure and links below for more information.


Please see the links below to learn more about each position and apply, and please reach out if you have any questions or need help with the application.


We accept and review application materials on a rolling basis through mid-May but encourage candidates to submit as early as possible. 


Application deadline is May 15, 2019.

SEPAL MS Graduate won SFSU level of the CSU Student Research Competition

The CSU Student Research Competition is a system-wide competition that helps showcase the innovative research and creative activities that both Graduates and Undergraduates partake in. The nominees are all from a wide variety of educational programs offered by their respective CSU. They will give oral presentations to professionals from major organizations, corporations, foundations, public agencies, colleges and Universities of California.


This competition is held every year, and seeks to promote excellence in scholarly research and creative activity. It will recognize outstanding student accomplishments from the 23 CSU campuses.


Our very own SEPAL MS Grad, Alex Cabrera was a winner of the SFSU level CSU Student Research Competition in the area of Behavioral and Social Sciences. She will be heading to CSU Fullerton for the state-level competition. Her research was focused on office hours, it is essentially her thesis looking at how undergraduates and Biology faculty experience advising/office hours. She has discovered that the #1 thing students mentioned is they would like a personal approach before discussing the actual subject matter. While that was one outcome of this, she found that 43% mentioned a bad experience with their advisor/Biology Faculty, many of which do not return. Alex is not trying to understand why individuals are not returning to office hours.


Keep doing this work Alex!!!!

Scientist Spotlight’s are helping change student perceptions

Jeff Schinske like many across the globe comes to think of himself as a scientist. He would soon look at his own class and notice that minorities were not doing as well as their privileged peers. He embarked on a mission to figure out why this is, and see how to change this. He developed a hypothesis; Students have to be able to envision themselves as being a part of the field to succeed. There are so many stereotypes out there about scientist, many of which can be very powerful. However, Jeff helped develop a way to test his hypothesis. It is a way for students to help see themselves as scientists. This would be known as Scientist Spotlights. The assignment itself is getting students to read about scientist who don’t fit the stereotypes, they can be a woman, a woman of color, or even a woman of color who is queer and grew up poor. From here the students answer some questions regarding the scientist’s research. These assignments will relate to the course curriculum. He discovered that these very assignments helped changed their views of who can be a scientist, and would lead them to identify as a scientist.


Jeff Schinske alongside a colleague of his from San Francisco State University were recently awarded a grant, which were based on these findings; this will seek to create assignments for students in middle and high schools around the Bay Area. He hopes to one day expand this globally, and this way people from around the world can access these homework assignments talking about diverse scientists.



Superstar spotlight: Torey (Tj) Jacques!

Congratulations to Torey D. Jacques (Tj). He is the new Metro Transfer Academy of Science Coordinator at CCSF Ocean campus.  He is also a CCSF alum before transferring to San Francisco State University where he received his Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science in Cellular/Molecular Biology.  His initial goals were to pursue a career in research until he began teaching during his years in grad school.  Teaching is where he really found his passion for instructing, mentoring, and encouraging students to find their calling in life through education.

Metro Transfer Academy provides him with the opportunity to continue his passion of helping students from underrepresented communities find success in STEM disciplines AND transfer to a four year university.  He is also provided with the opportunity to empower students by helping them recognize systems that play a significant role in their under-representation in STEM and provide them with the tools to combat those systems.


SFSU SPIKE and SFSU Biology Alumnus received UCSF Disability Service Award

Laurence Henson was a Biology Undergraduate Honoree, and obtained a BS in Physiology from San Francisco State University. While here, he too was deeply involved in lots of activities and community service. Henson just received the UCSF Disability Service Award from the UCSF Chancellor’s Office. This award seeks to highlight the tremendous efforts of those who demonstrate a strong dedication to diversity. The individuals recognized are leaders and pioneers in their respective fields and to the communities which they serve.


Keep doing this work !




Postdoctoral Position Available

Invitation to Apply for Biology Education Postdoctoral Fellowship

Focused on Equity and Inclusion at San Francisco State University

SEPAL – The Science Education Partnership and Assessment Laboratory – at San Francisco State University (SFSU) invites applications for a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology Education and Research with a strong focus on understanding and promoting inclusion, equity, and diversity in science. The position is renewable for up to 2 years and may begin as early as January 1, 2019.


Funded by a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA), the Scientists Spotlights Initiative will engage and partner with our talented Foothill College and San Francisco State University biology students, most of whom are first-generation college-going students and students of color. Together in collaborations with college and university biology faculty and local middle and high school teachers, these student leaders will be co-developers of curricular materials – Scientist Spotlights– that highlight the importance of diversity in science. Over the course of the effort, the community will develop a Scientist Spotlights Initiativecollection – an on-line, accessible database of education research-based curriculum supplements to support integration of diverse science role models into the fabric of middle school, high school, and community college life sciences curricula.


This SEPAL Postdoctoral Fellowship position will be under the supervision of Dr. Kimberly Tanner. The Postdoctoral Fellow will collaborate in designing, collecting, and analyzing assessments to investigate the impact of the effort on student experiences in biology, including their sense of belonging and development of science identity, and on faculty teaching practices. In addition to a research role, the SEPAL Postdoctoral Fellow will also participate in day-to-day program implementation, including recruitment of participants, co-design and co-teaching of a service-learning course for participating students, planning and coordination of faculty professional development activities, and grant management and reporting.

Required and Preferred Qualifications

Required qualifications are a Ph.D. in biology or life science education and a strong interest in developing inclusive excellence in biology education scholarship and research. Experience working with diverse populations of students and faculty is essential, as is a strong interest in promoting equity and inclusion in the sciences. The abilities to prioritize tasks, to engage in long- and short-term planning, and to communicate with a variety of stakeholders, including K-12 and community college educators, is key. The following attributes, experiences, and knowledge are preferred: creativity and curiosity, mentorship skills, curriculum development experience, in-depth knowledge of national science education reform efforts, formal teaching experience, experience with databases, experience in developing assessments, and qualitative and quantitative assessment analysis skills. We seek a self-motivated, creative individual who has excellent interpersonal, writing, and public speaking skills who can work both independently and as part of a team effort and who will bring new perspectives to our efforts to promote inclusion in science.

San Francisco State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer with a strong commitment to diversity. All qualified applicants will be considered without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or other legally protected category. We strongly encourage the applications of individuals from groups historically underrepresented in the sciences.

Salary and Appointment

This SEPAL Postdoctoral Fellowship position is a full-time, salaried, and benefited position at San Francisco State University. The position is annually renewable, dependent on performance and continued grant funding, which is anticipated. Salary is competitive and commensurate with professional experience and qualifications of the candidates. San Francisco State University offers excellent benefits packages.

Application Procedure

To apply for the SEPAL Postdoctoral Fellowship positions, please submit the following to SEPAL Program Administrator, Trisha DeVera, via email (

1) a letter of interest in the position, including your career goals (no more than 2 pages),

2) a current curriculum vitae,

3) a statement of general research interests (no more than 2 pages and need not relate specifically to this effort),

4) a statement of general teaching philosophy (no more than 2 pages and including a description of characteristics of inclusive classroom environments), and

5) the names of three professional references, including current position, relationship to the applicant, and phone and email contact information.

Application Review Timeline

Review of applications will begin on Monday, November 12, 2018 and will continue until the position is filled.


Questions about the position should be directed to SEPAL Director, Dr. Kimberly D. Tanner, Professor, Department of Biology, San Francisco State University, ( More information about SEPAL can be found at: