SAN FRANCISCO — Amy Sueyoshi was recently appointed dean of San Francisco State University’s College of Ethnic Studies (CoES).
She is the first woman appointed to the position in the college’s 50-year history and had served as interim dean for CoES since January 2018.
“Professor Sueyoshi has done a superlative job leading the college and reinforcing its core commitments to community engagement, social justice and educational equity,” said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Jennifer Summit. “Fifty years after its historic creation, the college will enter an exciting new chapter under her bold leadership just as its founding call for relevant education becomes more imperative than ever.”
An accomplished scholar and dedicated educator, Sueyoshi has been a faculty member in the Race and Resistance Studies and Sexuality Studies departments at San Francisco State since 2002. Her research centers on areas of sexuality, gender and race. Sueyoshi was the first sexuality studies faculty member hired in CoES and taught the college’s first class focusing on the experiences of queer people of color. As dean, Sueyoshi plans to promote academic practices that engage students by giving them opportunities in service learning through community internships.
“Our students are very much interested in social justice,” said Sueyoshi. “I look forward to advancing the university’s initiatives around student success and graduation through a high-impact curriculum that is relevant to the students.”
The college offers four majors and eight minors every semester. Sueyoshi oversees 80 faculty members, 65 percent of whom are women of color. Nationwide, less than 10 percent of college faculty are women of color, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
“I feel honored and privileged to serve our diverse faculty, and I understand the weight of that responsibility,” she said. “It’s the job of the dean’s office to create a positive work space so that faculty can feel fulfilled to empower their students.”
Sueyoshi has authored two books: “Queer Compulsions: Race, Nation and Sexuality in the Affairs of Yone Noguchi” and “Discriminating Sex: White Leisure and the Making of the American ‘Oriental.’” She is a founding co-curator of the GLBT History Museum, the first history museum of its kind in the U.S., and initiated the Dragon Fruit Project, an intergenerational oral history exploring LGBTQ Asian and Pacific Islander experiences and activism that will be entered into the Library of Congress.
She is an avid LGBTQIA activist who in 2017 was honored as the community grand marshal for the 47th annual San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Celebration and Parade. On April 20, Sueyoshi received the Phoenix Award from the Asian Pacific Islander Queer Women & Transgender Community at the group’s 32nd annual Lunar New Year Banquet. The honor is bestowed upon community activists who have made outstanding contributions to the Asian Pacific Islander queer women and transgender community.
Sueyoshi holds a Ph.D. in history from UCLA and a B.A. from Barnard College of Columbia University.