Category Archives: University News

Storm and Nasatir Hall Renovation Update

The scheduled hard demo work of the building section highlighted below between north and south Storm Hall will be starting tomorrow, Friday, 9/21.  In an effort to minimize noise disruptions sounds blankets have been installed on site.  The sequence of work for this will be about two days, starting tomorrow and into this Saturday as well.


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Storm Nasatir Hall Construction Update: August 14, 2012

As part of the Storm Nasatir construction project, preparations are being made to have a few site related construction maintenance items in place prior to the beginning of the Fall semester on August 27.

1. PS8 3rd Level Access: The team is coordinating with the contractor to have them wrap up the underground utilities work in this area, pull back the construction fencing and provide a pedestrian walkway to PS8 3 level.  The goal is to have this in place the week of August 20.

PS8 detour route

2.       ADA path at temporary restroom facility: this work is tentatively scheduled to start this Thursday, Aug. 16.  The work should only take 1-2 days to complete.  In an event the work does not start this week it will be rescheduled to beginning week of Aug. 20th. 

ADA Path


3.       Pedestrian walkway directly south of Storm and Nasatir Halls: The goal is to have this scaffolding and pedestrian walkway in place the week of Aug. 20 to accommodate 2-way traffic through this area.  We are coordinating with the contractor to build an ADA compliant pedestrian walkway as wide as the site will allow.  There will be access to/from the lower outdoor dining area and entry/exit of West Commons to the pedestrian walkway.

Pedestrian walkway directly south of Storm and Nasatir Halls


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Storm and Nasatir Hall Construction Update: Construction Webcam

For your viewing pleasure, there are two webcams positioned to track the progress of the Storm Nasatir Hall Renovation Project. You can check them out here.

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Storm and Nasitir Hall Update: Hard Demolition Begins

Renovation to Storm and Nasitir Halls continue as hard demolition begins today, July 26.

Over the next three days demolition will occur on the section of the building that connects Storm and Nasitir Halls.

In an effort to minimize noise disruptions, sound blankets have been installed on the north and west side of the demolition.

Demolition on this section will conclude on Saturday, July 28.

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The lessons and legacies of D-day

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Coalition politics. Insurgency and counterinsurgency. Human rights abuses and war crimes. Technological adaptation and innovation in the face of security challenges. These may seem like themes ripped from events in a post-9/11 world but as we walk the hedgerows in Normandy, France reflecting on this D-day anniversary we see the past and the present.

As co-director of SDSU’s graduate program in Homeland Security, the past few summers I have had the opportunity to take students to learn about these themes first-hand during a 16-day thematic study abroad course “The Lessons and Legacies of D-Day.”

In partnership with Normandy Allies, a non-profit organization which provides logistic and educational support for those wanting to learn more about the events associated with D-Day and Operation Overlord, 16 students and I have the unique privilege of being in Normandy on this D-day anniversary.

This trip allows students to get a sense of history they could never have picked up in the classroom. It is one thing for students to learn about war in the classroom but it is another thing entirely to learn about it in front of a wall pock-marked by German bullets used to execute a teenage boy in the French resistance, or to talk with a decorated American veteran who, at 19, floated to earth in a hail of gunfire so that he and his brothers could shed their blood to liberate those under the yoke of a totalitarian regime.

During the trip, students learn about the strategic, operational and tactical levels of the conflict via readings and a series of staff rides to many of the numerous battlefields of Normandy. They also meet and discuss the war and its consequences with American, British, Canadian and French veterans of the war, as well as many French civilians and resistance fighters who suffered as the battle raged around their homes.

While we are here we will also engage in a number of citizen diplomacy efforts too, joining French veteran and civic groups in laying wreaths on the monuments commemorating the sacrifice of American soldiers. On this anniversary day we’ll attend official ceremonies of remembrance occurring in the British and American sectors. This year, students are in the VIP section for a speech made by recently elected French President Hollande.

Many of these students are war veterans themselves and for them this trip can be truly cathartic. I see them reflect on their own service and connect it to the battles of past generations.

When I talk about war and security in my classes, it is not just an academic exercise. This trip helps me show them that while many things have changed, some never will.

Dr. Jeffrey McIllwain is co-director of SDSU’s graduate program in homeland security and associate professor of public affairs

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Commencement Stories

Commencement is finally (almost) here for a number of students.  Nearly 10,000 students have toiled over the last few years to earn their degree and approval to walk in their respective commencement ceremonies.  I was asked to learn some of their stories so we could show the local community — and places farther out —what our graduates have accomplished and where they are headed.

So, to that end, I’ve worked over the last two weeks compiling information on a number of graduates to write short biographies for SDSU News Center. Wow. From working to help stroke victims and kids suffering from cerebral palsy, to fighting against the bullying epidemic in schools, and the sincere hope from many of them to give back to their communities in a number of ways.

And that’s just their character, without even mentioning the intelligence that these students have to be on the Dean’s List continuously, being named Outstanding Graduates for their respective colleges and a number of other honors and accolades.

And these are just a handful of the many who are going on to do great things.

Congratulations to all our graduates!

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My first four months

In the four months and one week since I’ve started work at SDSU’s Marketing & Communications Department, a number of thoughts have popped into my head – both pertaining to my position and to just being a part of academic life for the first time in a while.

So far, I can honestly say that I’ve been overwhelmed by the SDSU experience.  In a good way.

In a short period of time, I’ve met and worked with faculty members who are both dedicated to their students’ learning and to their craft, eager to show the world what Aztecs are capable of.  I’ve worked with student interns who are hungry to learn more and excel in a field that is frequently changing.  I’ve worked with a local media who seem to be truly interested in all the innovations and discoveries coming out of the laboratories, classrooms and observatories on campus.

As someone who served in the armed forces, there is one aspect of San Diego State I took notice of almost immediately.  Very quickly, I saw a university ardent in its support of veterans and active duty military, something that hits close to home.  Some of the programs and facilities for veterans put in place here on the Mesa are not common anywhere in the U.S., and it makes me proud to be part of SDSU.

I’ve come to realize that it’s a privilege to work at San Diego State, among thousands of enthusiastic students, a faculty passionate about their respective fields, and a devoted administration and staff.  I may not be an Aztec by degree (don’t hold it against me), but I can say I definitely it’s been a great ride so far and I am proud to be — in some small part — part of the SDSU family.

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