A Day in the Life: Dawn Lee Tu, Director of Cultural Centers at USF

Today marks the grand return of “A Day in the Life”!!! … … … (I’m waiting for all of the wild cheering and applause to end). … … … You remember “A Day in the Life,” those posts where I ask a student, alum, or (as in today’s case), a USF employee to keep track of their day from wake up to bedtime so that we can learn more about what people do in their lives and jobs? Well, they’re back!!! And today I am especially happy to feature Dawn Lee Tu, Director of Cultural Centers here at USF. Dawn is currently completing her PhD in Cultural Studies at UC Davis (yes, while she works full-time here!). Her dissertation focuses on diversity initiatives and Asian American engagement in college. She has her MA in American Studies from New York University where she studied Asian American youth and hip hop consciousness. She has worked in student affairs for nine years where she has focused on diversity training, community-based capacity building, crisis management, and community mediation. And get this: she is an ethnographer (especially of interest to our COMS majors)! She is also a Bay Area native and proud product of the San Francisco public education system.

As the Director of Cultural Centers, Dawn is in charge of the Intercultural Center and the Gender and Sexuality Center on campus. According to Dawn, “Through the IC and GSC, I make sure that USF students have opportunities to deeply explore their multiple identities, learn how they can become more skilled multicultural leaders, and find ways to make social change. I don’t do this alone – I work closely with a committed staff of undergraduate and graduate student interns and advocates and a very talented Assistant Director to create and implement programs and resources for all students.” Here is A Day in the Life of Dawn Lee Tu, Thursday September 29, 2011:

“615a Wake up to work on writing dissertation.

Morning writing session on her dissertation

7a Wrap up early morning writing session by scanning my schedule for the day, checking my facebook and tweeting a good morning to all the sleepy Dons who might be up working hard.

745a I all dressed and ready and I managed to prep breakfast. Time to get my sleepy kid up and ready for school.

750a Sleepy kid wants to build a “creature” out of his construction set.

816a Creature is built, but now we’re running late so that means breakfast in the car.

832a My favorite part of the commute into the City: Skyline at Great Highway where I get to see the clear morning and beautiful Ocean Beach.

845a Drop kid off to school. Chat with his teacher a bit before hitting the road again.

9a Nab one of the last parking spaces in Hayes Healy. I grab a quiet moment in my car to scan my schedule again and drink the last drops of my coffee.

910a Get into my office, greet everyone with good mornings and turn on my computer, check my voice mails, and touch base with Heather Doshay, the program assistant that manages my calendar.

915a Check in with Alejandro Covarrubias, the Cultural Centers Assistant Director. We do a quick run down of what’s on both of our schedules for the day plus any issues that might be on both of our radars.

Dawn with Alejandro, the Assistant Director of the Cultural Centers

10a Upward Bound meeting. It was wonderful meeting this group of committed staff and faculty who are working to ensure that Upward Bound continues to get the support the program needs to persist.

1201p Look who I ran into! (pic of me and the USF Don)

I'm super jealous... some day I too will get a picture with the Don! Doesn't he know I'm his biggest fan?

1215p Lunch meeting in the Faculty/Staff dining room with Barbara Thomas, Senior Director of Counseling and Psychological Services. Busy so we joined two IT staff members, already eating lunch and I learned about what they do at IT (technical support). I also saw Ed Munnich, Psychology professor.

105p Busted. About to leave the Faculty/Staff dining room with a cookie, but I’m reminded that the rules are no dining room food “to-go.”

108p I take the opportunity to scarf down the cookie, check email, twitter and facebook.

145p Taking a break from returning calls and emails, reviewing documents. I head over to the IC and hang out with the Graduate Interns Diana Victa and Clark Campagna, MA students in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program. Alejandro happens to be there talking to them so it becomes an informal staff meeting as we discuss projects.

206p It’s Thursday so that means it’s CC staff potluck time! Jackie Lara, IC intern plans all of our staff “fun stuff” including weekly staff potlucks. This week the theme is finger foods. I contribute vegan edamame and corn nuggets from Trader Joe’s. Others bring homemade salsa and chips, bruschetta, mini cupcakes plus a few other items. We’re all stuffed!

230p I head back into my office to prep for two 3p meetings.

Dawn at her desk working

3p I have to split my time so I head to a planning meeting for the Northern California Forum for Diversity in Higher Education, an event being hosted by USF that will bring over 1500 junior and senior college students from low-income and historically underrepresented groups to help them get information on grad school. I, also with Kim Harris in the Learning and Writing Center are coordinating the volunteers for that day. We’re expecting to coordinate between 50-100 volunteers.

3p I am unable to attend the planning and development meeting for the Allies Training program provided by the Cultural Centers. However, the committee takes real-time meetings notes on Google docs so I check in on my iPhone a couple of times during my other meeting to see how things are going. If I need to I can make a note to them on the document and they can immediately see it.

4p I head over to the final meeting of the day – the Asian American Studies faculty meeting. This meeting started at 330p so when I arrive, Professor Kevin Chun, the program chair, is already on the second agenda item – planning events for spring semester, including Asian Pacific Heritage Month. Everyone has brought snacks and food and I help myself to some flatbread and hummus and then a small piece of chocolate. I answer a question about the Culturally Focused Clubs (we work closely and advise the Cultural Focused Clubs Council). My role at faculty meetings is to be a conduit of information, letting them know about other events that are happening or being planned, who faculty can collaborate with, what student clubs are doing, and what general diversity issues are being discussed.

515p I get back into my office and it’s quiet time. No more interruptions as I close the door and catch up on all the emails I missed at meetings. I review the minutes from the Allies planning meeting I missed. I work on several other pending items and respond to an email about Community Action, sent from Ccaroline Christ, VP of Mission (I advise her). I check and update twitter and facebook and have a quick snack before I leave for the day.

635p I’m back in my car and driving to my parents’ home. My mom picks up my son and my parents eat dinner and hang out with him until about 715p.

The view on her drive home... beautiful!

7p I arrive at my parents’ home and catch up with my mom about how my son’s day went at school. My dad is playing with my son and I hear them laughing and running around.

730p I’m back in the car with my son as we head home. He asks to listen to some John Mayer. I oblige him and put in the CD. We hum and sing the songs together and talk about each others’ day as we approach home.

745p We arrive home and it’s off to bed for my son.

845p My partner and I prepare and settle down for some dinner together. We have on Chopped, a Food Network show, as we catch up on how each other’s day went.

945p Back to my desk for some more dissertation writing before I head to bed.

1045p Tired, exhausted. Clean up for bed.

1130p Check and update twitter and facebook one last time before I drift off to sleep.”

Thanks, Dawn, for sharing your day with us! You can keep up with Dawn and the activities of the Cultural Centers by following her on twitter: @directorcc (I do!). You can also follow the Assistant Director @usfadcc. You can find out more information about the Cultural Centers here:

Intercultural Center www.usfca.edu/interculturalcenter

Gender and Sexuality Center www.usfca.edu/gsc

You can also find Dawn and the Cultural Centers on facebook: “Dawn Lee Tu” “IC USF” and “GSC USF.”


A Day in the Life: Mike Hughes, Associate Dean and Director of Admission

For today’s “A Day in the Life” post, I thought we would take a trip down memory lane.  Why?  Well, many of you are graduating or heading into your junior or senior years.  Applying for admission and waiting for acceptances letters from colleges are a distant memory.  So I thought it would be fun to get the inside scoop on the process from the Associate Dean of Academic and Enrollment Services and Director of Admission, Mr. Michael Hughes.  If Mike’s name sounds familiar to you, it is because he likely signed your acceptance letter! Get ready to reminisce!  Here is “A Day in the Life” of Mike Hughes: January 28, 2011:

“Professor Doohan asked if I would write this blog, and as I have a great respect for her”  Thanks, Mike!  “and was a Communication major in college (Florida State – long ago), I’m happy to agree.”  Can you believe it?  Another Communication Studies major on campus!  I didn’t even know how many there are!  “Disclaimer:  I also have an MFA in Writing from USF – not that long ago – hence, perhaps, the wordiness of the following, which I encourage Professor Doohan to edit.”  Not a chance… the information is too good!  “This was a very busy day in January – and following days have been equally busy, which explains the time lag.

Mike Hughes, Director of Admission and former COMS major, busy working at his desk

8:37      Arrive to check time on phone.  Red light on phone means messages, stacks of vote sheets for new applications on desk next to open file with Embanet Compass documentation on on-line learning initiative, competing for my time.  Open Microsoft Word to find new version, with which I am not familiar, so cannot adjust font or type-size.  Pre-occupied with 9 am meeting on new vendor for on-line graduate application.

Message on phone from prospective student telling me that he was supposed to have called yesterday at 4 pm, but ‘the line was busy or something,’ which was not true as I was sitting here working waiting for his call.  Do not listen to remainder of message, will e-mail later asking him to re-arrange time and stick to his commitment.  Advice:  If you make an appointment, keep it.  If you can’t keep it, communicate.  If you mess up, apologize and move forward.

Sarah Genter, Director of Graduate Admission Operations, tells me she’ll meet me at 9 am meeting after she gets coffee.

Noise in hallway starts to heat up as counselors arrive.

Check application numbers – almost 13,000.  More than 11,000 for freshmen, rest transfer applications.  That’s up about 30% from last year, good news, except for the files that need to be read.   I’m lucky, I only have to read about 500, others more like 1,200.

Open e-mail.  Call from BJ Johnson, my boss, Dean of Academic  and Enrollment Services, asking if I know about an event on 4/13 and 4/14 that Bon Appetit is calling about.  I don’t – our events are scheduled for prior weekend.  No time for e-mail.  On to 9 am meeting.  I can be down the hill in 8 minutes.

9:01  Phone conference with George Washington U. to talk about their use of ApplyYourself on-line application for graduate applicants with Mark Landerghini in Arts and Sciences  Graduate Admission, Sarah Genter, and Way Leon with ITS.  Good information that will help us transition from current to new vendor for grad apps.  Need to bridge USF schools and colleges with one common application and software required to transfer data back and forth between application software and Banner  ERP.

9:59  Call Admission office to leave message will be 5 minutes late for next meeting, phone answered, ‘USF Admission hold please,’ followed by dead silence, so will need to address need to improve customer service/phone courtesy later this morning.

10:10 meeting with Mark Priolo, Transfer Admission manager.  Monthly one-on-one.  Talked about transfer initiatives in Sacramento , processes for evaluating international transfer applications, spring numbers, spring yield events, professional development.

Mike at another meeting... busy day!

11:21 11 am meeting cancelled.  Was to have met with Sheila Sullivan, Associate Dean, Graduate and Undergraduate Programs, to talk about anomalies to admission criteria for professional studies graduate students.  Gives me a chance to eat an apple, then go talk with James Miller, Director of Admission Operations.

Talked with Sarah Genter about grad application and planning for admission processes for on-line programs to be offered to graduate students.

11:46 Finally e-mail.  Except that B.J. stopped by to talk about my meeting with a coach to help with time and management skills, Professional Studies admission and recruiting.

12:17 meet with James, also talk about welcome packet to new admits, transfer admission application processing

12:30 Go to grab lunch – can of tuna (low cal, cheap) and meet Belinda Sandoval, Director of Freshman Admission on way, who tells me one of our counselors is sick with either strep throat or appendicitis (?!)   Concerned for counselor and for 13,000 applications that need to be read by March 7.  Take a minute at lunch to scan ‘Punahou Bulletin’ published by Punahou High School on Honolulu, which is one of our strongest feeder high schools.

12:47 Glance at e-mails (There are 130 in my inbox, and I’ve gotten to answer one so far today – not looking good.  I really try to be responsive to e-mails, so it’s a constant challenge, especially on a day like today when it’s almost back-to-back meetings.)  Now on to a ‘Stay On Track’ committee meeting where the university is pulling together means to help students graduate in four years.  Advice to students:  find an advisor, a mentor, someone who can help you plan your curriculum, to stay on top of the credits you’ve taken and those you’ll need to graduate in four years.  Plan your study abroad semester early.  Check in with the Graduation Center in One Stop Enrollment and Financial Services early to see if you’re on track to graduate.  Read all of your USF e-mail.  It may be important information that you’ll need to stay current with academic progress, with your student account – all of the things that will lead you to graduation on time.

1:00  Stay on Track meeting.  Good discussions trying to round up consensus with about 25 people from campuses across departments.  I’m glad I’m not chairing the committee.  First proposal for an approach to a theoretical blueprint thrown out due to  suggestions on better approach – less linear, more holistic.  Second try is to throw tasks and responsibilities on the table that would need to be covered by a single advising center.  Oddly, this works, and finally, by meeting’s end, we’re further along toward the blueprint than when we started – with everyone’s buy-in.  Did more listening than contributing.

2:40  Back from Stay on Track.  Another stab at e-mails.  Samples: question on credits from another institution for a graduate student  in Business and Professional Studies; status report  on the surgery of a admission counselor’s mother (he needed time away to be there  – again, balancing concern for counselor with need to get through files);  daily spring registration statistics; data from a company that is helping us crunch numbers for admission and merit aid; details on position to support upcoming on-line courses, since they’ll all have to go through an admission process;  and a request to carefully review an applicant who is of special interest to a member of the Jesuit community.  We’re getting lots of requests on applicants, which is a balancing act, since we’ve got a LOT of applications, and can only admit a finite amount.

A stack of applications that Mike has to read

2:59  On my way to a meeting to discuss a new code on Banner, the student system, for students not admitted Early Action, when I’m waylaid by Mary Jane Kober, in Admission Reception, who informs me that there are parents and a daughter here for our 3:00 meeting.  I do remember, but somehow, they’ve not made it to my calendar.

So we meet.  The daughter has applied, but not been admitted Early Action because she has a grade point average in high school below a 2.5, and test scores below 400 on both Critical Reading and Math SAT scores.  I’ve talked with both parents on the phone, who insisted they bring the applicant in to talk so I would know the kind of student she is, so I agreed.  I always like to give people their due.  Both the student and parents feel that, despite her academic record, they know she can do it when she gets to USF.  She is also very interested in the faith-based education USF offers.  I point out that the average gpa for students admitted thus far is over 3.8, and that the student would be in a class with students who had this kind of academic preparation, and that teachers would be teaching to this level.  They know she can do it.  I ask the student how she feels about it.  ‘I know I can do it.’  The father points out that she is very talented.  I explain that while we do look at all aspects of the students’ talents, we can’t forget the important academic piece.  I tell them we will give her every consideration, but must be honest, in that it is doubtful she will be admitted.  I walk them, talking, to the front door.  This has taken more than an hour.  I admire their persistence, but it wears me out.  I wonder how many more conversations I will have with them.

4:15  I try to focus on e-mails, but at this point, I’m a little brain-dead and I’m tired.  It’s the end of the week.  I turn to something that doesn’t require much articulation – e-timesheets and expense report approvals.  I think that tomorrow, Saturday, I should come in and read applications.  The more I get done early, the less pressure there will be the first week of March when we need to get them done.

4:45 I have to get out of here.  I’m meeting Fr. Donal Godfrey for dinner at six.  I have to go home and walk the dog and change to get back to Loyola House by six.

6:00 Right on time.  A glass of wine with Donal at Loyola House, very comfortable, meet a Jesuit who is stopping in San Francisco on his way to St. Peter’s in New Jersey, where he will be the director of Student Life.  It’ s nice to relax in good company.  After a glass of wine, on to dinner at Betelnut.  Good conversation, as always, with Donal – some school talk, but lots of talk about Ireland, Donal’s home, travel, his ministry in the city.  Lots of people loud and happy in the restaurant, a great distraction after some angst over a busy day.”

That is a day!  Thanks, Mike, for giving us a behind-the-scenes look at the Admission Office!  As you can see, Mike and other other Academic and Enrollment Services employees have the daunting job of reading and evaluating all of the applications to USF.  He most likely read yours!  Mike is extremely dedicated, and his advice is excellent.  You’ll run into Mike at least one more time while you’re here… at your graduation!  Thanks again, Mike!


A Day in the Life: Joe Garity, Reference Librarian, Coordinator of Library Instruction

I thought it was fitting today to profile Joe Garity for the ever-popular “A Day in the Life” post.  Why?  Because Joe works at a place many of you should be visiting as we head into finals week… Gleeson  Library!  Joe is a Reference Librarian and the Coordinator of Library Instruction.  He is also the subject liaison for Communication Studies (as well as other departments).  That’s right… many of you have probably met Joe when he taught a library class for Communication & Everyday Life.  Joe has been at USF since 1991, so he is in his 20th year here!  Joe earned his BA in History from Fordham University at Lincoln Center and his Masters in Library and Information Studies from UC Berkeley.  Here’s “A Day in the Life” of Joe Garity:

6:45: alarm goes off.

6:55: roll out of bed, put on tv. A confession: I’m kind of a news junkie. As I have breakfast, shower, get dressed, and all that, I’m switching around between the local news on Channel 2, CNN, MSNBC, Fox, CSPAN, CSPAN2 and yes, I admit it, I even watch CSPAN3.

8:45: bus to work on the 38 Geary. I’m originally from the Bronx in NYC and I guess one way that I am still a New Yorker is that I’ve never owned a car, I always use mass transit to get around.

9:30: arrive at work

9:45-10:45: check my email.  Answer some questions, follow up on requests for classes from faculty, check to see which librarians are available for the appointments students request for help with research, read listserv on library instruction, my daily google alert on the phrase “University of San Francisco.” (http://www.google.com/alerts)

Joe at his desk... trying to win the contest for "Neatest Desk at USF"

11-12:15: meet with a student who needs some help with her research for a Latin American Studies class. Students can request appointments with a librarian (http://www.usfca.edu/templates/gleeson_library_inside2_forms.aspx?ekfrm=2147486103) for one to one help. Another confession: one of the reasons I really enjoy being a librarian is that virtually every day I learn something new just from the questions people ask. The student today is researching Argentina and plastic surgery. I did not know Argentina has one of the highest plastic surgery rates in the world. The student is interested in why. We find some articles and some statistics.

12:30-1:30: lunch—buy a gyro at The Twilight Cafe (http://www.yelp.com/biz/twilight-cafe-san-francisco).  I sit outside to eat. I always try to leave Gleeson for lunch; I like the fresh air, it recharges my batteries.

1:30-2:45: back in my office: yet more email and write up a job recommendation for a former Library School intern. Each semester we have library school students (usually from San Jose State getting their Masters) who intern with us to get experience in an academic library. After that, I look through some publisher catalogs for books to order for the library.

3-5: on the Reference Desk. The reference librarians do about 8-10 hours a week on the desk answering lots of different questions. Some examples from today:

  • a student looking for articles on Latino/Latina immigrant students and language acquisition
  • an Instant Message from a student having difficulty finding a specific article from The New York Times in April 1998
  • a Fromm student wanting to find books on an 18th century European painter and the general section in the library on art history
  • a Nursing graduate student looking for research articles published in the last 5 years on types of cancer and the articles need to cite demographic data on the people in the study


Joe at the reference desk

A "Joe's-eye-view" from behind the Reference Desk

5-6: back in my office: prepare for a Media Studies class coming to the library tomorrow. The teacher has sent me some of the topics (new social media and celebrities, global branding of athletes, etc) and I usually try a few in various databases to find good examples to use in the class.

6-8:30: leave the library, catch the bus downtown. Have dinner with a friend at Victor’s Pizzeria on Polk Street, at Bush. Great eggplant parmesan, great conversation.

8:30: head home, pick up the SF Chronicle and NY Times to see what is going on (yes, I buy morning papers in the evenings)

9-11:30: skim through the SF Chronicle and NY Times, see what is on tv, flip through some channels and fall asleep watching repeats of The Golden Girls.

Thanks, Joe, for taking us through your day!  So fun to hear the interesting questions you get!  Joe and the other library staff are incredibly helpful, so be sure to get to know them during your time here.  Actually, I think there is a “Joe Fan Club” on campus, because every student I told about this blog post mentioned how great he is!

You can learn more about Gleeson Library by checking out their blog here: http://gleesongleanings.wordpress.com/


A Day in the Life: #15 Sean Burns

In honor of our upcoming Communication Studies Game Day (it’s this Sunday, May 1st at 1:00 at Benedetti Diamond!), today’s “A Day in the Life” features Senior Communication Studies major and right-handed pitcher, #15 on the Dons men’s baseball team, Sean Burns!  Here is A Day in the Life of Sean, March 30, 2011:

#15 Right-handed pitcher, Sean Burns

10:00am- wake up and make breakfast.
11:00am- clean kitchen.
11:15am- shower and get ready for class.
11:45am- first class starts: Drawing for Non-Majors.
2:30pm- first class is over.
2:50pm- baseball practice starts. We typically have two practice days during the week. The team usually goes through a number of things, which include: batting practice, team defense drills, our own individual throwing programs (long toss, bullpens, etc.), conditioning (sprints, agility drills, core exercises, etc.), and weight training after we finish our work on the field.

Diamond Dons baseball team... Sean is third from the right

4:15pm- practice ends.
4:20pm- shower in locker room.
4:35pm- Get something to eat from the cafeteria.
4:45pm- Second class starts: Law, Politics, and Baseball.
6:25pm- Second class ends.
6:30pm- Third class starts: Advertising Planning and Placement.
9:15pm- Third class ends.
9:30pm- Arrive back at home.
9:45pm- Eat dinner.
10:00pm- Homework/study.
11:00pm- Call girlfriend and relax.
11:45pm- Go to sleep.
Sean, like the other players, juggles practice and three games per week with a full load of classes.  The baseball team has a jam-packed schedule, playing 55 games in the regular season!
Come join us to cheer on Sean and the rest of the team this Sunday at our Communication Studies Game Day!  1:00 at Benedetti Diamond!  The #1 ranked Dons will take on the #3 ranked Lions of LMU.  Fun fact: Baseball players are highly superstitious, so in addition to watching the field, I’ll have my eye on the dugout to catch some of the team’s game time rituals.
Thanks, Sean, for taking us through your day!  Congratulations to you and the rest of the team on your season and good luck this weekend!  Go Dons!
Photos courtesy of Alex Crook and the USF Athletics Department.

A Day in the Life: Ed Carpenter, USF Web News Content Coordinator

Today’s “A Day in the Life” profiles Ed Carpenter, USF Web News Content Coordinator.  Ed’s name may be familiar to some of you because his byline is on all of the USF News stories (thus his title!).  Ed’s position will be of great interest to many of our majors, as he does for USF what many of you are interested in doing for a job.  Fun fact: He is also the person who decides on the USF Connect Featured Photo!  Indeed, I first got to know Ed when I e-mailed him several times (okay, I’m underestimating, it was way more than “several”) about choosing one of our Game Day pictures as the featured photo.  Luckily, he hasn’t held that against me and agreed to participate on our blog! 

Ed has been at USF more than three years.  He writes online news and makes videos about the research, service, and awards being done and won by USF students, faculty and staff.  He also highlights USF’s connections to San Francisco and the Bay Area.  The news is online at http://www.usfca.edu/newsroom/ or on USF Connect.  Ed develops USF news stories through an extensive list of contacts on campus, by monitoring the mainstream news, and by reaching out to administrators, faculty, students (including student clubs), and staff on a regular basis.  Since the launch of USF’s new website, he has also developed news ideas by monitoring blogs and other social media (I think our blog is one of them!).  Ed earned a BA in English and Philosophy from the University of Arkansas, and his MA in journalism from UC Berkeley.  Here’s “A Day in the Life” of Ed Carpenter: April 1, 2011:

USF Web News writer extraordinaire, Ed Carpenter

6:15 Awake, clean up, iron, dress.

6:45 Change and dress one-year-old Mateo. Practice saying “stinky” with him so that his grandmother (my mom) will be duly impressed when she visits in two weeks.

7 Out the door.

7:10 Pick up riders at casual carpool.

7:35 Drop riders in downtown San Francisco.

7:45-8 Hightail it to USF.

8 Arrive. Boot computer. Make coffee (French pressed, of course), eat some yogurt, skim the San Francisco Chronicle and New York Times.

8:30 Check Google Alerts for “USF” and “University of San Francisco.” Read online news. Check email. Sign in and check USF’s social media. Review calendar/daily agenda. Review to-do list.

9:15 Prepare to publish a USF News story on Prof. Katz’s work with indigenous tribes in the Amazon: edit photo, publish using Ektron

9:45 Compose and send questions via email for interview for Prof. Gunn for story on winning National Science Board’s Public Service Award.

10 Compose and send questions related to eight School of Nursing news stories for upcoming college e-newsletter. Review the materials I’ve already received.

11 Organize sidebar story ideas for USF Magazine feature on how USF provides a Global Education. It’ll be out in May people! Look for it. Your classmate is probably quoted.

11:15 Read Higher Ed Impact, Jan/Feb, “Social Media: Uncovering Opportunities For Higher Education.” Discuss with Thomas Listerman, USF E-Communications Director.

12 Lunch at my desk.

12:30 Talk with PatchU of Patch.com about reaching out to faculty and students who might be interest in covering local news for class credit or the even more popular cash.

12:45 Check out Quara.com (mentioned in Higher Ed Impact article). Email link to media relations colleague Anne-Marie Devine for possible use down the road. I believe most of you read Anne-Marie’s Day In the Life recently.

1 Begin sidebar of USF Magazine on Israel-Palestine immersion for story on how USF provides a global education. Thanks to Celeste Wilson ’10. It’ll be out in May DONSCOMers! Look for it. Did I mention that your classmate might be quoted?

No, you didn't time travel back to an 80s video... it's another shot of Ed C

2 Blue Bottle coffee break. Can’t believe I just paid $3.50 for this tiny cup of cappuccino. Sure is good though.

2:30 Meet with colleague about gender justice award and doing a USF News story. It’s coming.

2:45 Set up meeting with Liza Locsin about A&S college e-newsletter.

3 Begin brainstorming Prof. Dube’s Zambia/Zimbabwe HIV/AIDS immersion for USF Magazine sidebar for story on how USF provides a global education. It’ll be out in May; don’t forget. Get yourself a copy. Your classmate could be quoted. Well, she’s an alum – so more like a former classmate.

3:30 Read background on Zambia Today immersion.

4 Compose and email questions to Prof. Dube.

4:15 Email initial inquiries to students who took part in the Zambia immersion last summer to gage interest in being interviewed.

4:30 Meet with USF Magazine design team

5 Flintstone’s prehistoric bird/horn sounds in the back of my head. It’s quittin’ time. Does anyone even know that cartoon these days? Instead of sliding down a dinosaur’s tale into my car and zipping home, I crawl across the Bay Bridge at 15 mph.

5:45 Arrive home

5:50 Practice soccer with Mateo in the kitchen. He yells “goal” every time he kicks the ball. Where does he get that from?

6-6:15 Anne washes Mateo. I make dinner, or start to.

6:15 Read to Mateo. Sing the ABCs (He loves that).

6:30 Anne puts him down to sleep. I finish making dinner.

7 Eat dinner. Grilled baby back ribs and sweet potato French fries with salad. Tofu doesn’t touch these lips. But, don’t hold that against me.

7:30 Wash dishes. Clean up. Talk with Anne about the hike we will take Mateo on Saturday from Presidio to the Golden Gate Bridge.

8 Hello Facebook and personal email account. Did you miss me?

8:25 Meditate on taking my new motorcycle for a drive on Saturday after hiking. Zen…

8:30 I should say I did something productive like read a groundbreaking article in the unopened Atlantic sitting on my coffee table at this point. But, it’s Friday. I vegged out and watched Champions League Soccer. While I’m watching, I daydreamed that I’ll play as good as those guys during my Sunday pick-up match. Messi, who?

11 That’s pretty much it, aside from hitting the sack. Say “hi,” if you see me around campus!

Wow!  Thanks, Ed, for giving us a glimpse behind the scenes of USF News.  Ed’s day shows all of the work involved in creating news stories about USF.  Check out Ed’s stories to keep up to date about what is going on at our university!


A Day in the Life: Alex Hochman, Assistant Director of Career Services, USF

I know I start every “A Day in the Life” post this way, but I am really excited about today’s profile!  Why?  Because today we are getting a look at the life of Alexander Hochman, the Assistant Director of Career Services here at USF.  What you may not know is that Alex is also a food writer (and I know there are a lot of food connoisseurs out there), and, if his post is any indication, he may moonlight as a comedian, although I haven’t verified this (but I am still laughing!).

Alex Hochman has been the Assistant Director of USF’s Priscilla A. Scotlan Career Services center for six years.  His responsibilities include: one-on-one career counseling with students and alumni, overseeing the center’s marketing campaigns, coordinating internships, supervising the center’s graduate intern, and regularly presenting career workshops in classrooms and to student organizations.  As I mentioned, he is also a food writer and contributes twice each week to Sfoodie, the online food section of SF Weekly.  He earned a B.A. Communication from The University of Michigan and a M.A. Career Development from John F. Kennedy University.  Alex lives on Potrero Hill with his wife, Pam, and their two daughters Sophie (10) and Anna (8).  Stop. The. Presses.  Another Communication Studies major?!  For those of you keeping count, that is three Communication Studies majors we have profiled here on the blog who work all over campus!  See?  We’re everywhere!  Here is “A Day in the Life” of Alex: April 5, 2011:

“6:30 My wife’s alarm clock goes off. Ignore it. Roll back over.

7:00 Said wife kisses me goodbye on her way out the door to work.

7:10 Girls come into our room to wake me up. They tell me I’m running late.  Why do I bother with an alarm clock? Roll back over.

7:20 Shower, shave, get dressed, listen to Murph and Mac talk about the Giants on KNBR.

7:40 Give my older daughter her daily eye drop, put cereal dishes in the sink.

7:45 1st email check of the day on my iPhone. Also a quick first glance at the financial markets, employment news, and food blogs.

7:55 Out the door with the girls.

8:15 Drop the girls at school. Kibitz with other parents on the sidewalk.

8:20 Coffee at Four Barrel on Valencia. As always, I feel like a loser in my khakis and pinstriped, button-down shirt. Everyone here is so damn hip! One of the best features of the girls’ school is its proximity to Four Barrel AND Blue Bottle coffee outlets.

8:30 Arrive at Le Truc, a trendy newish SOMA food truck, to sample their Austin style breakfast tacos that I’d heard raves about. Mildly disappointed. Wouldn’t go back and not worth writing about.

8:55 The parking gods have smiled on me: Lone Mountain ramp parking, my favorite, still has a spot. Sure sign that today’s gonna be a good one. Check emails again while walking to office.

9:00 Sit down at desk. Respond to emails from employers regarding internship listings. Post internships and forward listings to respective majors.

9:30 Gather materials for both morning “in-class” presentation and evening resume workshop for RAs. Print evaluation forms.

9:45 Push out email promoting next week’s Careers in the Arts panel.

10:00 Attend weekly staff meeting.  Topics include:

  • Career and Internship Fair evaluation results
  • Scheduling of year-end events including Student Assistant appreciation dinner and  planning retreat.
  • Nursing Mock Interviews event update
  • Discussion regarding upcoming marketing needs
  • Web Student Assistant search update

11:30 Leave staff meeting early to hoof it up to Lone Mountain for a resume workshop for ESL students.

11:45 Resume workshop for 15 ESL students. They’re awesome! Lots of great questions and interaction. It always amazes me how different “proper” resumes are in different cultures. I assure them that a photo is not a good idea for a U.S. resume.

12:50 Check emails and financial news on the way to the car.

1:00 Starving. Late lunch at Jane, a new restaurant on Fillmore that I’m reviewing for SF Weekly. I’m literally one of two guys there. Verrrrryy ladies who lunchish kind of place. Food is painfully average. Who would pay $8.50 for this smallish, dry turkey and provolone sandwich? Oh yeah, the people around me would. Toffee chocolate chip cookies rock! Take notes on my iPhone and then email them to my personal Gmail for later. Get lots of pictures of said sandwich and cookies. Also do a mid-day check in on the food blogs (I read 10 regularly each day). I can’t imagine life without an iPhone.

Looks good, but according to food critic Alex, not that good. Do they make deliveries of those toffee chocolate chip cookies?

1:45 It’s a great parking day. My spot is still there.

2:00 Meet with 2010 Media Studies alum to discuss career goals, job search strategies and resume tips. She’s currently working at a coffee shop and is unsure about what she wants to do. We schedule a career assessment and a follow-up appointment.

3:00 Meet with Exercise Sports Science freshman to help write her resume. She’s looking for summer internships. I love it when freshmen and sophomores come to career services. It makes a big difference when they’re looking for jobs and internships later in their college careers.

3:30 Meet with senior Finance major to discuss pending job search. This is his first time in and he’s shocked to learn that a minimum of three internships is a must if he wants a shot at a good job. He hasn’t done any. Uggh. We discuss a “Plan B” that involves trying to find an internship immediately that maybe can last through the summer.

4:00 Check emails. Respond to a professor who wants a counselor to come speak to her class.

4:30 Catch up for a bit by text and then phone with my wife. Pam works in marketing for Adobe (she’s our primary earner) and her daily work schedule makes mine look like kid’s play. She reminds me to confirm with weekend babysitter. I dutifully follow orders.

4:45 Go over UCAN website usage report and start to brainstorm for June UCAN conference agenda. UCAN is a fantastic 22 school internship consortium that we’re a part of and I’m proud to be its President yet relieved that my three year term comes to an end this summer.

5:15 Check in on Linked-In, Facebook and Twitter to see what’s going on in my virtual worlds. Four USF students have invited me to be a contact on Linked-In. Love it.

5:45 Down the hill I go to Hayes Healy for my RA resume workshop.

6:00 Up the hill I go to Cowell. The organizer rescheduled rooms but forgot to tell the featured speaker.

6:05 This is a night that I always look forward to as I love presenting to the RAs. They’re always engaged, thoughtful and funny and tonight is no different. Big crowd too with over 50 in attendance. We discuss resumes at a high level of detail and also other career hopes and dreams. When our daughters go to college, I want them to be RAs.

7:30 Stick around for a few minutes after the presentation to take one-on-one questions.

7:45 Sprint to my car as I’m late for an 8PM interview for SF Weekly.

8:05 OK, only five minutes late. I interview Katie Sullivan Morford, a local food writer who has recently started a blog called “Mom’s Kitchen Handbook.” We talk for 90 minutes as I furiously take notes and shovel down a late supper of smoked trout salad and a glass of wine. A light meal is much needed as I’ve been eating like crap lately.

9:40 Screw that. I’m at the Jack in the Box takeout window on Bayshore. Four tacos for $3. They are, by far, the best things I’ve eaten today.

9:55 Finally home. I wake up my half-asleep girls and catch up with them and do our tuck-in routine. Luckily, I’m only home this late one or two nights each week.

10:10 Get reprimanded by Pam for waking up the girls and then catch up on our day. I leave out the part about the four tacos but the streak of brilliant red hot sauce on my sleeve makes it pretty obvious. I also reek of tacos.

10:45 Sit down in our office to write. Yes, my Jane review is due tonight! Last minute production: some things haven’t changed since college.

12:30 After many excursions to a variety of sports and food websites, I finally finish my article. I upload the pictures and submit it all to my editor.

12:45 Still online. Chilling out and checking emails, including my Donsmail, one last time before bed. A sad addiction. Search Youtube for clips from the final LCD Soundsystem shows. Wish I was in New York.

1:00 Brush teeth and to sleep. Taco burps pervasive. Must. Go. To. Gym. Tomorrow.”

Wow!  Thanks, Alex, for taking us through your day!  Alex wins the “Latest Bed Time” award (it is very prestigious).  You can learn more about the Career Services Center here: www.usfca.edu/csc or you can visit them on the 5th floor of University Center.  They have drop-in hours 11:00-2:00 everyday, or you can make an appointment.  I’ve mentioned it before, but the one piece of advice our alums always give when they come back to talk with current students is to visit the Career Services Center.  Do it!  You can also follow the Career Services Center on twitter @USFcareer.

You can check out Alex’s food reviews here:

SF Weekly Hochman Page: http://blogs.sfweekly.com/author.php?author_id=2134

SF Weekly Jane review: http://blogs.sfweekly.com/foodie/2011/04/lunching_with_the_ladies_at_ja.php

SF Weekly Katie Morford interview: http://blogs.sfweekly.com/foodie/2011/04/qa_with_katie_morford_of_moms_kitchen_handbook.php


A Day in the Life: Charlene Lobo Soriano, Assoc. Director, Academic Support Services

Today’s “A Day in the Life” is major.  Really.  You know how we profile university employees that our students may have heard of , to show what they do in their positions here at the university, and to highlight the many programs we have on campus?  Well, many of you may know the subject of today’s post, although you may not know you know her.  Why?  Because today we are revealing the identity of the person behind @itweetUSF

Yes, @itweetUSF, the most frequent tweeter for USF.  The one who inspired me to join twitter.  Who is she?  None other than Charlene Lobo Soriano, whose official title is the Associate Director of Academic Support Services, where she works with students and their families to ensure a successful first year of college and beyond.  Charlene has been at USF for 11 years.  She earned her BA in French from UC Davis, her MA in Counseling from San Francisco State, and her Ed.D in International and Multicultural Education from USF.  Here’s “A Day in the Life” of Charlene: March 31, 2011:

0720 Wake up…daughter wakes up and wants to play Dora Coloring games on the iPad.
0745 Read book and distribute potty prizes (she’s potty training!)
0800 Make breakfast
0840 Hit the pavement for commute
0900 Arrive in office
0915 Check tweets, send out weather report, and check work email. Consult with student assistant regarding day’s projects

Char working with a student assistant

0930 Walk out to car because I forgot something…always happens
0955 Meet with Shawn Calhoun (Gleeson Library), Alex Hochman (Career Services) to present to David Silver’s Golden Gate Park class in his absence
1015 Show class my awesome LinkedIn page as an example
1030 Do my song and dance about Stress and hope that it connects with students
1055 Tell class that I was once subject to dismissal in college. Ultimately, it gets better. Everything will be alright. And it was.
1115 Head back to office to get my gear for World’s Best Office Hours
1130 Start World’s Best Office Hours in the Cafeteria with some knitting, conversation and greetings to students. Update Twitter to let students know I’m here. Consume an banana and a pear. Fruit is good for you.

Charlene in the world's best office hours

1210 Watch the flash mob
1215 Teach students how  to bind off for knitting. This is particularly exciting because I taught them how to knit a few weeks ago!
1235 Get lunch (tofu, rice, edamame) Make epic decision to eat outside (I’m normally an indoors person)
1300 Meet with colleagues Alex Sciarappa and Tom Merrell (both of Student Disability Services) to eat outside Fromm. Discuss Frank Sinatra. Check tweets/personal email
1315 Review midterm grades for class today
1340 Take a deep breath. Sometimes people say things and don’t think about how that impacts the person who is receiving the message.
1410 Watched/Listened to The Oatlmean’s presentation on slideshare.net (http://www.slideshare.net/jessedee/viral-marketing-with-the-oatmeal-matthew-inman-sxsw)
1430 Headphones on to review information for lecture this afternoon. It’s on “self-discipline” and I question my own ability to be self-disciplined as I dig through my iTunes for the perfect song to get started

Char working hard

1500 Eat an apple.
1518 Testing software for class (polleverywhere.com)
1538 Discussed with coworkers whether or not it’s okay to eat expired Clif Bars (they were expired in March 2010; eaten just last week)
1600 Move car to Hayes Garage
1625 Catch up with students in class while setting up equipment (projector, laptop and clicker responder base)
1635 Commence lecture with acknowledgment that it is a nice day and I was going to try to finish in a reasonable amount of time so they can go outside and/or catch the Giants game

Charlene teaching... persistence is key!

1715 Wind up lecture
1725 Commute home
1800 Arrive home
1815 Pack up family into car to go to our new home and pick up the keys from our Realtor

New home owners!

1900 Get back to Old Home, fix dinner for family
1930 Downtime with family
2000 Begin wrestling match to put Little One to bed
2045 Read 4 books to Little One – while she sleeps I catch up with tweets and google reader (I have over 66 subscriptions and finish it off every night!)
2200 Catch up with husband about furniture and watch KTVU news
Somewhere around 2330 Hit the shower and get to bed!

Thanks, Charlene, for taking us through your day!  Isn’t it fun to see the woman behind the twitter account?  Charlene is a pro and one of my “twitter profs”!  You can also keep up with Charlene on her blog, “And so it begins…A blog about the first year at USF” here: http://blogs.usfca.edu/fyss/.  And you can find out more about Charlene’s office, First Year Student Services, here: http://www.usfca.edu/acadsupport/firstyear/


A Day in the Life: Anne-Marie Devine, Director of Media Relations, USF

I am so happy to introduce you to Anne-Marie Devine, the Director of Media Relations here at the University of San Francisco!  I am pleased that Anne-Marie is joining us here on the blog because I think her position is especially interesting for many of our Communication Studies students.  Anne-Marie was a Speech Communication major at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and, get this, she is a member of Lambda Pi Eta!  Anne-Marie has been at USF since 2006 and worked at GCI Group, a global PR agency, as an account supervisor prior to coming to USF.  Here is A Day in the Life of Anne-Marie Devine: March 31, 2011:

USF Director of Media Relations Anne-Marie Devine

5:30am: Alarm goes off…
5:39am: get out of bed, brush teeth, wash face, get dressed
6:00-7am: strength training class
7:10am: home, freshen up, get dressed for real with Today Show on in the background
7:40am: Get in my car and head to USF…stop at local coffee shop
8:10am: arrive at work
8:15am-9:30am: email & market back media hits I’ve worked on.

The view from Anne-Marie's office in the Rossi Wing of Lone Mountain

9:30am-11am: Media outreach, pitching and event work

  • San Francisco Chronicle’s Nanette Asmiov is working on a piece about UC and CSU students transferring to private schools; work with Admissions to get the stats she is looking for. Emails back and forth.
  • Helping to organize special event with BPS and The EconomistEconomist writer Andreas Kluth will speak at a USF event about the state of California; working with Saundra Hudnall in BPS and emailing with my contact at The Economist to solidify details.
  • Secured 3:30 interview for USF law prof. Bob Talbot with the Associated Press/Paul Elias…Barry Bonds case. Emails and phone calls with Paul and Bob to coordinate time; provide Bob with possible questions to expect, etc.
  • Sent out reminders to media about the USF Human Rights Film Fest http://www.usfca.edu/artsci/hrff/
  • More correspondence with The Economist about 4/28 event
  • Received message from School of Law that District Attorney George Gascón, and San Francisco Public Defender, Jeff Adachi, will be speaking at the law school next week; correspond with organizers to see if we can invite media. Assign writing the first draft of the media alert to our intern, Ishtar (a Communication Studies major!).

11:15am-11:45am: Correspondence with professors & media

  • Working with Lisa Harper to pitch her new book, A Double Life: Discovering Motherhood http://www.lisacatherineharper.com/?page_id=23
  • Secured interest in the book with the Wall Street JournalLA TimesFit Pregnancy + Natural Health, and the Globe and Mail; emails to those reporters letting them know the books have been mailed.
  • Emails with iVillage reporter about the nuts and bolts of the book.
  • Assignment email to Ishtar (our media relations intern) for the day’s to-dos

12noon-12:45: Quick workout at Koret

12:45: Heat up lunch and eat at my desk as I go through emails; thank you email to Stephanie Martin/KQED for visiting campus on Monday. Discuss day and updates with my boss.

1:00: Researching the Defense team’s witness list for Bob Talbot prior to the AP interview at 3:30; send Bob recent stories and the list via email

1:15pm: Just got a call from KQED’s Forum with Michael Krasney (88.5). They are doing a piece on tomorrow’s forum about the increased commercialization of NCAA sports– Men’s Basketball, in particular. There was a Frontline special about it that aired on Tuesday– people saying that there is so much money in the sport surrounding March Madness, etc. that the student athletes should get paid. So, the producers are looking for a student athlete from USF’s Men’s Basketball who would have the other side of the opinion– “we are amateurs, we are here to get an education, the opportunity to learn and play basketball. We don’t need to get paid at this level.” Speak with my colleagues in Athletics and decide not to move forward with this opportunity. Email producer to let him know.

1:30pm: Sent out reminders about the USF hospitality industry symposium

Anne-Marie's motto!

2pm: email with John McMurtie, book reviewer for the San Francisco Chronicle to see what the plans are for Lisa’s book. He said he HOPES to run something on Lisa’s book. Fingers crossed!

2:30-3:30: Drafted email “save the date” for the Mayoral Forum USF is hosting on May 5. Super exciting event! USF’s McCarthy Center is partnering with buildOn, a national nonprofit, to host a Mayoral Forum on service. As of now, we have received confirmations from 6 of 7 invited candidates: Rees, Herrera, Chiu, Ting, Dufty, Yee and are waiting to hear back from Alioto-Pier.

4pm: Worked with media database to identify all local reporters who cover politics, City Hall and local news. Sent out individuals email requesting they save the date. Heard back from the LA Times, SF Chronicle, KGO-TV, KCBS, KTVU-TV…all plan to cover! Spoke with reporter Matthew Bajko of the b.a.r; explained the premise and answers questions. Word is spreading: http://ebar.com/blogs/?p=1962

4:30pm: Lisa Amin at KGO- ABC 7 tv is looking for an academic to comment on Kickstarter.com. Spoke with her multiple times on the phone and suggested USF business Prof Mark Cannice. KickStarter.com is a new way companies are getting funding without giving up control to VC’s. People post their idea or invention and then people can pledge money. Also, it serves as a test-marketing device because you can gauge what people are giving/saying about the product/idea. Emailed, texted and called Mark; we coordinated and he agreed to do the interview at his home tonight at 7pm; coordinated with reporter Lisa Amin. Story ran on Thursday night at the 11pm news and repeated Friday: http://www.criticalmention.com/report/6852×207504.htm

4:30-4:45: Updated calendar, checked personal email and Facebook…wished happy birthday to a couple friends.

4:45pm: Checked in with Paul Elias of AP about interview; offered time with Bob on Friday.  More pitching the May 5 save the dates.

5:00pm: Edited Ishtar’s draft of the media alert announcing the School of Law’s event with District Attorney George Gascón, and San Francisco Public Defender, Jeff Adachi.

5:30pm: Freshen up a bit and head over to the PRSSA and Lambda Pi Eta event in Fromm Hall. Excited to meet all the Communication Studies majors!

6-7:40: Participate in the PRSSA and Lambda Pi Eta “Pizza with the Pros”…meet some great faculty and communication students. Very fun to interact with future comm. professionals!

7:45pm: head home, find parking RIGHT in front of my place (woot!)…take a walk to grab a salad…such a beautiful evening!

8:30pm— shower, get back on email for a bit. Read the Foghorn online…do a few more emails.

9:30pm- Do a little reading…I’m reading The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything by James Martin, S.J. I really enjoy the way Fr. Martin writes— so real and conversational. It is helping me better understand Jesuit Spirituality, and providing new insights!

Another USFer reading this book... I'm adding it to my list!

10:15pm- Good night!

Thanks, Anne-Marie, for taking us through your (incredibly busy) day!  This gives us a great idea as to what you do in your position.  Thanks also to Anne-Marie for coming to our Pizza with the Pros last week!  It was so helpful for our students to meet you and hear more about your position. 

Follow Anne-Marie on twitter  @amdUSFpr to keep up with USF in the news!