16th Thacher Annual
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Elected to Lead

07-30-2015London Breed

USF alumni hold public office across America. They exert power and influence and make vital decisions that can affect our lives. Here are six USF graduates who are changing our world as elected leaders.

USF Coding Workshop for Bay Area Girls Gets Big Boost

07-22-2015Girls in Tech

USF’s long-running summer computer coding workshop for girls will double in size and be free this year, thanks to a $20,000 gift from AT&T.

AngelHack CEO on Changing the World Through Code

07-15-2015Sabeen Ali

USF’s Sabeen Ali MSOD ’09, the president and CEO of San Francisco-based AngelHack, will be the featured speaker at Change the World Through Code on July 16 — an event for USF alumni, students, faculty, staff, and supporters at the San Francisco Yacht Club.

Students Program Video Games to Improve Patients’ Recoveries 

07-06-2015Video Game Therapy

USF computer science students and alumni are helping disabled patients stand and walk again with therapeutic video games that build patients’ strength and agility.

USF MBA Student’s Tourism Startup Idea Goes “Off the Beaten Path”

06-11-2015Trey Ratcliff union square

Andy Hunter MBA ’16 wants to help tourists experience San Francisco like the locals do.

USF Nursing & Public Health Students Behind Expanded Free Medical Services

06-05-2015Nurse take blood pressure

USF’s School of Nursing and Health Professions (SONHP) has been recognized for helping to expand medical care to San Francisco’s most needy at a free clinic that serves patients far beyond its Tenderloin neighborhood address.

USF Band Ivory Arrows is On the Way, After Releasing New Album

05-18-2015Ivory Arrows

USF band Ivory Arrows has played numerous shows at university venues, debuted two EPs, and toured California and Oregon over the past four years. Now, the soulful indie pop trio has released its first full-length album — On the Way

USF Women Shine as Most Influential

05-12-2015Elizabeth Davis

It’s no surprise that USF women recently made the San Francisco Business Times’ list of Most Influential Women in the Bay Area for the fifth straight year, says School of Management Dean Elizabeth Davis.

Honoring Those Who Help Families in Crisis

05-01-2015California Prize Fitzgerald Johnson

USF celebrated the Chronicle Season of Sharing Fund’s 29 years of supporting Bay Area families in crisis at a gala dinner on April 29, awarding the nonprofit the USF California Prize for Service and the Common Good.

Math Undergrads Hack SF and Win

04-06-2015Math Hackathon Winners

USF math students won the nation’s largest challenge-driven hackathon. They did it by developing a breakthrough application that reduced the online storage size of photos, while preserving faces in the images in crystal clear high resolution.

Business Student Rebuilds Kuwait After Gulf Oil Well Fires

03-05-2015Kuwait oil fires

When business student Dalal AlDilaimi ’16 was 3 years old, her country was transformed into a nightmarish inferno as the retreating Iraq Army set fire to hundreds of Kuwaiti oil wells in the Gulf War. The devastating environmental and human health tolls were immediate and long lasting. Two decades later, AlDilaimi is a leading entrepreneur fighting to bring her country back from the brink.

USF’s Wolfram Alderson is Changing the Way America Eats

03-02-2015Sugar Danger

Wolfram Alderson MSOD ’08 is waging a national campaign to save American lives by changing the way we eat. If he succeeds, it won’t be the first time. As a founding organizer of one of the first farmers’ markets in California and the nation in 1979, he helped galvanize the spread of farmers markets across the country and promote organic, farm-to-table food.

USF Alumna is a National Leader on Solar 

02-27-2015Jeanine Cotter

USF’s Jeanine Cotter JD ’93 is the CEO and co-founder of San Francisco’s largest solar installation firm and a national leader in the green economy, having taken part in a recent White House summit on alternative energy. She attributes her success to principles she learned at USF and to running a business that focuses on improving the environment and supporting the local community as much as making a profit.

USF Celebrates the Lunar New Year

02-20-2015Lunar New Year lion dance

Students, faculty, and staff kicked off the Lunar New Year at a campus celebration Feb. 19 that included a lion dance troupe performance and traditional Asian dumplings for snacks.

When Walls Speak

02-09-2015Julian Rowand

A graduate student in USF’s Human Rights Education program co-directed a short documentary on the celebrated murals in San Francisco’s Mission District and helped paint one himself.

Seeing the Personal in the Past

02-04-2015Oral history with Meals On Wheels SF senior

Next time you tune into StoryCorps on NPR, USF creative writing students may be interviewing a former hippy who moved his family to a teepee on Mt. Tamalpais after the Summer of Love, or a Jewish immigrant who survived the Nazi occupation of France, or a 97-year-old native San Franciscan who remembers when gas street lamps lit downtown.

The Chronicle Season of Sharing Wins the California Prize for Service and the Common Good

02-02-2015Jeffery Johnson

The University of San Francisco has named the Chronicle Season of Sharing Fund this year’s recipient of the USF California Prize for Service and the Common Good. The nonprofit was selected for its commitment to assisting Bay Area families facing financial crisis.

New Exhibit Spotlights Printing Press’s Role in Changing History


USF museum studies students are set to premiere a new Thacher Gallery exhibit on Jan. 26, in a first-of-its kind show.

On MLK Day, Expert Panel Examines How to Improve Police and Community Interactions

01-23-2015Beyond Protests

Community and government leaders came together at the USF School of Law Jan. 20 for “Beyond the Protests,” a panel discussion on how to improve police and community interactions in the wake of controversies surrounding the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner and the lack of indictments against police officers involved in those incidents.

Take 5: Questions With Visiting Professor Janice Mirikitani

01-20-2015Janice Mirikitani Take 5

Janice Mirikitani, USF diversity scholar and visiting professor, talks about the power of diversity and whether San Francisco's tech boom is good for residents.

Meet Silicon Valley’s Ultimate Comeback Kid

01-09-2015Ramona Pierson

In the spring of 1984, Ramona Pierson MA ’03 was more dead than alive. The then-U.S. Marine was out for a jog when a hit-and-run driver ran her over. She was left bleeding on the side of the road with more than 100 broken bones, a slashed aorta, and a catalogue of other injuries that made survival a miracle at best.

Law Student Elected SF Board of Supervisors Interim President

12-05-2014Katy Tang

District 4 Supervisor and USF law student Katy Tang JD ’17 was recently elected interim president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Her six-week term began Dec. 1.

How to Turn a Class Assignment Into a Startup Company

11-19-2014College Labor

Entrepreneur Justin Ohanessian’s recipe for launching a successful business calls for two things: a simple idea and abundant determination.

Are Kids at Risk in the Digital Age?

11-13-2014Parent and child tug at tablet computer

Family therapist Maryellen Mullin ’98, MA ’04 has teamed up with USF faculty and Bay Area experts to offer a first-of-its-kind seminar for parents about raising children in a digital age.

Alumna is Chief Executive in the Fight Against Cancer

11-12-2014Family House

For Alexandra Morgan MNA ’00, the fight against cancer is personal. It played a pivotal role in her decision to become CEO of Family House — a San Francisco nonprofit that cares for children stricken by the disease.

Venture Capitalist Confidence Slides for First Time in Years

10-29-2014VC Index

For the first time in two years, Silicon Valley’s startup funders are souring to near- and mid-term investment opportunities, according to USF research.

Record Attendance at Parents & Family Weekend

10-28-2014Parents & Family Weekend

USF welcomed a record number of parents and family members to campus over the weekend, where they toured the Lo Schiavo Center for Science and Innovation, heard tips on how to navigate San Francisco’s tough apartment rental market, and learned about career counseling and study abroad classes available to students.

Giants in Baseball, Committed to Community Off the Field

10-24-2014Larry Baer Fr Privett

As the San Francisco Giants chase their third World Series championship in five years, the team’s fan base is at an all-time high. But it’s more than stellar baseball that makes the team the darling of Fog City; it’s their support of causes that are near and dear to San Franciscan’s hearts.

USF DiversityTalks: San Francisco Leaders Reflect on the Power of Community

10-09-2014Janice Mirikitani

What do San Francisco’s best-known homeless shelter and the online, vacation-booking site Airbnb have in common? They’re built on community, according to Janice Mirikitani, USF diversity scholar, visiting professor, and former San Francisco poet laureate.

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon Speaks at USF

09-15-2014George Gascon

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon will speak about his rise from high school dropout to become the city’s first Latino D.A. on Sept. 16 at USF.

The Next Big Thing: USF Startup Founder Powers Google Glass

09-09-2014CrowdOptic Jon Fisher

Imagine seeing what basketball star Roy Hibbert sees while flying through the air for a layup, as you watch the Jumbotron from your arena seat. Now imagine physicians saving lives by remotely guiding first responders as they see and treat patients at the scene of an accident. That and more is possible with technology created for Google Glass by a startup founded by Jon Fisher ’98.

Burning Man 2014: USF Prof. Created the Festival's Mail Service

08-25-2014Vijay Mehrotra

Vijay Mehrotra is the kind of guy who will try anything once, whether that means doing improv or taking the Trans-Siberian Railway from Beijing to Berlin.

Forbes Magazine Rank Reveals Entrepreneurialism Runs Deep With USF Students and Alumni

08-19-2014USF Lone Mountain

USF is among the top 25 most entrepreneurial colleges and universities in the country, according to new rankings released by Forbes magazine.

Dobles Vidas: USF Gallery Debuts Work by Celebrated Mexican Folk Artists

08-14-2014Dobles Vidas exhibit

From indigenous ceremonial masks to fantastical papier-mâché monsters, the Thacher Gallery’s new exhibit offers a taste of Mexican folk art at its finest.

USF Students Restore Endangered Species Habitat

08-07-2014Muir Woods

The students began by conducting environmental research on a fragile ecosystem in the Bay Area parks system. Now their research is being adopted by the national park system.

San Francisco Poet Laureate and Activist Named USF Diversity Scholar

08-05-2014janice cropped 2

If you ask celebrated poet and activist Janice Mirikitani, there’s no better classroom than the streets of San Francisco.


Flash Mobs, Food Myths, and Fantasy: USF’s 10 Coolest Classes

08-01-2014Flash mob Earth Day

Weave fishing nets, organize the community ’60s-style in Haight-Ashbury and dance through the streets of San Francisco — all for college credit.

Nursing Students Applauded for Service to San Franciscans

07-23-2014Nursing City Impact

USF’s nursing students are receiving accolades for their work providing free health care to some of the city’s poorest residents.

Translating Science Into Plain English

07-21-2014Students and snails

USF’s Sarah Capitelli has helped turn the San Francisco Exploratorium’s renowned, hands-on science into language lessons for non-English speaking students — work that’s received rave reviews.

Vice Provost and Human Rights ‘Hero’ Joins San Francisco Library Commission

07-18-2014Mary Wardell-Ghirarduzzi

USF’s Mary Wardell-Ghirarduzzi has been named a San Francisco Human Rights Commission Hero Award winner. The award comes on the heels of a separate honor: Mayor Ed Lee recently appointed Wardell-Ghirarduzzi to the San Francisco Library Commission.

USF School Counseling Students Coach High Schoolers to Higher College Enrollment Levels

07-10-2014Western Addition Counseling

USF school counseling students are leading the charge to increase college enrollment among San Francisco students from low-income and immigrant families by providing free counseling in public high schools.

Proudly Part of the City That Defines ‘Pride’

07-02-2014pride 2014

“When we march in Pride, we do it because we know it’s important both for those who march and for those who see us march,” said Andrea Wise ’08, MA ’13. 

Dean Leading California Nurses and Health Policy

06-23-2014Judith Karshmer

Judith Karshmer, USF dean of nursing and health professions, has been elected to represent nurse scholars from across the state on the Association of California Nurse Leaders (ACNL) board.

USF School Counseling Students Coach High Schoolers to Higher College Enrollment Levels

06-19-2014Western Addition Counseling

USF school counseling students are leading the charge to increase college enrollment among San Francisco students from low-income and immigrant families by providing free counseling in public high schools.

USF Data Analytics Rises to the Top

06-17-2014big data

USF’s graduate program in “big data” analytics ranks among the top in the nation, according to MastersInDataScience.org.

Mushrooms ... The New Plastic?


USF’s Philip Ross believes he’s discovered a replacement for plastic. The future, he says, is fungal.


7 USF Women Rank as Top Bay Area Business Leaders

06-11-2014Jennifer Turpin

Two USF executives and five alumnae are on the San Francisco Business Times’ top business leaders list. 

Coding Life-Saving Apps in 48 Hours


They were given 48 hours and a challenge: to harness the power of technology to improve mental health and save lives.

A Conversation With San Francisco’s Top Cop

05-30-2014Greg Suhr '88

“I tell my cops on the very first day that if they think it’s all about this uniform or gun, they joined the wrong police department,” says Police Chief Greg Suhr ’88.

USF’s Venture Capitalist Survey Points to Investor Confidence

05-23-2014US Dollar

Silicon Valley venture capitalists are more optimistic in the economy than they have been at anytime since before the Great Recession, according to a new USF survey.