All posts by Tanya Dzekon

Tiye Sheppard (left) and Christian Ovando, two USF students that put together audio projects for the show, speaking on Balmy alley after the presentation. (Photo Courtesy of Tanya Dzekon).

“The Mission is more than Dive Bars and Tacos”

The doors of Galeria de la Raza on 24th street were wide open, and bolero music bounced wall to wall while USF students presented their audio and visual projects about the transformation of the Mission district in the light-filled gallery space.  Last Sunday, the students unveiled audio projects and photo essays that told the stories of a variety of residents of the Mission District – from the gentrifiers, to the gentrified, and everybody in between.


Continue reading

Fr. Fitzgerald speaking at an event at the Chinese Consulate in New York City honoring extraordinary Chinese graduate students in the region’s universities. Photo courtesy of  Paul J. Fitzgerald

USF Welcomes New President Father Fitz

The presidential search ended last week with the Board of Trustees voting unanimously to elect the Reverend Paul J. Fitzgerald S.J. as the 28th president of the University of San Francisco. Fr. Fitzgerald will officially take office on August 1.

“When I received word I was selected as president, I was absolutely elated,” Fitzgerald said. “USF has an impressive legacy. The chance to contribute to this environment of learning and service is a true honor.”

Fitzgerald is due back to the Bay Area in August. Courtesy of Barbara Ries.

Fitzgerald is due back to the Bay Area in August. Courtesy of Barbara Ries.

This role will bring Fitzgerald back to the Bay Area. He grew up in Los Gatos, Calif. after his family moved from Southern California when he was five. He graduated from Santa Clara University in 1980 (“that other Jesuit school,” he joked) and entered the Society of Jesus two years later. Fr. Fitzgerald was ordained to the priesthood at St. Ignatius Church on the USF campus in 1992. He currently serves as the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Fairfield University in Connecticut.

Fitzgerald also has a wealth of international experience; he attended the University of Paris, La Sorbonne, where he earned a postgraduate degree and PhD in the Sociology of Religion and he taught as a visiting lecturer in China and Kenya. He is fluent in French, German, and conversational in Spanish.

“We believe Fitzgerald is ideally suited to work with the entire USF community in delivering a Jesuit education to the next generations of USF students,” said Thomas E. Malloy, chair of the USF Board of Trustees. “He has a strong commitment to diversity, brings a global perspective, and is an enthusiastic supporter of intercollegiate athletics. He is excited about leading San Francisco’s first university and expanding our partnerships with the community.”

Fr. Fitzgerald married three couples at Santa Clara University this year. Here he is (second from the right) celebrating the wedding of Becky and Bobby Reuter, SCU ‘05. Courtesy of  Paul J. Fitzgerald.

Fr. Fitzgerald married three couples at Santa Clara University this year. Here he is (second from the right) celebrating the wedding of Becky and Bobby Reuter, SCU ‘05. Courtesy of Paul J. Fitzgerald.

Fr. Fitzgerald talks to the Foghorn in an exclusive interview

On coming back to USF and California

“I want to be back at USF because that [diversity] to me is normal, and I just feel joy in a place where everyone feels welcome. USF should look like the Bay Area.”

“In San Francisco you can eat the food from the world, and you can do that in New York City as well, but in New York there’s snow.”


On his campus presence 

“I want to have structured conversations, and I want to meet constituencies and groups of students, but I also want to give myself opportunities to go and have lunch in one of the student dining commons, and sit at a random table and talk to people. I want to do that with faculty. I want to do that with staff.”

On Pope Francis

“I love the new pope, I love the new pope. He is just so genuine, so warm, so loving, non judgmental; you know, he’s like Jesus. He’s challenging, and he is going to be challenging because he’s going to ask people to lead lives of virtue, generosity, kindness, charity, diversity — and those are not alway easy.”


On the San Francisco Chronicle calling him “tech-savvy”

“That’s nice of them. I don’t have any degrees; my degrees are in history and philosophy and theology, and sociology. What some of our conversations were on is what’s going on in San Francisco right now, which is that Silicon Valley is moving into the city. I think the students at USF will go into the tech industry, whether as an engineer, marketer or technical writer, so I think we want to pay really close attention to what are the jobs students are preparing for and what are the jobs our students want when they graduate.”


On technology and morals

“We need to talk together about what technology can do for us, but we also have to be attentive to what technology can do to us. When undergraduate students arrive, they’re pretty comfortable using technology. Is it really keeping them connected to people or is it keeping their relationships kind of  superficial?”


On how USF can lead the conversation on tech and morals

“Some people arrive having had the experience of cyber bullying so how do we have conversations around being kind and being caring in a digital format? If we can be a place where people from different religious traditions have deep conversations, maybe we can help folks in the city do that, as well.”


On student media

“I promise I will never ever ever censor the newspaper. Student media is educational; students are learning how to be journalists; but also they serve a really important function of building community and that also involves presenting difficult questions and brokering difficult conversations.”


On interacting with outside community

“Jesuits have always, for 450 years, thought of our schools as a place where we educate our students, but also a place where we engage the larger community; and sometimes we do it through our students. USF wants to be, and is, and should be more and more, a university for San Francisco, not of San Francisco. We can help the city think of ethical questions about inclusivity and respect. We can have the city ask itself “what are the values of this community that we’re willing to stand up for?”


On his morning routine

“I do yoga. I sit for 25 mins or so, say my prayer. I do these yoga poses: salute to the sun, the cat. There’s a lot of them. I get cleaned up and have breakfast and get the paper and eat with other Jesuits and we chat a little bit.”


On what newspapers he will be reading at USF

“The Foghorn! The [San Francisco] Chronicle, and I hope we get the New York Times and Le Monde.”


On speaking many languages

“We get students from all over the world, and we want to send students all over the world, and we want students to have a sense of global citizenship.”




San Francisco Chronicle Keen to Transform Traditional Reporters into Digital Storytellers

Audrey Cooper pays a visit to USF to discuss how the paper is building a legacy

The San Francisco Chronicle is eager to attract new readers in the digital age. Their goal is to become a digital media site that happens to produce a newspaper, explained Audrey Cooper, 36, the first woman and the youngest person to fill the role of  managing editor at the 150-year-old newspaper.

Cooper is known for spearheading the “incubator,” a training process that aimed to transform the Chronicle’s employees into digital storytellers by teaching them to use multimedia and digital tools. “Never before has it become more important to have reliable sources of news, but we have to work to reach readers on their preferred platform.”

cooper_audrey The Chronicle’s office in the South of Market area is a stone’s throw away from Twitter, LinkedIn, and other tech companies, and there’s no reason to disregard that, Cooper pointed out. The incubator seems to be inspired by the kind of innovation that lead to economic success for these tech giants. “Nowhere are we better positioned to do that than in San Francisco, one of the most digitally advanced and sophisticated areas on the planet.”

In response to what skills are becoming more valuable in the industry today, Cooper said she’d hire a reporter on the spot if they knew how to code an interactive graphic or analyze databases from a journalistic perspective.

Journalism Professor J. Michael Robertson, who organized the talk, said that he appreciated Cooper’s approach. “If I was a student, the lesson I would take away is to get some basic software and play around with it and don’t be self conscious about not being the ultimate expert.”

Cooper, a Kansas City native, graduated from Boston University magna cum laude with a B.S. in journalism and a separate B.A. in political science, and she has a concentration in counterculture history and activism, which she said was very useful for her San Francisco Journalism career.

“Like many students, I was also pretty poor — I had four jobs and internships at one point my senior year,” Cooper said in an email exchange with the Foghorn. In college, she waited tables, interned at the State House, interned at a newspaper, and worked as a resident assistant. “Graduation and getting a real job was comparatively easy.”

Before taking the reins as managing editor, Cooper worked as the Chronicle’s City Editor. Her newsroom won awards for their coverage of the San Bruno pipeline explosion caused by safety failures at Pacific Gas & Electric Co.; the new Bay Bridge’s potentially disastrous construction flaws, and the years-long fight for gay marriage.

Shianne Motter, a sophomore media studies student said that Cooper’s talk was filled with useful information for modern day hopeful journalists. “I left the talk inspired to take a web design or coding class or maybe even pick something of the sort as a minor.”


Foghorn Exclusive: Ukrainian Army Begins to Recruit LGBTQ Community as the Secret Weapon Against Russia

On the eve of a military confrontation with Russia, Ukraine’s Army has begun to advertise positions for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) soldiers as part of a special national guard.

“It’s both offensive and progressive,” said Sam Reed, director of a local LGBTQ Rights Organization. ​”We’re in a little bit of a conundrum.”

“We clearly need a secret weapon,” a top general was quoted saying. The Defense Ministry is urging the Ukrainian parliament to pass a bundle of LGBTQ civil rights bills to make it easier to enlist the LGBTQ community into the army.

We asked the only 2 Ukrainian Students at USF: “Do You Support the Russian Annexation of Crimea?”









DISCLAIMER: This piece was printed as part of The Foghorn’s April Fool’s Day issue on April 1st, 2014. This article is intended to be satirical.

Business Student Admits That He Has No Idea What “Innovation” Actually Means

Buzzwords “innovation” and “entrepreneurship” are heard all over the Bay Area but student David Chang, an Entrepreneurship and Innovation major, has admitted that he has no idea what the industry jargon really means.

“When I arrived in San Francisco I kept hearing other ambitious young people refer to themselves as innovators and entrepreneurs, so I followed suit. It’s been 3 years and I am still not sure what that entails but apparently it looks good on your resume,” said Chang.

buisinessmanChang switched majors during his junior year, from Business Management to Entrepreneurship and Innovation. “I haven’t seen a change academically, but I’ve been getting more job offers in the Bay Area. I highly recommend it,” he said.

However, Chang said he was very confused about what he’s studying and what job he will be performing after he graduates.

When asked what the most challenging part of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation major was, Chang answered,  “the vocabulary.”

“How do you integrate platforms? What is a C-suite and why does everybody want to be in it? Are Angel investors God’s bankers?”

DISCLAIMER: This piece was printed as part of The Foghorn’s April Fool’s Day issue on April 1st, 2014. This article is intended to be satirical.


Greeks Replace Hazing With Praising

Major national sororities and fraternities have announced today that they are looking to evolve their recruitment process and replace “hazing” with “praising.”

“We used to get the new pledges to set their clothing on fire or run their tongue along a blazing hot iron, but now we just tell them how pretty they are. It has really improved morale,” said Ivanka Caviarlump of Kappa Alpha Theta.

Other Greeks were also surprised at how well rush week was going now that they’ve started treating their new organization members with respect and compliments.

“It’s been really eye-opening. I think we all learned a lesson here today,” said Brian Abro, a Phi Delta Theta member who was part of the historical rush week that experimented with replacing hazing with praising.

Hazing is the practice of humiliating and ridiculing new sorority or fraternity members to make sure they are dedicated to the organization. Praising is telling people how pretty their hair looks.

DISCLAIMER: This piece was printed as part of The Foghorn’s April Fool’s Day issue on April 1st, 2014. This article is intended to be satirical.