Santa Clara University


CAS News and Events


CAS News Center

  •  Drs. Sally and Gerald DeNardo ’54 Honored

    On August 13, 2015, Santa Clara’s Sacramento Alumni Chapter presented the Santa Claran of the Year Award to Drs. Sally and Gerald DeNardo ’54. The award recognizes leaders of competence, conscience, and compassion whose accomplishments reflect favorably on the Alumni Association, the Sacramento community, and the University.

    During the event, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Debbie Tahmassebi highlighted the DeNardos’ long-standing commitment to academic excellence, to informed ethical discourse and to social justice and service to others – all Jesuit values that motivated them to raise the profile of the health sciences at Santa Clara about 10 years ago.

    Inspired by Santa Clara’s teacher-scholar model and by the rigorous, yet innovative, learning opportunities for its undergraduates, the DeNardos created the DeNardo Lectureship, featuring eminent speakers inspired by purpose; Science Research Scholars, inspired by a culture of intellectual collaboration with faculty mentors; and the Senior Prize, to recognize outstanding science research accomplishment by a graduating senior pursuing a career in the health sciences.

    In the eight years of the Lectureship, Santa Clara has hosted three Nobel Laureates: Paul Berg, Stanley Prusiner, and Elizabeth Blackburn; the Director of Global Health for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Regina Rabinovich; former Commissioner of the FDA, David Kessler; award-winning author and even more importantly, beloved physician, Abraham Verghese; as well as rising research stars and physicians, Jay Bradner and Dena Dubal. On April 26, 2016, Santa Clara will welcome pioneering physician and global philanthropist, Dr. Larry Brilliant.

    Also, in the eight years of the Lectureship, there have been nine Senior Prize winners and 18 students who have had the opportunity to be personally mentored by our own Santa Clara faculty. More than a quarter of a million dollars has been invested to nourish the hearts and the minds of some of our most outstanding young men and women—those who showed promise of going on to use their extraordinary intellectual gifts to fashion a more humane and just world. Indeed, of the 22 DeNardo Research Scholar alumni and Senior Prize winners, 14 have gone on to graduate school Ph.D. programs, and seven to medical school—four of whom are now in residency.

    Dean Tahmassebi remarked that the DeNardos’ “leadership in creating the Lectureship is a model for others. Without a doubt, it has become one of the most important events for Santa Clara University, and it is fitting that they be recognized and honored for their generosity, passion, and especially for the legacy they have provided for our students.”

  •  New Sustainability Minor

  •  Pope Francis: His Address to Congress

  •  New Biophysics Emphasis

  •  Santa Clara professors take top prize with innovative film Can’t Thread a Moving Needle

    Theatre Professor and College of Arts and Sciences Associate Dean Barbara Means Fraser and Communications Professor Michael Whalen won a coveted Platinum Remi Award at the Worldfest-Houston International Film Festival for their film Can’t Thread a Moving Needle.  The film is meant to help prevent sexual assault on college campuses.  Running for more than forty five years, Worldfest is the only film festival in North America dedicated to recognizing independent films and filmmaking annually. Notable previous winners include George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola and Spike Lee, among many others.

    Along with a companion kit that facilitates its discussion by subject (i.e., acquaintance rape, alcohol and drugs, bystander intervention, the experience of the survivor, etc.), the film can be downloaded in its entirety, free of charge, from the Santa Clara Student Life website. Since its general release in April of this year, the film has been downloaded by more than 100 colleges and organizations across the United States, including the Julliard School, the University of Hawaii, Stanford University and the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

    The film, financed by the Avon Foundation for Women, is the result of close collaboration among faculty, students, alumni, professionals, and many organizations across campus. Read More...

  •  Beatification of Oscar Romero

  •  Deliberation, Democracy and Civic Forums

  •  2015 Fulbright Scholarship Awards

    Two Santa Clara University seniors and two alumni have been awarded Fulbright Scholarships to study or teach abroad during the 2015-2016 academic year.

    “I extend my warmest congratulations to these outstanding Fulbright scholars,” said University President Michael Engh, S.J. “Their accomplishments and intellectual endeavors represent the best of Santa Clara University. They, like Santa Clara, have a special appreciation for the international exchange of ideas and culture as a source for positive global change.”

    For Colombia-bound Fulbright Scholar Jeff Moran ’04, Social Justice Began at Home

    Later this year, Jeff Moran ’04 will be traveling to Cartagena, an affluent colonial city in the Caribbean Coast region of Colombia and a top destination for tourists. But he won’t be one of them. “What people don’t know is that outside this beautiful city there are tens of thousands of people who live in extreme poverty and who need a lot of help. In particular, hunger and malnutrition are big problems. I am going to see how I can serve and how I can help create something that hopefully lasts even after I leave.”

    Jeff is a recipient of a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) grant, which will place him in a classroom for ten months to assist local English teachers while serving as a cultural ambassador for the United States. In this dual role, his 40-hour week will be divided equally between teaching and designing or participating in community service programs. “I’d like see if I can help create or work with food banks, urban gardening, or nutritional informational programs.”

    To the casual observer, this opportunity seems like the inevitable result of his academic path and professional decisions and experience. A double major in English and Theatre Arts, Jeff went on to work for Kaiser Permanente’s nationally-renowned Educational Theatre Program, which allowed him to reach at-need communities with crucial information on healthy eating, active living, adolescent development, and violence prevention—all conveyed through music, comedy and drama. He then wanted to teach English, so he returned to school to earn a Professional TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) Certificate from the UC Berkeley Extension Program, and then his Master’s degree in TESOL from the University of San Francisco. Dig deeper and you’ll find that woven through these undertakings is the thread of social justice, service, and compassion—values that he learned at Santa Clara. “They follow me everywhere I go, and they have deepened in ways that I didn’t necessarily anticipate when I was an undergrad. For instance, I think that one of the biggest injustices in this country is the way in which we treat immigrants. Teaching English to students who leave everything behind in their home countries is so rewarding, and hopefully it is one way I can serve my community. When I am at the store or at the doctor’s office, especially in the Bay Area, and I tell people what I do, it’s so humbling to hear their supportive response because they invariably know someone who had to learn English,” says Jeff.

    Jeff’s passion for teaching began at SCU, when he took English Professor Jeff Zorn’s senior seminar, Teaching English as a Vocation. “The class had a huge impact on my life. Little did I know that I’d be on this path ten years later! I also credit Professor Eileen Elrod for capturing my interest in American Literature, which became my emphasis. They were both amazing.” But if English stimulated his mind, Spanish, which he now speaks fluently, found a different niche. “I knew I wanted to travel to Latin America at some point, and I was drawn to Colombia by its history and its literature; Gabriel Garcia Marquez melted my heart.”  

    Ten years later, Jeff’s connection to his alma mater remains strong, having confidently reached out to theatre Professor and College of Arts and Sciences Associate Dean Barbara Fraser for a Fulbright letter of recommendation. “Professor Fraser opened my eyes to so many things around me. She’s an amazing, brilliant, social justice and feminist advocate. Along with Professor Aldo Billingslea, who is a force of nature, they both represent the best values that I received from SCU.”

    Fulbright Scholar Jenny Kromm ’13 to Study History in Vienna

    Genevieve “Jenny” Kromm ’13, a history major with a minor in music, was awarded a 2015 Fulbright scholarship. Jenny's achievement will take her to Vienna, Austria in September, where her research will combine two of her passions: history and music. She will spend the year piecing together evidence, mostly written in German and other languages, to shed light on censorship campaigns in Austria during WWI and their impact on the arts, particularly music. “I will be able to speak with scholars of this period of history and gain access to archives that include rare examples of little-known artists and composers of the era,” said Jenny. She will maximize her experience by working as an English teaching assistant, taking courses at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna, and finding ways to play her inseparable trumpet with the University’s orchestra.

    “Going to Vienna will take me back full-circle to a city that feels almost like home.” Jenny refers to her previous trips there in 2011 through a University Research Travel Award, and then again in 2013 while visiting during a year-long fellowship in Germany through the prestigious U.S. State Department Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals. These experiences, along with her participation in the six-week, Intensive German Language Summer Program, sponsored by the Geoff & Josie Fox German Studies Fund, at the University of Freiburg in 2012, nourished her love of history, languages, and cultures. She speaks German, French, and Chinese. “I changed majors a bit late in the game, so I give much credit to the flexibility of the SCU Core for allowing me to pursue my interests. I also think that the Modern Languages Department here was a huge factor in getting me to where I am today.”

    Indeed, Jenny’s nod for history developed as an extension of her interest in psychology, her original major. “There are so many ways to approach a historical subject while still trying to understand what was going on inside people’s heads. I also realized that research has a scientific approach that I enjoy, and that history has a story-telling aspect that goes well with my passion for writing.”

    Jenny credits a history class taught by Professor Matthew Newsom Kerr called War and Democracy in the UK During WWI, which she says “changed my life.” And while she is “grateful for SCU’s rigorous preparation,” she thanks her thesis advisor, Professor Amy Randall, History, and her German teacher, Professor Josef Hellebrandt, for much of her success at SCU.

    Fulbright Scholar Keyra Galvan '15: Blazing New Trails

    Fulbright scholarship awardee Keyra Galvan, an Economics major (from the College of Arts and Sciences) with a minor in International Business heads to Mexico City this September as the first Santa Clara University winner of the Fulbright Binational Business Program. Unique among Fulbright programs worldwide, it was created in 1996 to promote mutual understanding among the business communities in Mexico and the United States. Keyra will participate in a 10-month internship at a multinational company located in Mexico while taking graduate courses at the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, one of Mexico´s most prestigious private universities.

    “I always go back to Santa Clara’s way of educating the whole person. I’ve had so many opportunities to become culturally aware. From my participation in the Global Fellowship that took me to Istanbul this past year, to my studies abroad experience in Spain in 2013, and to my service events and immersion trips to D.C., New Orleans, and West Virginia—everything prepared me for this,” said Keyra, whose Spanish fluency meets a crucial requirement of the program.

    At 22, she is the eldest of five siblings and the first in her family to attend college, which distinguished her as a LEAD Scholar during her four years at Santa Clara. The Leadership, Excellence, and Academic Development Program provides opportunities to first-generation college students to excel at SCU through individualized academic and advising support, peer mentoring, community engagement,  and  workshops to explore current and future academic paths. Enrollment in the program is optional, but the 57 LEAD scholars graduating with her seem to find much value in it. “In addition to all the perks of being LEAD scholars, we get the best teachers. There were so many, but for me and all the [LEAD] students in my class, English professor Jill Goodman Gould made a huge difference. We met her at the very beginning, for our first English class. Not only did she ‘get’ our writing style, but she was patient, kind, and always there to listen. She is an amazing person.”

    Keyra decided to pursue economics at Santa Clara because “[Lecturer] Adina Ardelean made it so real for me; it all made sense. She was a good mentor.” Having worked at the SCU Bursar’s Office during her four years  at Santa Clara, Keyra also pursued summer internships at various companies, but none as meaningful  as the one at SPREEIFY, a next-generation ad platform start-up in Mountain View. A four-person company at the time, it has since grown significantly and has moved to Los Angeles. “By setting up a process to get clients on-board and by establishing a structure to train future interns and employees, I helped them establish the foundation for growth. The CEO was so impressed, that he happily agreed to write one of my Fulbright letters of recommendation.”  

    Upon her return from Mexico in June 2016, Keyra will join a major corporation in downtown San Jose as a financial analyst. The company had extended the job offer before Keyra received news of her Fulbright. “I had decided to forgo the job to pursue my grant, but the company called me, saying that it would be an honor to have a Fulbright in its ranks. They asked if I’d consider taking the position when I come back. I said yes. I like to go through doors when they open up for me,” she says.

    Fulbright Scholar Tyler Van Herweg '15 Goes the Extra Mile in Uganda

    “Once you commit to something, the world conspires for you.” That is how Fulbright Scholarship awardee Tyler “Ty” Van Herweg describes his experiences at Santa Clara in pursuit of his double degree in Economics and Theatre Arts. This prestigious award enables his single-minded commitment to change lives in Uganda. Starting in September of this year and for the following nine months, Ty will be deploying a phone app that was created at Santa Clara to help in the distribution of goods to rural customers. “This ‘last-mile distribution’ is a huge issue in Uganda. There are many social enterprises trying to distribute affordable products in rural areas, and motorcycle drivers who are capable of administering delivery, yet there is no platform to connect them. [Senior engineering students and colleagues] Michael Brew and Bryant Larsen built an SMS-based [texting technology] app that will do just that. I am very excited; this is what gets me up in the morning.”

    During his time at Santa Clara, Ty moved fluidly between two very distinct worlds—one in the Leavey School of Business and the other in the College of Arts and Sciences. “My degree in economics gave me the tools to look at things like poverty, homelessness, lack of access to education, and then ask ‘what can I do to address inefficiencies in order to make life better for others?’ And then, my degree in theatre brought things together for me. For instance, in theatre, you have to be prepared to do everything and deal with any situation; it has a very entrepreneurial aspect. There is a deadline, there is a show, and you cannot be a one-trick pony. I also did lots of play-writing, and my English skills were very important; this led to my minor in that subject. But without theatre, I would not be as well-rounded as I am. I’d say I acquired a life-long coat that will serve me well wherever I go. I thank Professor Aldo Billingslea and his magical presence for inspiring me to become a theatre major.”

    Early on, Ty knew that there had to be a way to combine his biggest passions: entrepreneurship and social good. He discovered his path during his sophomore year while working as a project coordinator with the Santa Clara Community Action Program (SCCAP), a campus organization focused on activism and justice to address social issues in and around the community.  Aware of Ty’s interests, his Department Coordinator asked him to attend an informational session at the Center for Science, Technology, and Society (now known as the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship). “I had always thought that business and social good were like oil and vinegar.  But, in fact, ‘social entrepreneurship’ is what I had been looking for all along—it combined my two passions. That’s when all the dots connected for me, when I decided to pursue the app idea through the Miller Center during my senior year, things just started to fall into place along the way, including my recent Fulbright.”  

    Asked what he will do upon his return, Ty suspects that this will depend on what happens in Uganda. “Being an entrepreneur is in my blood thanks to my two grandpas, who started and ran over 20 businesses. I am well prepared. I am sure something will come up.”

  •  2015 Dean's Leadership Forum

    In only two years the Dean’s Leadership Forum has become a much-anticipated annual event of the College of Arts and Sciences. At the intersection of the humanities, arts, and sciences, the Forum brings to campus visionary leaders who urge us to action for the benefit of humanity. This year, best-selling author and anti-death penalty activist Sister Helen Prejean, C.S.J. and award-winning actor Martin Sheen made a compelling case for social and political activism. Their advocacy, which ranges from respect for human life in prisons to ocean conservation, underscores the value of a Jesuit education and the predisposition of our Santa Clara community, particularly our students, to “go forth and set the world on fire.”

    Sister Helen Prejean, C.S.J.

    Martin Sheen

    Grace and the story of Dead Man Walking
    Find something worth fighting for

    Watch the entire video Watch the entire video
    Read The Santa Clara article Read The Santa Clara article



  •  Commencement 2015

    Details on Graduate ceremonies on June 12 and Undergraduate ceremonies on June 13.

  •  Religious Studies Department

  •  Environmental Studies and Sciences Student Awards

  •  ESS major Sean Reilly wins distinguished student researcher award

  •  Libiamo!

  •  Baja 2015!

  •  Still Alice

    The Art of Science: Winning an Academy Award for Best Actress, Julianne Moore portrays linguistics professor Dr. Alice Howland as her family finds their bonds tested when, at the age of 50, she is diagnosed with early onset familial Alzheimer's Disease. Her struggle to stay connected to who she once was is frightening, heartbreaking, and inspiring. Still Alice (101 minutes) is a Sony Classics film. Talkback immediately following the film with a panel featuring Santa Clara faculty and community professionals. This program is co-sponsored by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and the Santa Clara University Gerontology Program. May 21, 4 pm, Music Recital Hall.

  •  Sister Helen Prejean

     Anti-death-penalty activist Sister Helen Prejean spoke on campus about her experiences as spiritual advisor to death row inmates.

  •  Libiamo!

     A Celebration of Opera Arias and Songs in the Italian Style, May 15, 7:30 p.m., Music Recital Hall

  •  Searching for an Evolutionary Spirituality and New Mysticism in a Global World

    Dr. Ursula King examines the roots, mysticism and importance for contemporary science and religion of Jesuit paleontologist and theologian Tailhard de Chardin. April 29, 7:30 PM.

  •  Anthropology Department News

Printer-friendly format