Your relationships with Sexuality Studies students and faculty will be central to your experience at SF State. Seminars, workshops, and informal gatherings will provide opportunities to get to know other students and to meet and work with faculty members. Faculty members are also available during office hours and by appointment to meet with you. We encourage you to meet with all members of faculty to introduce yourself and to learn more about their interests.
Faculty Mentors and Culminating Experience Readers
Students will be assigned a faculty mentor upon arrival their first semester. The mentor assignments reflect the availability of faculty mentors and our initial understanding, gleaned from your applications for admission, of your research interests. You will meet them at the Fall orientation in late August. Make a point of contacting your faculty mentors early in your first semester.
The faculty mentor is available to provide information about the program, guide you in choosing electives and other professional guidance.
This mentor assignment may be only an initial one. We encourage students to get to know many faculty members, core and affiliated; and students are free to choose any available member of the faculty to be your mentor (instead of the faculty mentor assigned to you) and/or to be your Culminating Experience first or second reader (see Culminating Experience Readers below). Meet with your assigned mentor, visit with other faculty, and discuss with them their availability to act as your mentor. Once you decide whom you would like to mentor you—even if it is the initially assigned mentor—approach them to confirm their availability and discuss how you can best work together.
Culminating Experience Readers
The culminating experience will be a written thesis or creative project—an original contribution to existing understandings about sexuality. The contribution may take the form of, for example, an original review of the research literature, analysis of a relevant body of existing data, or an analysis of data—fieldnotes, interviews, focus groups, or survey responses—the student collects.
Students will select a Culminating Experience first reader from among the Sexuality Studies core OR affiliated faculty. Typically this selection is made during the second semester of the first year. The Culminating Experience reader does not have to be the same person the student selects to serve as faculty mentor. University and Department regulations require that the first reader of the Culminating Experience be a tenured or tenure-track faculty member of the SF State Sexuality Studies MA core or affiliated faculty.
Your Culminating Experience committee will also include a second reader who must also be a tenure or tenure-track faculty member at SF State. Students may choose as their second readers faculty members from other departments in consultation with their culminating experience readers. Core or affiliated faculty members may serve as second readers – students may also seek out faculty on campus who are not affiliated with Sexuality Studies and ask them to serve as a mentor or on their committee.
Faculty members are eager to get to know you and support your work. However, due to shifting faculty workloads, developing research programs, and sabbaticals, faculty members—core members as well as affiliates—will not always be available to serve as mentors and Culminating Experience readers. In addition, faculty members work on a nine-month academic year and are likely not available to meet and work with you during the summer. Talk with your mentors and advisors about their availability.