Latest Updates

October 26, 2017

Latest Updates

11/1/17, 2:30 pm

Environmental Health and Safety has created a detailed outline of the actions taken to address the impacts of smoke, ash, and other particulate impacting Sonoma State’s campus during the region’s fires.​

10/31/17, 4 pm

Today, the California State University (CSU) announced a series of accommodations for applicants affected by recent wildfires who are applying for admission to CSU campuses for the fall 2018 term.

Currently, through the Cal State Apply website, all 23 CSU campuses are accepting applications for admission to the fall 2018 term. The priority application period will close on November 30, 2017, and all students are encouraged to apply before the priority deadline.

For those students who are experiencing hardship and are unable to meet the deadline, the following accommodations will be made: 

  • Upon request, the deadline may be extended to December 15.  All requests of the CSU must be made prior to the November 30 application deadline. Requests can be made via email at with the following subject line “Extension Request – Weather/Fire Event.” Applicants who are granted the extension will also be granted a Coupon Code, which will waive the application fee for up to four campuses. After December 15, students will need to make their request for further extensions directly to CSU campuses. 
  • CSU will grant application fee waivers upon request for unexpected economic hardship even if students do not meet the standard income qualifications. Application fee waiver information will be provided directly to the high schools and community colleges affected.  Additional requests for application fee waivers may be made via email to

Students unable/unprepared to take the SAT on November 4 are encouraged to take the SAT on December 2. 

The Cal State Apply website is the best place for prospective students and their parents to learn about the degree offerings at each of the 23 CSU campuses, as it includes a comprehensive database detailing undergraduate and graduate degree programs offered at each campus, as well as information about the campus community, student housing and campus life. 

After applying to the CSU through Cal State Apply, students should visit the university's financial aid website and apply for financial aid or learn more about financial aid options. Eighty percent of CSU students receive some type of financial aid, and more than half of all CSU undergraduates receive enough financial aid to cover the full cost of tuition.


10/26/17, 5 pm

TO: All Campus

FR: NomaCares Team

Good Afternoon Noma Nation, 

We want to thank everyone for your support as we transitioned back to full operation at Sonoma State University. The ongoing compassion and care we’ve seen among all our students, faculty, and staff in the last few weeks continues to be a bright light for us all. We want to let everyone know that the physical location of the NomaCares Center in Schulz Library 3001 will close on Friday, October 27, at noon. However, the resources it has been providing to students, faculty, and staff will remain available, and we encourage individuals to reach out for whatever help they may need.

Services for Students

  • Academic Advising: Please visit the Undeclared Advising office in Salazar 1070. Students can also call our office at (707) 664-2730, or email or
  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) counselors: Please visit the CAPS office in Stevenson 1088 or call us at (707) 664-2153.
  • Seawolf Services: Please visit us on the ground floor of Salazar Hall, call us at (707) 664-2308, or email us at
  • FAQs: Continue to check NomaCares FAQ page

Services for Staff & Faculty

Faculty Affairs: Please call (707) 664-2192 or visit the Faculty Affairs website

Payroll and Benefits: Please call (707)664-2793 or visit the Payroll and Benefits website 

Payroll and Benefits will continue to have counselors from Empathia, our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider, on-site to offer support for the next three Wednesdays. The EAP is designed to provide professional assistance to state faculty, staff, and their families (dependents and permanent household members) in assessing and resolving personal problems that may be affecting well-being or job performance. 

If you are unable to meet with the counselor on the following dates, or need to reach them immediately, please always be aware that they offer 24/7 telephone assessment and counseling at 1-800-367-7474. Those who would like to meet with a counselor can drop in at the Salazar Administration and Finance Suite on the following dates (please check in at the front desk of Human Resources upon arrival):

  • November 1:  10 a.m.–3 p.m.
  • November 8: 10 a.m.– 3 p.m.
  • November 15: 10 a.m.– 3 p.m.

For a limited time, Empathia is also offering their assistance to any employee’s friends or family who are temporarily residing in their house due to displacement from their home. Please pass along the Empathia information to those friends and family. Once Empathia stops offering the EAP benefit to friends and family, if an employee still has family or friends temporarily residing in their household who need assistance, please contact Payroll and Benefits directly at (707) 664-2793 to find out how we can best help going forward.

The EAP is an extremely comprehensive program that offers assistance with:

  • On-line support, assistance and information. Access (enter password: sonoma)
  • 3 free in-person counseling sessions with a local counselor for help with:
    • Crisis Situations
    • Stress
    • Depression and anxiety
    • Family Difficulties
    • Any other personal or family concern
  • Work/life resources and referrals
    • Child care providers and needs
    • Elder care resources and programs
    • Health and wellness resources
    • Pet care providers and needs
  • Financial consultation with a certified financial counselor
  • Legal consultation with an attorney
  • Access to Spanish-speaking counselors
  • And more…

Other Resources

Noma Gives Fire Recovery Fund - The Noma Gives Fire Recovery Fund is available to SSU students, staff, and faculty who have been affected by the fires. This fund will help provide money to put towards clothing and household goods, electronics such as phones and laptops, childcare assistance, transportation, temporary housing, school supplies, assistance with meals, etc. Applications are available at the NomaCares Center and will be available online next week.

NomaNeeds Facebook Group: The NomaNeeds Facebook Group is an online community group where SSU students, staff, faculty, alumni and community members can connect donated and available resources such as transportation and housing with those who need them. 

Wildfire Relief Fund:  The Wildfire Relief Fund is a joint effort through United Way of Wine Country, North Coast Opportunities, Redwood Credit Union, The Press Democrat, and Senator Mike McGuire. Funding will be divided between counties based on need and donor intent. The Wildfire Relief Fund is part of UWWC’s Emergency Relief Fund and seeks to assist those facing hardship by providing direct monetary aid to families and individuals who have suffered loss as a result of the fires. Relief will be disbursed in the form of cash grants after family and individual relief assistance applications are reviewed and approved by a volunteer committee. Families/individuals determined by the volunteer review committee to have the greatest need will be given highest priority in the application review process. Relief grants are intended to meet immediate needs such as: clothing, shelter, transportation, food, and home cleanup/repair. Grants will be given to applicants based on available relief funds.

  • To apply for the Sonoma County Wildfire Relief Fund, fill out the application
  • To apply for the Mendocino and Lake Counties Wildfire Relief Fund, fill out the application.


Disaster CalFresh Information: Disaster CalFresh benefits are for EVERYONE living or working in Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Sonoma, and Yuba counties on October 8th who experienced loss due to the fires and experienced one of the following:

  • Cannot work or get paid because of the fire, or
  • Had your home or place of employment damaged, or
  • Have disaster-related costs (including lost food), or
  • Cannot access savings or checking accounts.

People who are not usually eligible, like ineligible students, people receiving SSI, and people without social security numbers may qualify. The window to apply is October 25 – November 1.

People can apply for Disaster CalFresh online at, their county office, the local assistance center, or with Disaster CalFresh outreach workers. The applications are available in  English and Spanish. People can print them out and take them into the county office or just walk in. The county office is located at 2550 Paulin Drive, Santa Rosa. 

Additional Resources:

***Please utilize the Sonoma County RecoversCity of Sonoma, or City of Napa websites for recovery information:

  • News
  • Re-Entry Information
  • FEMA Assistance
  • Financial Help



10/23/17, 11 am

Dear Campus Community,

As we begin the first full week of classes after the fires, our hearts continue to be with everyone who was impacted. The fires physically damaged homes, businesses, and wildlands, but our community stands #sonomastrong in the wake of the devastation.

To ensure that we continue to serve impacted members of our campus community, the NomaCares Center in Schulz 3001 will be open to students, staff, and faculty (including emeriti) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday this week. On Friday, NomaCares will be open 8 a.m. to noon. This is a one-stop shop for counseling, academic advising, employment advice, insurance assistance, and other important services.

Applications are now available from the Sonoma State Fire Recovery Fund. Those in need of aid for clothing and household goods, electronics such as phones and laptops, transportation, childcare assistance, temporary housing, school supplies, or meal assistance in the wake of the fires can apply on the Noma Gives website or pick up an application at the NomaCares Center. For those who want to give to the fund, you can still donate.

Additionally, the Noma Needs Facebook group continues to serve as a resource for individuals to connect donated and available resources such as transportation and housing with those who need them. Our admiration goes to those who have been so generous in lifting up those who have been affected in whatever ways they can.

Optima Building Services completed a thorough cleaning of campus last week to address smoke- and ash-related impacts to buildings, offices, and residential halls. They also returned over the weekend to clean Nichols Hall. If you know of a space that was perhaps missed or needs a secondary cleaning, please fill out a work order. As the region’s air quality continues to be impacted by the fires, we ask that everyone refrain from opening windows at this time. We appreciate your patience and look forward to lifting the restriction as soon as it’s safe to do so.

The expressions of kindness and empathy we have seen over the past two weeks are a testament to the fact that we are members of an educational community committed to academic excellence, service, unity, and perseverance. We know that these qualities all will resonate during the meetings with the WASC accreditation team this week. We encourage everyone to please take part in those meetings and to read the materials on our accreditation website, as those materials are a reflection of the hard work and thoughtfulness of many who have given input about who we are and who we want to be as an institution.

After WASC, we will start where we left off with our strategic planning initiative. We are extending the deadlines for nominations for student, faculty, staff, and community representatives, and we very much look forward to forming our Strategic Planning Taskforce and creating a mechanism for inclusive input.

As we continue to put one foot in front of the other and renew our commitment to being a strong educational community, we also want to express our gratitude for the generosity and empathy that have been demonstrated throughout SSU in the last two weeks. We know everyone is affected, and that is precisely why it is so important for us to continue to support each other.

Together we make Sonoma State strong.  


Lisa Vollendorf, Provost

Carmen Works, Chair, Academic Senate


10/20/17, 1:30 pm

The County of Sonoma and the City of Santa Rosa have opened a Local Assistance Center (LAC) in partnership with FEMA and the California Office of Emergency Services (CalEOS). The LAC is a one-stop shop where residents who have been affected by the fires can find out about critical services to help you recover from the fire disaster. These services include FEMA, Social Security, US Postal Service, Veterans Affairs, Social Services, DMV, etc. The LAC is located at the Press Democrat, downtown Santa Rosa, 427 Mendocino Avenue. The LAC is open 9:00am-7:00pm daily from October 14 through October 22. Note, last entry by 6:00pm. If possible, please register with FEMA before arriving at the LAC. To register with FEMA, visit:

10/18/17, 12 pm

Dear Campus Community,

Welcome back to classes and work. My hope is that you will find our campus much how you left it in terms of our buildings and grounds. A small team of essential employees have been on campus over the weekend and through the first few days of this week, cleaning and preparing for your arrival. I have to admit that each time I walk by Bacon & Eggs, I smile and felt gratified to return to our normal routines and the small joys of appreciating the beauty of our academic home.

Sharing gratitude

I hope to see as many of you as possible today and at the event that is planned for late afternoon.

  • Everyone is invited to sign a banner thanking first responders. It will be available at the Student Center through 1 p.m. today.
  • Beginning at 5 p.m., we will gather at the Student Center ballroom to take a big group photo with our banner. CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White will be flying in from Long Beach to join us. President Sakaki, AS President Wilson Hall, and Academic Senate Chair Carmen Works will also share their thoughts.   

Health and Safety

Our top priority this morning is health and safety considerations. Ever since the fires broke out Monday, the safety officer in the Emergency Operations Center and now our Environmental Health and Safety office have been working hard to ensure we are doing everything we can to address concerns about air quality. Experts have been telling us one of the most important things we can do to stay healthy is to clean away as much of the dust and debris that has accumulated on interior and exterior surfaces.

Before your arrival, water trucks washed down our paths and roads. Cleaning crews worked around and inside buildings, cleaning exterior walkways and wiping down floors and furniture in structures where windows were left open or otherwise exposed through ventilation systems to outdoor air. We are asking all occupants to keep the windows closed over the short term.

The Environmental Protection Agency provides regular reports on air quality. We have been very closely tracking these reports and will continue to do so. We will update you via email and the NomaCares website as needed. All indications are the outdoor air quality is safe. Still, it is wise to take precautions. If you have a serious condition that affects your respiratory system, please consult with your personal physician. We are asking that the entire campus community from strenuous outdoor activities, and have therefore canceled outdoor sports events for club and intercollegiate teams.

Masks will be available at no cost to all community members at many locations on campus. You’ll find a list of locations on the NomaCares website. While we have a very large supply, please know that the masks can be reused effectively and safely for several days, and please take just one so that there are enough for everyone.

NomaCares Center

Based on survey results and other communication with the campus community, we now know that more than 50 students, faculty and staff lost their homes to the fires, and that many more were directly impacted in various other ways. Our thoughts are with each and every one of you and your families. As we transition back to work and classes, we want you to know about services available here at Sonoma State.

The NomaCares Center opens today in Schultz Library 3001. This is a one-stop support center for students and employees who are seeking to connect to the campus services they need. The center is open to all students, faculty, and staff. No appointment is needed. You can simply walk in. More details, including hours of operation and a detailed list of services, are available at the NomaCares website.

I would like to thank the many offices campus-wide working together to make this possible, under the direction of Senior Director of Student Academic Services Jamie Zamjahn. Here’s a sense of what you will find there:

For students:

  • Academic Advising
  • Counseling and Psychological Services
  • Seawolf Service Center

For faculty and staff members:

  • Faculty Affairs
  • HR (leave administration and payroll and benefits)
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • CalHR (Savings Plus 401(k) or 457 programs)
  • Fidelity (CSU Tax Sheltered Annuity Program)

In closing, I would like to offer you a few final thoughts from my time serving in various leadership roles in the Emergency Operations Center.

To all who served with me in the EOC, to all who took the time to share your thoughts and concerns with me and my colleagues as we tried our best to do what has never been done before here, to those who have shared with me your personal stories of resilience weathering this true firestorm, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I hope that all of us can find the support and peace we need here. I am proud to be a member of this amazing campus community.

Warmest regards,

Lisa Vollendorf

Executive Vice President and Provost