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At the Center

Capturing the lively discussions, presentations, and other events that make up the daily activities of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University.

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  •  Ethics Center Colloquium

    Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013 10:00 AM

    The Association for Practical and Professional Ethics is sponsoring an expanded Ethics Center Colloquium organized by Kirk Hanson, Aine Donovan, and Noah Pickus, executive directors of the ethics centers at Santa Clara University, Dartmouth College, and Duke University.  The colloquium will feature discussions of the mission, programs, structure, funding, and strategic challenges of centers, as well as potential cooperative relationships.

  •  Welcome Brian Green

    Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013 3:44 PM

    Brian Green is the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics' new assistant director of campus ethics programs. His responsibilities include guest lecturing on ethics in various campus courses, reviewing and evaluating the Hackworth grant program, researching various topics in ethics including Catholic teaching on conscience, assisting coordinating campus ethics speakers, and working with the Hackworth and Environmental Ethics Fellows. He is also an adjunct professor teaching ethics in the Graduate School of Engineering.

    Brian's background includes doctoral and master's degrees in ethics and social theory from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. His undergraduate degree is from the University of California, Davis, in genetics. Between college and graduate school he served for two years in the Jesuit Volunteers International teaching high school in the Marshall Islands. His research interests include human nature and ethics, Catholic natural law, ethics of technology, and various aspects of the impact of technology and engineering on human life.

  •  New Ethics Center Advisory Board Members

    Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013 3:39 PM

     The Ethics Center welcomes Carol Mayer Marshall, John Smedley, and Don Watters to its Advisory Board.


    CarolMarshallMayer Marshall is a community activist with extensive government and private sector experience.  She was the third highest ranking woman in the Nixon Administration.  She also served as Congressional relations director, director of VISTA (the domestic Peace Corps), and superintendent of the San Francisco Mint.  A member of the California Bar, she established a consulting firm for nonprofits.  In addition to the Ethics Center's board, she serves on many nonprofit boards.

    John_SmedleySmedley is president of Sony Online Entertainment LLC, where he oversees the company's overall vision and growth.  He has more than a decade of experience experience in the interactive entertainment industry, including positions with ATG, Knight Technologies and five years with Sony Online Entertainment as Director of Development.  He was also instrumental in the creation and development of the original, groundbreaking EverQuest® (EQ), and was co-founder of Verant Interactive Inc., which became Sony Online Entertainment after it was purchased by Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2000.
    DonWattersWatters is a director emeritus of McKinsey & Company, the global management consulting firm. He served primarily private sector clients in nearly 20 different industries on issues of strategy, organization and operations. In the late 1980’s, he led the team that opened McKinsey’s Silicon Valley Office. His board memberships have included: Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley, the Tech Museum, American Leadership Forum Silicon Valley (Chair), American Leadership Forum National (Chair), United Way of Silicon Valley (Chair) and the Bay Area Garden Railway Society (President). 
  •  Visiting Scholar Tom Reese, S.J.

    Tuesday, Jul. 17, 2012 4:28 PM

    Fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University and author of the Washington Post Blog "This Catholic's View," Tom Reese, S.J., returns to the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics this summer as a distinguished visiting scholar.

    The former editor of America magazine, is the author of a trilogy examining Catholic Church organization and politics on the local, national, and international levels.

  •  Jennifer Dirking Joins the Staff

    Monday, Jul. 16, 2012 11:28 AM

    As the Center's new external relations director, Jennifer Dirking is responsible for building relationships between the Center and its partners on the Santa Clara University campus, throughout the greater Bay Area, and across the globe. She manages special events, outreach activities, and strategic alliances to engage individuals, corporations, and foundations in supporting the important work of the Center.

    Prior to joining the Center, Jennifer was the associate director of the Foothill-De Anza Colleges Foundation, and previously served as director of development for the Burke Museum of Natural History at the University of Washington in Seattle. She also raised support for the UW World series, the international performing arts program at the university.

  •  Markkula Prize

    Wednesday, Jun. 20, 2012 12:07 PM

    Graduating SCU senior Melissa Marie Martin was awarded the University's Markkula Prize at a ceremony last week at the Ethics Center. 

    The prize, established by the Ethics Center Advisory Board in honor of the Center's first board chair, A.C. "Mike" Markkula, honors a student who has done outstanding work in applied ethics.

    Martin worked closely with the Center's Character Education Program, assisting at Ethics Camp, the Principal's Institute, and other events.  She rebuilt the Character Educatn Web site, reviewing and formatting all lesson plans.

    At the ceremony, Center Executive Director Kirk Hanson said, "Melissa will be especially remembered for exhibiting the SCU qualities of caring, compassion, and conscience."

  •  Hackworth Fellowships Awarded

    Friday, Jun. 15, 2012 9:30 AM
    Mary Zieber

    A new fellowship in business ethics has been set up at the Ethics Center, honoring Silicon Valley entrepreneur Michael Hackworth, who served as Center Advisory Board chair until his death in April.

    Four Santa Clara University seniors will hold the fellowships in 2012-2013:

    • Alexis Babb, economics and finance, from Morgan Hill, Calif.
    • Amanda Nelson, economics, from Bellevue, Wash.
    • Saayeli Mukherti, finance, from Sunnyvale, Calif.
    • Noah Rickling, finance and philosophy, from San Diego

    The Business Ethics Fellows will be interviewing SCU Business School alumni about ethical issues they have confronted in the workplace and using these stories as the basis for a set of case studies.

    The Center has also named three Hackworth Fellows for 2012-2013. The Hackworth Fellowships were endowed by Mike and his wife Joan Hackworth to support SCU students in creating ethics programming for their peers. Next year's fellows are:

    • Patrick Coutermarsh, a double major in economics and philosophy, from the city of Santa Clara. Coutermarsh will be forming an "Ethics Bowl" team of students to compete against other universities in debate-like events focused on ethics cases.
    • Aven Satre-Meloy, a double major in political science and environmental studies, from Helena, Mont. Satre-Meloy will be putting on programming related to the development and adoption of an Honor Code at SCU.
    • Mary Zieber, a theater major with a dance emphasis, from San Jose. Zieber will be doing programming involving dance and other arts in their relation to ethics.
  •  In Memoriam—Michael Hackworth

    Monday, Apr. 23, 2012 9:45 AM

    The Ethics Center mourns the death of Silicon Valley entrepreneur and major supporter Michael Hackworth this weekend.  Hackworth, who had been chairman of the board and CEO of Cirrus Logic, was a respected philanthropist.  When he won the Silicon Valley Lifetime Achievement Award from the Silicon Valley Leadership Group in 2010, the citation summed up his many achievements: "impeccable ethics, business excellence and community engagement."

    Hackworth was an important contributor to the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, where he served as chairman of our Advisory Board for 12 years.  Hackworth and his wife Joan endowed several of the programs that are at the heart of the Center's work at Santa Clara University, where Hackworth did his bachelor's in electrical engineering.

    The Hackworth Family has suggested that donations in Michael Hackworth's memory can be made to the Michael Hackworth Memorial Fund at the Ethics Center.  Select Michael Hackworth Memorial Fund from the designation drop-down menu.

    The Hackworth Fellowships support three SCU seniors annually in providing ethics programming for their peers.  Hackworth Fellows have spearheaded projects to write a code of ethics and values for student government; to hold panels and lectures on ethics in areas from friendship to sports; and to conduct research on topics from immigration to sexuality.  In celebration of that program's tenth anniversary this year, the Center created a Facebook page for former fellows.  Noelle Lopez, a fellow from 2008-09, went on to a Rhodes Scholarship and is now pursuing her Ph.D. in philosophy at Oxford.  She writes, "What really keeps me grounded and motivated in my academic study is reflection on my time at SCU, doing what I like to think of as 'philosophical field work'--exploring timeless questions on the ground and in community, engaging in critical reflection on those forces that shape our lives but too often go unchallenged."

    The Hackworth Endowment also supports grants for students and faculty involved in research on applied ethics.  This year, for example, grants went to Communication Department faculty member Jonathan Fung for a film on sex trafficking, and to the School of Law's Kathleen "Cookie" Ridolfi for the creation of a prosecutorial ethics curriculum.

    Hackworth was a 40-year veteran of the semiconductor industry, working for Motorola, Fairchild Semiconductor, and Signetics Corp., all of which fostered his spirit of innovation and led him to co-found Cirrus Logic, Inc., where he served as Chairman of the Board, and President and CEO.

    Upon his “retirement,” he continued to participate actively on several boards, and he loved to consult and provide advice for entrepreneurs.  He embraced a leadership role at the Tech Museum in San Jose, CA, as interim president in early 2011.   He was the recipient of numerous awards, including the Ernst and Young Semiconductor Entrepreneur of the Year (1990).

    A native of San Mateo, CA, he spent his first five years in Atwood, Kansas, where, he fondly remembered, the farm and extended family supported him and his mom while his father served in the military (WWII). His mother raised him with a strong work ethic.

    He brought the values of hard work and community service, along with an unerring sense of optimism and commitment to ethics, to a number of local non-profits, including the Tech Museum, San Jose Ballet Silicon Valley, the Symphony, Montalvo Arts Center, the Santa Clara County Children’s Shelter, the Second Harvest Food Bank, and the Silicon Valley Charity Ball.

    Hackworth’s board service was equally wide-ranging and diverse. He served on the Board of Fellows at Santa Clara University in addition to the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University,

    Hackworth is survived by his wife Joan; three siblings, Arthur, Richard, and Diane; two daughters, Lauren and Julie; step-son, Eric; and five grandchildren.

  •  Center Welcomes Lauder and Foster to Advisory Board

    Friday, Apr. 20, 2012 3:39 PM

    Venture capitalist Gary Lauder and attorney Christopher Foster have joined the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics Advisory Board, a group of community leaders who provide guidance to the Center's programs. 

    Gary Lauder is the Managing Partner of Lauder Partners LLC, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm investing primarily in information technologies.  He has been a venture capitalist since 1985, investing in over 75 private companies.  He is the co-creator of the Aspen Institute's Socrates Society with Laura, his wife.  He is a member of the inaugural class of the Aspen Institute's Henry Crown Fellowship Program.

    Christopher Foster is an associate at Baker & McKenzie, LLP in Palo Alto, where he focuses on litigation and international employment law.  He graduated from Santa Clara University with a B.S. in economics in spring 2008, and completed a Hackworth Fellowship on the ethical issues raised by emerging technologies. During his junior year, he studied economics, philosophy, and theology at Oxford University. Christopher graduated from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (“Boalt Hall”) in spring 2011 and was the Senior Articles Editor for the Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law.

    Christopher Foster
  •  Next Generation Ethics for Fundraising Professionals

    Monday, Mar. 26, 2012 2:23 PM

    "Many young people expect their business or organization to have some sense of values to provide for them," Center Executive Director Kirk O. Hanson told "Advancing Philanthropy" magazine for an article on Millenials in nonprofit advancement careers.

    "Young people presume that the ethics of the real world are very loose," he continues.  "They go into a job, first wanting to be successful.  That's their single strongest motivator.  The majority has concluded that, to do that, you have to do a lot of exaggerating and cutting of ethical corners because that's what happens in the real world.  Members of this generation want to live lives of integrity but don't know how, and they suspect that only those who are willing to compromise can be successful professionally.