fyi - News for the Campus Community
fyi is the official faculty-staff newsletter for the Santa Clara University community. It is designed to keep faculty and staff informed about campus news and information. It is compiled, written and published by the Office of Marketing and Communications.
SCU launches new program to recognize our Loyal Broncos
As Grand Reunion Weekend begins today and old friends gather on campus, Santa Clara University has launched an official program to recognize an honorific that has been around for generations: Loyal Bronco.
The Loyal Bronco Program recognizes alumni who stay engaged with the University throughout the years, someone who has attended two or more alumni events in an academic year and/or served on a university-sponsored volunteer board and attended an alumni event.
A donation of any amount adds another year to the record, and Loyal Broncos begin to earn perks by Year 2, with the highest honors reserved for those at the 25-year mark. A joint venture between the Alumni Association and the Office of Development, Loyal Bronco will launch with a strong presence this weekend, including a table at the Donohoe Alumni House. Alumni and students can see the complete list of perks there or at www.scu.edu/loyalbronco.
There is no minimum donation to qualify for the benefits. The primary goal is to make “Bronco for Life” a reality for every alum.
As the program launches, we already have 2,663 Loyal Broncos, including 111 at the 25-year mark (five alumni have been donating for 40-plus years). We’re excited to see how quickly those numbers grow.
Benefits will be added as the program expands, but at the onset here are some of the highlights at each level:
2-4 years: Special benefits at Grand Reunion, invitation to Loyal Bronco Festival of Lights Event
5-14 years: Invitation to a basketball game, phone casts with SCU thought leaders
15-24 years: Special benefits at select President’s Speaker Series events
25+ years: Invitations to special events
The Loyal Bronco program complements the President’s Club, which continues to require a minimum donation of $1,000 for young alumni and $2,500 for others.
Video installations spotlight urban blight and the impact of cars
Closer by the Minute, a new exhibition at the de Saisset Museum, uses two captivating and immersive video installations by artists David and Hi-Jin Hodge to address universal issues in a way that artfully blends documentary and creativity. Showing Sept. 18 to Dec. 6, Niagara Falling tells a story of urban blight that is repeated across the nation and around the world, while Life on Wheels, newly created for this exhibition, investigates the culture of transportation and what it means to drive a car in today’s world.
Presented as an impressive two-channel video installation, Niagara Falling captures the essence of the City of Niagara Falls by blending interviews with representatives from several generations and pictorial and historical material. The city’s path in recent years is laid bare without judgment or accusation in a shifting collage of shards from the past and present.
“At first glance Niagara Falling is the story of one city in the midst of decline, but it represents a more universal story,” says Lindsey Kouvaris, assistant director of exhibitions and programs. “Even in familiar cities like San Francisco, we see the same kind of disparity between wealthy and impoverished neighborhoods.”
In the same way that urban development is an unavoidable part of our contemporary American experience, so too is the pervasion of the car. Life on Wheels, debuting in this exhibition, explores the impact of the car on our world and its role as an inextricable feature of our cultural history. Composed of multiple projections and a scale-model highway representing the intrusion of the interstate into the natural landscape, Life on Wheels aims to incite contemplation.
“Our hope is that visitors will leave with a heightened consciousness not only of the role their cars play in their lives, but also what their use of them ultimately means in the most basic terms,” said David Hodge.
The de Saisset is open Tuesday-Sunday 11am-4pm, closed Mondays and Holidays. Admission is free.
Hundreds of students attend the career fair in hopes of landing a job
More than 200 companies, including Oracle, Indeed, Adobe, Visa, HP, and Yelp, came to the Malley Center yesterday to scout out students for employment. Tesla Motors, one of the most popular companies that visited, was plugged in and ready for the massive amount of interest gathered around the company. Masses of students lined up to meet their potential employers, and were dressed for success with resumes in hand looking for entry level positions as well as internship opportunities.
“We are fortunate to be right here in the strongest job market in the nation and we are excited to connect so many Silicon Valley employers with our students,” said Elspeth Rossetti, director of the Career Center “Santa Clara students are smart and well-educated but it’s their work ethic that sets them apart. Employers consistently tell us that our students show up ready to work and make a difference. That’s why so many employers come back year after year to recruit on our campus.”
The Frugal Innovation Lab work to “Help The Helpers of the World”
The Frugal Innovation Lab is off to a flying start this academic year. Then again, last year never stopped.
The FIL was busy throughout the summer as students and professors continued to work on solving big problems without big money. The lab, which opened in 2012 to “Help The Helpers of the World,” coordinates 20 to 25 projects per year.
There is a heavy emphasis on mobile apps at the moment. About 70 percent of the projects are based on mobile, in response to current trends and the nature of requests. But there’s a lot more happening at FIL.
“This was a very frugal summer as faculty and students in the School of Engineering engaged in humanitarian projects to help people around the world, from rural areas in Africa to Silicon Valley, where homelessness is a major problem,” said Silvia Figueira, associate professor of engineering and director of the Frugal Innovation Lab.
Some of the highlight projects that continued during the summer:
- Students with the Latimer Energy Lab, under the direction of Professor Tim Healy, created a device that converts heat from an oven into power for a ventilation system as well as energy to boil water. They are answering concerns in Africa and other developing regions that the cooking process creates unhealthy air.
- Work continues under Professors Mark Aschheim and James Reites, S.J., with SCU’s contribution to community-building in Ghana, where students are designing and fund-raising for a bridge that will be built by residents.
- Prof. Figueira’s students moved two mobile projects further along in development: Wakabi, a ride-sharing app in rural Uganda; and Mobile4All, a project from the Community Technology Alliance that provides information and services to Santa Clara County’s homeless, who often have mobile devices.
Before the fall quarter started, the lab held a showcase to display its graduate and undergraduate students’ work.
The Frugal Innovation Lab is “a hub and a connector,” said Elizabeth Sweeny, program manager. But the driving force is the faculty. When the FIL discusses a project with a client (social enterprise, nonprofit or NGO, for example), the key step is finding a faculty member to champion the effort. The FIL is mostly an extracurricular activity, and the faculty member leads a team of graduate and undergraduate students toward the goal.
This year, the FIL plans to open an avenue of discussion with a monthly speaker series. Experts from industry and other avenues will participate in salon-style discussions that are open to the entire campus. Check the group’s Facebook page for schedule updates.
SCU faculty and staff receive recognition for their outstanding work
Lynette Parker (School of Law) has received a $50,000 award from the County of Santa Clara to enable the Katharine & George Alexander Community Law Center to provide legal services for unaccompanied minors and families with children.
Parker has also received $60,598 from the Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County as part of a grant by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation to support "Immigrant Integration." These funds will enable the Katharine & George Alexander Community Law Center to provide Immigration legal services and increase capacity to handle complex immigration cases.
Tim Myers (English) has one poem in the Willow Glen Poetry Project Anthology and another in Writing the Whirlwind Review. His "More Alike Than We Are Different," about diversity in children's books, is out from The Children's Book Review (thechildrensbookreview.com). He also has two short stories in recent issues of Exterminating Angel Press: The Magazine. as well as an essay on the nature of story. Another essay, "Story Like Sun Shedding Light," is coming out in Storytelling Magazine. He was interviewed recently on the W3 Sidecar blog and on KKUP's Out of Our Minds poetry show.
Allison Kopf ’11 is founder of Agrilyst
During her time at Santa Clara University, Allison Kopf ’11 displayed a tremendous understanding of and passion for sustainability. An engineering physics major, she was the project manager for the team that won third place in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon. Their project, Refract House, remains on display behind the Malley Center.
Now Kopf’s message and profile have gone worldwide. On Wednesday, Agrilyst -- the company Kopf founded to make indoor farming more efficient -- won the prestigious TechCrunch Disrupt Cup and the $50,000 prize that goes with it. Kopf and her partner, Jason Camp, beat more than 1,000 companies in a competition dubbed “Startup Battlefield,” including 25 finalists who were invited to pitch to a panel of venture-capital and industry experts during a three-day convention in San Francisco.
“We didn’t expect so much of an impact, it was a surprise” she said about hearing their company’s name called from the stage.
Agrilyst uses sensors to measure anything that might affect an indoor crop’s viability or efficiency, and it displays the data in easy-to-use form with a dashboard and task manager. The idea grew from Kopf’s four years working for BrightFarms, the United States’ largest urban indoor agriculture company. When problems arose, the company had to either spend hours sifting through disorganized notes or hire consultants to diagnose the problem.
“I couldn’t understand why there wasn’t a platform for our data,” she said, “so I built it.”
In her winning presentation, Kopf focused on a man named Tom who runs a 50,000-square-foot indoor pepper farm. Simply by tracking the light levels and analyzing when he should turn the power on and off, Agrilyst showed Tom how to save $50,000 a year on his energy bill.
Agrilyst can collect data on temperature, precipitation, humidity, CO2 levels, bugs -- just about everything under the sun. Kopf began her presentation by telling the crowd, “Farming is hard. Anyone who’s ever tried to grow tomatoes in your backyard knows what I’m talking about. Everything wants to kill your plants – bugs, too much sun or rain, even deer for our suburban neighbors. But what if your business is growing food and you spend a lot of time trying to shrink the list of things that can kill your crops because it’s the difference between your business succeeding or failing?”
The $50,000 prize is a nice bonus for Kopf and her partner. The bigger step, though, comes from the many meetings they had with venture capitalists. Their first goal was to generate revenue for their clients (six as of now), then to go for seed funding. Although focused on the United States for now, Kopf sees the international market being the bulk of the business eventually. Food production must increase 70 percent by 2050 to meet demand, and hydroponic farming requires 10 times less land and 20 times less water.
Agrilyst is based in New York, so coming back to the area was a nice opportunity for Kopf even before the big prize. She visited campus last week and checked in on the Refract House. She also met up with another contest finalist from SCU: Casey Schulz ’08 of Preemadonna, which created the Nailbot, a robot that decorates fingernails using a smartphone. While the two were catching up, they ran into yet another SCU alumna who had participated in a previous Startup Battlefield contest.
“Santa Clara University teaches you to care about the world around you,” Kopf said. “I really believe in what we do at Agrilyst. We are focused on a niche problem in a big industry that affects us all. Everybody eats. And we as a society are facing huge challenges in our food system. We have to increase production, and we have to grow more sustainably. At the heart of Jesuit education is the focus on service for others. That’s the foundation for our company.”
Photo courtesy of TechCrunch
The School of Education and Counseling Psychology, OLLI, and offices and labs for the School of Engineering have a new home
Guadalupe Hall, located at 455 El Camino Real, is now open.
The first and second floors serve as the home of the School of Education and Counseling Psychology and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences. The newly renovated space houses 15 classrooms to support graduate education and lifelong learning, a science lab to support teacher education, and a suite of observation rooms to support clinical training.
The third floor hosts offices and research laboratories within the School of Engineering, including the Graduate Services Office, the Maker Lab, the Frugal Innovation Lab, the Robotic Systems Lab and the Dean's Office.
In the fall term, Education and Counseling Psychology will offer the majority of their courses in Guadalupe Hall, and Graduate Engineering will use the space for some morning course offerings; OLLI courses begin in September as well. Once the schools are settled, they will host an open house and tours of the facility.
Guadalupe Hall was named in recognition of the Guadalupe River where the first Mission Santa Clara was founded.
Photos by Joanne H. Lee
Santa Clara University professors use the arts to inspire young minds
When SCU’s Art and Art History Department won a Hearst Foundations community-outreach grant in 2014, two professors had a simple idea: Bring younger students to campus for an early look at college life that they might not otherwise get.
With that, Kelly Detweiler and Pancho Jiménez set out to find the students. The search for teenagers willing to devote their summers to art and writing led them to Downtown College Prep, the San Jose school that focuses on preparing students to become the first in their families to attend college.
During a handful of meetings, the professors and DCP administrators decided on a five-week intensive arts program to be offered to a set group of students who applied through DCP. The students agreed to three days a week of a two-hour ceramic course taught by Detweiler and Jiménez, a short break, and a two-hour writing course with Professor Jeff Zorn. The writing course culminates with the students working on a college entrance essay.
“We wanted to give the students an experience that was as close to a college experience as possible. As we were working in the summer, we decided to mirror, as best we could, a college level summer school schedule.” says Jiménez.
During the program’s first year, 20 rising juniors, seniors, and sophomores from DCP attended. This year, 17 sophomores and juniors attended along with students from SCU from mid-June to July 23, when the program culminated in a public display of their coursework at SCU’s Fine Arts Building Gallery.
The students learned the same course material as Santa Clara students taking the ceramics course for the summer term. Jiménez and Detweiler intentionally scheduled the DCP course to overlap with the SCU course so that both groups of students would have time to interact. DCP students saw what it’s like to be a college student and asked questions. SCU students had the chance to serve as mentors.
“It helps give the kids confidence because they’re working alongside the college students, being taught by college professors, with the same curriculum, on the campus it makes them realize that they can do it too and that they will,” Detweiler says. “To them, college becomes less mysterious, more tangible.”
“These students are the very first in their families to pave a college path for themselves and their siblings,” says Priscilla Lerza, Director of Community Engagement for Downtown College Prep. “For so many DCP students, SCU is their dream school. It’s a beautiful, pristine campus conveniently located close to home. And yet, it can also feel so out of reach. The summer program at SCU has begun to bridge that gap in the most profound of ways. They have the opportunity to rub elbows with university faculty, staff and students. They get to experience life on a college campus and see that it truly does suit them. Summer at SCU is an experience that subtly transforms students on an academic, personal, and emotional level. We are so grateful to partner with SCU in this way.”
The classes don’t end with grades. The goal, instead, is to transform the young students and give them more confidence and better knowledge of themselves and their abilities.
“The Summer at SCU program was extremely helpful in showing me what college classes would be like. I highly valued the advice, help and feedback on my essays from Professor Zorn and loved how the ceramics class was both fun and insightful,” said Fernando, a 2014 participant and now first-year student at Chico State. “Through this program, I was able to experience what college would be like, it better prepared me for my freshman year in college. Once I moved to Chico, I felt confident because I knew what to expect. I’m really enjoying college life right now and I know so much of it is because of my experience at SCU. This program is excellent at giving students the college experience and I hope it continues for many years to come.”
Photos by Adam Hayes
Santa Clara University voted one of the most “family-friendly” workplaces in Santa Clara County
The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), Office of Women’s Policy (OWP) and the Family-Friendly Workplace Collaborative recognized SCU with the first Family-Friendly Workplace Award for public, private and nonprofit employers of any size in Santa Clara County. The award recognizes employers who have implemented family-friendly policies, including pregnancy accommodation and parental leave, lactation accommodation and work-life balance.
Employers completed a self-assessment form to determine if they met a bronze, silver or gold level award. SCU met the gold award level along and was listed among six other Gold Level organizations including the Santa Clara Valley Water District, Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI), Carpenter & Mayfield, Community Solutions, Quixey, and Intentio Pro Health & Fitness.
A full list of winners can be found on the Santa Clara County Government site.
SCU faculty and staff receive recognition for their outstanding work
Chris Kitts (Mechanical Engineering) has been awarded $1,406,000 from the Kern Family Foundation to support "An Undergraduate Education Program in Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship." This program extends the School of Engineering's participation in the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN) program, which is focused on developing the entrepreneurial mindset within undergraduate engineers. The program includes support for a Pathway and Certificate program, the development of several new courses, and the continuation of a vibrant extracurricular program. It also includes support for the development of a new "EDVenture Laboratory" that will bring engineering, business and law students/faculty together for workshops and projects that will enhance student entrepreneurial skills and lead to new commercial and social ventures. Finally, it also supports SCU faculty to work with other KEEN universities across the country in order to export several aspects of SCU's program, such as a novel real-world engineering education program.
Kitts has also been awarded $17,510 by INTEL Corporation. Through this collaborative program, students from Santa Clara University’s Robotic Systems Laboratory (RSL) will work with Intel personnel in order to explore advanced aerial vehicle autopilot capabilities with the Intel Curie computing platform. This project will focus on exploiting the capabilities within the Intel Curie system to perform inner-loop platform stabilization services for a hobby-class quadcopter.
Betty Young (Physics) has received a four-year subaward of $1,363,000 from the University of California Berkeley (funds originate at NSF) to support her SCU group's work on the SuperCDMS SNOLAB experiment, which employs superconducting thin films patterned onto ultra-high-purity germanium (Ge) and silicon (Si) crystals to detect the ionization and phonon signals produced by particle interaction in the crystals.
Naomi Levy (Political Science) has received $98,678 from the Office of Naval Research's Minerva Initiative to support an expansion of her project "Public Service Provision as Peace-building: How do Autonomous Efforts Compare to Internationally Aided Interventions? "This expansion funds a team of undergraduate summer research fellows, who will be gathering secondary data and processing qualitative interview data collected by the PIs in Laos, Cambodia and Uganda. It will also fund a workshop of subject matter experts to be held at SCU during the coming academic year.
Chris Bacon (Environmental Studies and Sciences Department) has received a $272,555 grant from the National Science Foundation. These funds will support a project titled "RUI: GSS: Coping with Food and Water Insecurity: Producing Vulnerability or Resilient Responses to the Coffee Leaf Rust Outbreak and Mesoamerican Drought?" The project will develop an integrated assessment of smallholders’ food and water insecurity and analyze the factors that contribute to livelihood resilience as multiple hazards converge in Central America. Chris will coordinate an interdisciplinary team that includes Bill Sundstrom, Iris Stewart-Frey and Ed Maurer as well as the active participation of students and Nicaraguan farmers. The findings will inform global efforts to link climate adaption and disaster risk reduction with sustainable development, and have particular relevance for Latin American producers as well as the coffee industry in the United States.
Sally Wood (Electrical Engineering Department) has received a $35,002 subaward from the SA Photonics (funds originated from US Air Force Research Lab). Funds will support the PI and a graduate student in the development of low latency image fusion algorithms for use in a next generation vision processor.
Kristin Kulas (Physics) has been awarded $8,269 from the Universities Space Research Association (Prime Contract with NASA). Under the direction of Dr. Kulas, SCU students will be trained in how to reduce and analyze a set of Keck/MOSFIRE observations acquired in May 2014. The goal of the research project is to understand the role magnetic fields play in how stars form.
Ed Maurer (Civil Engineering) has received a $7,230 contract from the Santa Clara Valley Water District. Funding is provided for a student to assist Maurer with identifying eight to 12 locations in Santa Clara Valley to obtain and observe climate data, including historical and projected daily downscaled precipitation and temperature data for regular grid boxes.
Ashley Kim (Bioengineering) has received $5,000 from VentureWell to support her "AquaSift: Water Contaminant Sensing Ecosystem" project. The difficulty of detecting small quantities of arsenic and other contaminants in water currently threatens the health of millions of people worldwide; however, the expense, extensive training, and off-site analysis required by conventional methods impede wide-scale use. AquaSift is an integrated system combining a microfluidic sensor, data acquisition mobile app, and web-based data logging ecosystem, which allows for quick, easy, error-proof evaluation of water sources for a variety of contaminants. The platform could resolve the issues associated with the lack of trained personnel, which is a major and severe constraint in deploying health technology in these resource-limited regions.
Be the self God wants you to be, but don’t be a jerk, James Martin, S.J., tells graduates
In a speech that sounded straight out of “The Colbert Report,” where he was a frequent guest, nationally known Jesuit, Catholic author and commentator James Martin, S.J., entertained and inspired the Santa Clara University graduating class Saturday morning with advice that was part pastoral, part comedic.
“I look forward to seeing you at our 50th reunion,” he said to the delighted graduates, noting that his newly bestowed honorary doctorate of religion and culture made him a member of the Santa Clara University Class of 2015. “You will be a spry 71, and I’ll be 104.”
For the first of 10 life lessons for the graduates assembled on Buck Shaw Field, Martin declared, “You’re not God; this isn’t heaven; and don’t be an ass,” to a burst of laughter. He said even when life is at its most aggravating and burdensome, “You can be sad and disappointed and angry, and you can share your struggles with your friends, but you don't have to pass on your anger. … It doesn’t mean you have to act like a jerk."
Fr. Martin was perhaps best known as the “Chaplain of the Colbert Nation,” a recurring guest on the Comedy Central show "The Colbert Report," which ended its run last year. Martin is editor at large of America Magazine, the national Catholic weekly with 45,000 subscribers. His articles and commentary have also run in publications including Commonweal, The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Time magazine, as well as on CNN, NPR, and other broadcast media.
Quoting (occasionally dubiously) from the words of Jesus and others, Martin urged the graduates to live out their deepest desires, which he said are also “God’s desire for you.” Other good life lessons, he said, are to stop trying to get others’ approval or comparing yourself to others, which he said “leads to despair.”
After reminding the crowd to great applause that each one of them is a “beautiful creation of God” and “being holy means being you,” he deadpanned, “Remember this: God does not make crap … in the words of Jesus … more or less.”
An award-winning author of several books and a best-selling memoir, Martin received his bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, then entered the Jesuit Order after working for six years with General Electric. He received his master’s degree in divinity and in theology from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Mass., now part of the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry.
He ended his speech, "In the words of Jesus Christ, 'Go Broncos!'"
Michel ’60 and Mary Orradre, friends and benefactors of Santa Clara University’s academic endeavors, also received honorary doctorates of public service during the ceremony in recognition of their expansive support of education and preservation of California history. Internationally recognized sculptor and SCU supporter Fletcher Benton received an honorary doctorate in fine arts.
Valedictorian Hannah Maryanski, an environmental studies and English major, recapped for her classmates the hidden lessons from SCU’s physical spaces. She said, ”May we always remember the examples of St. Ignatius and St. Clare as we become leaders in a world with a growing economy, in a society that fights for equity, and in a culture desirous to live sustainably on a strained planet.”
Santa Clara University’s undergraduate Class of 2015 comprised nearly 1,300 students, ranging in age from 19 to 65 -- 52 percent of whom are women, 48 percent men. Ethnically, the class identified as White (51%); Hispanic (18%); Asian (13%); Two or more races (6%); and Black (3%).
Markkula Center for Applied Ethics program puts students to work at Cisco Systems
Business Ethics Interns Sarina Jwo and Ashley Derakhshandeh, Class of 2016
For 15 hours each week, three Santa Clara University students are putting on the cap of internal investigators at Cisco Systems, as part of a new program from the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.
The interns have been trained as fraud analysts and are now working alongside ethics and compliance professionals on investigations.
Day-to-day duties include analyzing expense reports and transmissions, compiling reports, and participating in interviews.
“Working at Cisco is unlike any professional experience I’ve had, and has solidified my career goals for after Santa Clara,” said Sarina Jwo, a finance major who is scheduled to graduate in 2016. Her classmates Ashley Derakhshandeh and Conor Boone are also part of the program.
Interns begin at their host site in their junior year, and continue their work with the organization through their senior year.
The program is in its second year. Alumni include Jessica Snyder ’14, an Assurance Associate at PwC, and Kevin Krautscheid ’15, an incoming national assurance researcher at EY.
“The experience really brought to life the inherent ‘gray area’ of ethical decision-making and made clear the importance of culture and controls in organizations,” Krautscheid said.
Program Alumnus Kevin Krautscheid, Class of 2015
This year’s interns received a training manual created by Krautscheid. The manual includes a guide for approaching the investigation’s casework, as well as a sample report to be used as an exemplar.
The interns have each been assigned a supervisor who works directly with the interns throughout the investigation process.
nterns also meet periodically with a business ethicist at the Markkula Center to add an additional perspective and dialogue to their experience.
Once the program is complete, interns are qualified for a number of roles directly out of college and have firsthand knowledge of the importance of ethical decision-making in organizations.
Business Ethics Intern Conor Boone, Class of 2016
Learn more about the program at the Markkula Center’s website.
SCU’s Global Brigades chapter facilitates health clinics and builds sanitary units during trip to Nicaragua
The SCU Global Medical Brigades chapter traveled to Nicaragua for nine days during spring break to facilitate a temporary medical and dental clinic in two communities, and to help two families build sanitary units and concrete floors for their homes in a third community. The team featured 35 students and a doctor who is one student’s father. Leading up to the trip, the team was responsible for raising $15,000 to buy all the medications and supplies necessary for the clinic. These included antihistamines, anti-parasitics, gauze and novocaine for the dental clinic, and plenty of multivitamins for children and adults. Team members paid their own way for the trip and also raised money at home during the holiday break. The team also conducted fundraisers on campus and received help from the volunteer alumni committee and others, with donations of money and non-medical supplies.
Room full of medications to be distributed to the community at the medical and dental clinic.
Global Brigades is one of the largest student-led organizations in the world, with chapters at universities all over the United States and Europe. Groups volunteer in everything from medical and dental care to microfinance. The organization works on a holistic model, with the goal of creating sustainable communities. During the first part of the trip, the group saw patients at a medical and dental clinic. Stations at the clinic included triage, doctor consult, dental, public health, pharmacy, and OB GYN. Patients were able to receive medications for a variety of different ailments, and doctors were able to refer patients to in-country medical services if their medical issue was more serious. At the public health station, patients learned how to prevent disease through sanitation and clean drinking water.
For the last three days of the trip, students completed a public health project in the community: building a sanitary station consisting of a shower, sink, toilet, and concrete floors for two families. The families were responsible for paying for 10 percent of the project, and this money went into a community fund from which members would be able to take out loans for future public health, business, or educational projects. Having a share in the cost of the project also makes it more likely that the family will maintain upkeep of the new facilities. Most families in the community had already participated in this initiative and were happy that they had a new and clean sanitary station and a concrete floor in their home to avoid insect-borne diseases. It was clear that Global Brigades had made a very positive impact in the community and that the work of the students was an essential resource to getting these projects done.
Students Kaitlin Boone ’18, Jacenda Rangel ’18, and Alyson Koh,’15 mix cement to build the sanitary stations.
Not only were students able to help the people of Nicaragua in a positive way, but the trip was an invaluable experience for team members. All of the students were genuinely invested in improving the lives of the people in the communities where they worked, and they worked tirelessly for the entire trip. For some, the experience solidified their plans, whether to become a doctor or work in public health. For others, it influenced them to choose a new path. Said Shannon Breslin, a first-year student from Chicago, “Nicaragua changed my viewpoint on life, and I never thought nine days could ever do that. Before college, all college was about was getting the right major to get the right degree to get loads of cash. After Nicaragua, the money wasn’t as prominent in my college experience or why I was going to college. After Nicaragua, I realized that the experiences I will have and the people I will meet throughout my life are worth more than money could ever pay for. Also I realized that I want to do nonprofit work with my life and live a life geared towards helping those less privileged than I am.”
The success of Global Medical Brigades at SCU can also be credited to the values that SCU instills in its students, namely the emphasis on helping others. Many team members are involved in other clubs on campus such as the Santa Clara Community Action Program, which focuses on helping marginalized communities in the San Jose area. There are also various immersion trips and programs that allow students to travel outside of the state and to foreign countries for the purpose of helping others in need. Global Medical Brigades has the honor of being one of those programs that can offer students the opportunity to foster their longing to better the lives of others and to gain a better understanding of what it means to be a global citizen.
SCU faculty and staff receive recognition for their outstanding work
Silvia Figueira, associate professor of computer engineering and director of the Frugal Innovation Lab, has been selected by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine for its 100 Inspiring Women in STEM Award.
Ron Danielson, chief information officer, received a special award from the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities for his work on behalf of Jesuit colleges.
Katerina Bezrukova, assistant professor of psychology; David Caldwell, professor of management; and Jerry Burger, professor of psychology wrote a paper about team composition and performance of 30 Major League Baseball teams that was accepted for publication in the Journal of Applied Psychology.
Tim Myers, senior lecturer in the English Department, has a new book of poetry, Nectar of Story, from BlazeVOX Press. He has published three short stories with PIF Magazine, Storytelling, and Exterminating Angel Magazine, an article on the Orpheus myth with Los Angeles Review of Books, an article with the Colorado College Bulletin, and three poems in an anthology about siblings.
Tyler Ochoa, professor at the School of Law, spoke on "Pre-1972 Sound Recording Copyright Law" on March 6 at the annual symposium sponsored by the Northwestern Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property, at Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago. Ochoa spoke April 10 at a conference on IP and the Modern University Athlete at the Texas A&M School of Law. His speech was called "Are Sports Statistics in the Public Domain?"
Senior Engineering student’s virtual therapy device featured on KPIX 5 News
While some might fear public speaking to the point of calling it a phobia, two students bravely face that anxiety by talking about their work to alleviate the fears of others. For their Senior Design project, Bryce Mariano (web design and engineering major, studio art minor) and Paul Thurston (computer science and engineering major) have developed a simulation tool for therapists to use in guiding patients through a controlled virtual world of exposure to potentially terrifying things.
With a post-university goal of starting careers in the video game industry—more precisely, within the category of serious or interactive games—the pair were looking for a project that could afford the experience they’d need to follow their dreams while also providing a social benefit, preferably in the area of psychological treatment.
Fortunately, academic advisor and computer engineering Adjunct Lecturer Maria Pantoja was there to help. “At a conference last year,” she said, “I saw a presentation about therapeutic video games by Adam Gazzaley M.D, Ph.D.—his team is seeking the first FDA approval for these games’ use—and I thought this was fantastic. My students know I like to design video games, so every year I have groups that want to do capstone projects related to gaming."
"Developing therapeutic video games beautifully pairs a desire for a career in video game design with the SCU mission of giving back to society.” With the seed for their project planted, Thurston reports, “Our biggest challenge at the beginning was that because we’re engineering students, we didn’t understand the psychology side. We reached out to Dr. Kieran Sullivan [professor and chair of SCU’s psychology department] and through our own research and her feedback, we decided to create a tool to treat phobias such as fear-of-heights or flying.”
Their technique uses the Oculus Rift hardware (picture a cross between goggles and a welder’s mask), a head-mounted 3D display device that tracks head orientation, allowing users to experience the virtual world from their own vantage point. Mariano, who interned as a graphic designer, worked on the simulation design, while Thurston, who helped program the control system for SCU’s 2013 Solar Decathlon house, programmed the controls communication between a computer tablet and the Oculus. He also created a mobile app the therapist uses to control the session.
They started with a fear of heights simulation. As the patient takes in a 360-degree view from atop a building, the therapist can alter the virtual height and the resultant view—backing off or increasing exposure as needed according to the patient’s emotional response.
While the team stresses that their tool is for use by trained therapists, not for sufferers to use on their own, Thurston notes that just knowing you can take the goggles off while immersed in the experience may make this form of treatment more approachable for some.
“Another aspect of our project that has been very important to us is to keep it affordable as well as accessible for future development,” said Mariano. “By using economical hardware and developing the simulation using the Unity Game Engine, which is 100 percent free and readily available, we hoped to create a platform that would allow others to easily pick up the project where we left off and continue expanding on the library of simulations to treat the widest possible range of phobia patients.”
Pantoja appreciates the interdisciplinary experience the project affords the students. “We are really lucky that we can count on the support of the College of Arts and Sciences. The help we are getting from Dr. Sullivan is invaluable. Also, for this project, and for all the video game projects I advise, I call on the expertise of computer engineering alumnus Chris Menezes ’10. Chris works at Disney/Pixar and is providing us with advice on how the video game development process works in the ‘real world’ and how to make games more appealing to customers,” she said.
Sullivan adds: “Using cutting-edge technology to create a therapeutic and safe environment for folks struggling with anxiety disorders holds incredible promise. I’m so excited that Bryce and Paul have chosen this for their project.” Pantoja sees such projects as just the beginning. “There are tremendous opportunities out there that are limited only by our imagination.”
Santa Clara University President’s office announces honors
Santa Clara University President Michael Engh, S.J., has granted tenure and/or a promotion to eleven faculty members. All were recognized for their contributions to their students and their commitment to teaching, student learning, and scholarly research.
Receiving tenure is:
Anna Sampaio, Ethnic Studies
Receiving tenure and promoted to the rank of associate professor are:
Jimia Boutouba, Modern Languages and Literatures
Akiba Lerner, Religious Studies
Paul Mariani, S.J., History
Farid Senzai, Political Science
Carrie Pan, Finance
Hohyun Lee, Mechanical Engineering
W. David Ball, Law
Promoted to the rank of full professor are:
Juliana Chang, English
Michael Whalen, Communication
Ed Maurer, Civil Engineering
SCU Special Assistant to the President Will Serve National Catholic Reporter
Jim Purcell, a special assistant to the SCU president, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the National Catholic Reporter. Established in 1964, the NCR began as a newspaper and is now a print and Web news source that stands as one of the few independent journalistic outlets for Catholics and others who struggle with the complex moral and societal issues of the day. NCR is headquartered in Kansas City, Mo. Purcell’s role at SCU involves fund-raising for the Jesuit School of Theology and for the L.A. Catholic High School Scholarship Fund.
Sustainability Champion Awards highlight Friday event
The Sustainability Celebration at the Forge Garden is Friday June 5 at 4pm. All are welcome to join in for free food from the Pony Express food truck, drinks and games, as well as bike-pedal-powered live music! Don’t miss the the announcement of the Sustainability Champion Award winners at the beginning of the event. The Sustainability Champion Awards are designed to recognize individuals or groups at SCU who go out of their way to develop a culture of sustainability. Individuals or groups are nominated (by self-nomination or nomination by another) with a short description of why they should receive the award. Members of the Center for Sustainability vote on the nominees and select an award recipient for each category (staff, faculty, student, group, collaborative project, and current Sustainability Liaison).
The Sustainability Celebration is also a chance to express gratitude to the individuals involved in the Sustainability Liaison Network every academic year. The network has been expanded to include six cohorts with faculty and student employees as the latest additions. Over the span of this year, 168 people attended the monthly meetings, and even more were impacted by all of these individuals' efforts and enthusiasm to strengthen a campus culture of sustainability, starting with their respective campus area, or peers.
SCU’s thought leader blog arrives in your inbox
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Something’s always new at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
Are you interested in travel to Cuba or Tuscany? Would you like to connect with other adults interested in biking in the Bay Area or genealogy?
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Santa Clara provides these opportunities and more to adults age 50 and over. For an annual membership fee of $45, residents can take advantage of more than 50 course offerings, a dozen special interest groups, a distinguished speaker series, and the new "Lifelong Learning Through Travel" program.
Members receive a monthly newsletter and quarterly catalog. The travel program this year ran trips ranging from “The Romance of the Arts in Los Angeles” to “Magical Music on the Blue Danube.” Special interest groups include a current events discussion, hiking, a mystery book club, and photography.
Classes are led by current and retired SCU faculty members and by independent scholars. They are held on the Santa Clara University campus, at Loyola Hall and at the Villages in San Jose.
To become part of this vibrant campus community, enjoying the university environment without the pressure of tests or grades, visit www.scu.edu/osher. (Fees for each program are listed on the site.)