Student CSL Spotlights


August 9, 2019

Spotlight on Summer CSL Class, DES 505:  Professor Gomes, School of Design

Dr, Ricardo Gomes is a professor and coordinator of the Design Center for Global Needs & Shapira Design Archive with the SF State School of Design.  This summer, Dr. Gomes taught his CSL senior level capstone course, DES 505: Senior Design Project.  DES 505 is a culminating problem-solving experience where students initiate an industrial research and development project, and they conduct all phases of the design development, from initial research, testing and prototyping, along with feasibility analysis and presentation.

Dr. Gomes has implemented this collaborative outreach, CSL component, into DES 505 in conjunction with ICCE. Students were asked to research and develop projects that addressed the needs of Bay Area community organizations, development agencies, and small businesses. Students benefited by learning how to develop creative, practical solutions that satisfy the needs of real-world clients. Through this direct experience working with community partners, students discovered how design can make a positive contribution to community and social development. Students worked very hard throughout the intensive 8-week summer session. Students were tasked with addressing the “Social Impact of Design” in their culminating project by collaborating with their community partner to think critically about how their designs could support the functionality of their organization, agency, or business. 

Through this summer course, students got the opportunity to work with entities such as UCSF, Health Promotion and Wellness at SFSU, and the San Francisco Public Library.  Dr. Gomes says “students benefit by learning how to develop creative, practical solutions that satisfy the needs of real-world clients through project-based, collaborative learning experiences.”  Student work was highlighted on August 9, 2018 at the DES 505 Session Display and Reception on campus. Visitors and guests were invited to attend, including community partners who assisted in the facilitation of student projects.

While Jul Custodio, a Mental Health Educator at Health Promotion & Wellness at SF State, was not able to attend the event, she offered her gratitude for working with two students, Maya Chastain and Ashley Velasquez. She states “they both conducted their research and connected with me in a very professional manner” and that her “department is excited to be able to use what they have created this upcoming school year during tabling, outreach, and especially Mental Illness Awareness Week.”

We all believe there is even greater opportunity to integrate collaborative CSL opportunities of mutual interest and benefits in this fall and upcoming spring semester DES 505 Senior Design Projects during AY 2018-2019. It is as beneficial to the community partners as it is a valuable opportunity for seniors as they prepare to use their skills to apply to real-world needs in their post-grad endeavors. To see student presentations, view event photos provided by ICCE.  

Sample student work:


May 1, 2018

Shannon Meena - Psychology, B.A.

Shannon Meena is a freshman at SF State, majoring in Psychology. As a part of her ENG 214, Second Year Written Composition course, Meena has become involved in service learning through Daly City Partnership and Marjorie Tobias Elementary School’s homework club. Daly City Partnership is an organization that supports student achievement at Daly City schools since 1995. Students like Meena assists the students with their homework, facilitates enriching activities and supervision. Meena aims to become a social worker and her experiences at her service learning site has allowed her to gain experiences in working with young children and to develop patience and empathy. She has also learned how to cultivate an authoritative yet calm and kind approach to hectic situations. Meena has also developed an appreciation for SF State’s surrounding community through her work. “Service learning is a way for people to get to know the community that surrounds them especially if they are not from that city,” she said. Meena’s service-learning course taught by Amy Latham prepares students before they begin their placement at their learning sites. “I really appreciate the preparation we get as a class to go out to the community and serve. Before we start our placement, we read some articles to prepare us for the work ahead of us,” Meena said.


May 1, 2018

Maria Bucon-Scales - Equity & Social Justice, M.A. 

Ms. Maria Bucon-Scales is a first year master’s student in the Social Justice and Equity program in the Graduate College of Education. Before attending SF State, she worked as a teacher for four years and is currently a part-time as a curriculum coordinator. Wanting to make a difference in our community, Bucon-Scales signed up for ISED 739, Education and Community Development: Equity and Diversity, a service-learning course. Her chosen learning site was Voice of Witness, a non-profit organization that circulates free oral history books in schools and nonprofit agencies that focus on the stories of communities whose voices have historically been oppressed and silenced. The organization also has an education program that supports educators, students, and social justice advocates through professional development and mentorship. The amplification of voices that are normally unheard in communities is precisely what Bucon-Scales is passionate about. Her work involves connecting with experienced educators and designing social justice centered curriculum to best educate about marginalized communities and advance human rights. “I’ve found this CSL course to be really valuable. It helped me develop empathy towards communities I don’t know much about,” she said. Bucon-Scales values the critical awareness she and her classmates are learning and is excited to bring these back to her classrooms.