Santa Clara University

FYI - Faculty and Staff Newsletter

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 Ranks High in Open Doors 2015 Report

    Santa Clara University Nationally Ranked in Study Abroad and International Student Programs

    Santa Clara University has one of the highest percentages of students studying abroad and of international students in master’s institutions according to the Open Doors 2015 report.

    The Institute of International Education (IIE) Open Doors 2015 report, which is funded by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, looked at approximately 3,000 colleges and universities in the U.S.

    It ranked Santa Clara University No. 5 for the number of students studying abroad on “mid-length” programs that are one semester or quarter in duration, No. 28 for the total number of study abroad students among master’s degree granting institutions, and No. 22 for the total number of international students among top master’s degree institutions.

    “Santa Clara continues to cultivate growth in our global programs as part of our Institutional Strategic Plan. Our success is indicative of the continued importance that universities place on global education and on preparing students with the tools to succeed in a borderless, global workplace,”  said Susan Popko, associate provost for international programs at Santa Clara University.

    Santa Clara University hosted 1,390 international students and scholars hailing from all over the world including India, China, and South Korea, which are considered the top places of origin of international students according to the report.

    According to the report, in 2014–2015, the number of international students in the U.S. increased by 10 percent to a record high of 974,926 students with California remaining the top host state with 135,130 students.

    India, China, and Brazil account for most of the growth in international students on U.S. campuses. While China remains the top country of origin of international students in the U.S., increasing by 11 percent to 304,040, India’s growth outpaced China’s this year, with students from India increasing 29.4 percent to a record high of 132,888.

    U.S. student participation in study abroad has more than tripled over the past two decades. As reported by Open Doors data, 304,467 U.S. students studied abroad for academic credit in 2013–14, an increase of 5.2 percent over the previous year. During that same year, 479 Santa Clara University students studied abroad.

  •  Engineering Career Opportunities

    SCU Engineering students network with industry engineers at the Fall Quarter Mentoring Reception

    It’s been said that when it comes to landing a job, it’s not only about your curriculum vitae, your educational background, or your GPA, but also who you know. If you don’t have professional connections in your network, it can often be difficult to find a passage in to the real world of work. Unless you can get facetime with someone in a work field of interest, unless you can make a firsthand impression, unless you can get your resume into the hands of an industry professional, your chances of landing that job and beating out the competition are much slimmer.

    The answer? Networking, of course! So, if you know of an engineering student who is set to graduate or needs an internship opportunity, let them know about an upcoming networking opportunity at SCU.

    The School of Engineering is hosting their Fall Quarter Mentoring Reception tonight where SCU engineering students and industry engineers will have an opportunity to mingle. The event is from 6 to7:30 p.m. at the Frugal Lab on the third floor of Guadalupe Hall. The reception will include dinner for those who have previously RSVP’d to Ann Mahacek.

    Directions: Guadalupe Hall is located OFF CAMPUS, just across the El Camino from the Leavey Center (the basketball stadium) and the Locatelli Student Activity Center. The address is 455 El Camino Real. Parking is free and adjacent to the building. Take the elevators to the third floor and turn right.


  •  de Saisset is On Top of the Game

    The de Saisset’s new exhibit showcases 99 Years of Santa Clara Sports

    On Top of the Game explores the dynamic history of Bronco sports from 1851 to 1950, tracing the evolution of athletics from the earliest days of Santa Clara College to some of the glory days of Santa Clara University.

    The exhibit runs from November 15 to December 6, 2015;, January 15 to March 13, 2016; and April 8 to June 12.

    From the start, sports and recreation was an integral part of Bronco life. In the earliest days of Santa Clara College (now University) physical activity took the shape of bike rides, pick-up games, or a dip in the school's swimming pool (possibly the first in California). But, by the 1870s a love of baseball took hold at the school, followed by the establishment of a football team in 1895. The introduction of rugby and basketball soon followed, with both teams popping up around 1905.

    As the popularity of organized sports increased at Santa Clara, the nature of the campus began to shift. Once a closed campus where trips offsite were restricted, school administrators began allowing students to leave campus on Sundays to watch games in the late 1880s. By the 1890s athletics, and baseball in particular, had become so important to campus life that it justified overnight absences for players.

    As the years progressed, the popularity of sports grew on campus and the teams improved. The rugby team sent some of its key players to the 1920 Olympics Games in Antwerp and the 1924 Olympics in Paris. Against odds, the football team took home three bowl wins between 1937 and 1950—two Sugar Bowl victories and an Orange Bowl win. The basketball team followed up with two consecutive turns in the NCAA playoffs and stint in the Final Four. The story goes on as Santa Clara University continues to send top athletes out into the world—Brandi Chastain, Brent Jones, and Steve Nash to name a few.

    On Top of the Game is dedicated to the memory of Fr. Gerald McKevitt (1939–2015), who generously shared his knowledge of University and Mission history and served as an invaluable resource to the de Saisset Museum.

    Support for this exhibition has been provided by The Inouye de Saisset Museum Fund.

    For more information visit:


    Santa Clara Baseball Team Playing in the Baseball Field, c. 1890. Courtesy of Santa Clara University Library Archives and Special Collections.

  •  Educated Partier

    Off-Campus Santa Clara University Students Learn to Party Responsibility

    As long as there have been colleges, there have been college students partying. At Santa Clara University, the Office of Student Life makes sure that understanding this reality doesn’t mean condoning outlandish behavior. That’s where the Educated Partier Program comes in.

    The centerpiece of the University’s efforts is the Educated Partier Program. Since 2009, the voluntary program has been teaching students about safety and responsibility, emphasizing the dangers of over-serving or of serving underage students.

    A house can participate in the Educated Partier Program if 50 percent of its residents complete a training session of three to four hours. During that session, they hear from the Office of Student Life, the Associated Student Government, and the city’s police department. When they complete the training, they receive an “Educated Partier House” sticker to place in the front window and are eligible for a Party Pack of supplies twice per quarter. They also get two bright orange T-shirts with the word SOBER, for those residents assigned as monitors of a specific event as the program requires.

    “Those students’ responsibility is to help maintain the house and the event,” says Kim Gilkey-Wall, assistant dean for off-campus student life. “If something happens, they’re the ones who contact the police, it’s their job to say ‘this party needs to be shut down right now, it’s too big.”

    For more information on the Educated Partier Program click here


  •  Grants, Awards & Publications

    SCU faculty and staff receive recognition for their outstanding work

    Lynette Parker (School of Law) has received $1,032,000  from the County of Santa Clara.  The county is funding activities and services provided by the Katharine & George Alexander Community Law Center and five collaborative partner agencies designed to meet the needs of domestic and foreign human trafficking survivors, who may be men, women, transgender individuals, adult and minor victims.

    Sherry Wang (with the Department of Counseling Psychology) has received $29,215 from Univ. of Mississippi.  The project is entitled: “Building on a culturally-sensitive network for PCOR/CER dissemination” and funds originated from the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). The aims of this project are to better understand, implement, and disseminate comparative effectiveness research findings that are sensitive to the needs of the African American communities living in the rural Mississippi Delta. A major focus of this engagement project is to develop approaches by which residents of the community can contribute to the participation in and dissemination of research, and in ways that builds on their cultural strengths. By engaging residents and other stakeholders in the Delta to be part of the research process, this project also serves to understand how patient centered outcomes research is received by different stakeholders, such as how community health advisors disseminate the research findings, and how research capacity-building activities with Delta stakeholder groups strengthen their capacity for engagement with research.

    Angelo Collins (Education and Counseling Psychology) has received $1,150,534 from the Sobrato Family Foundation to support "Excellence in Catholic Education and Leadership". This three-year award, which is the result of collaboration by many individuals, will support the School of Education and Counseling Psychology in the implementation of the Excellence in Catholic Education and Leadership (ExCEL) Program.  ExCEL is designed to increase the number of high-quality credentialed teachers serving Catholic School classrooms in the Diocese of San Jose and other local dioceses. Focusing on schools that enroll a high proportion of under-represented Latino children, ExCEL adapts an innovative operational model pioneered by the University Consortium for Catholic Education (UCCE) that helps overcome traditional barriers to attracting and retaining top college graduates to Catholic school teaching careers. This residence-based model creates a pathway for aspiring teachers to be concurrently admitted into a university master’s degree program and assigned a supervised teaching placement at an appropriate parochial school site.  ExCEL also fosters spiritual growth, develops a sense of self in community and prepares graduates to meet the eligibility requirements for a California Teaching Credential.  In addition to the ExCEL Program, the award provides support to for a multi-year planning process to design a 21st Century Education Leadership Initiative.  The initiative will produce high-quality evidence-based leadership in Silicon Valley Catholic, charter and public schools.

  •  SECP receives $1.1 million Sobrato Family Foundation Grant

    Santa Clara University’s School of Education and Counseling Psychology receives $1.1 million grant from the Sobrato Family Foundation

    Five of the ExCEL teachers

    The majority of the grant, $1 million, will fund the implementation and expansion of the Excellence in Catholic Education and Leadership (ExCEL) program offered through the University’s School of Education and Counseling Psychology. ExCEL is designed to increase the number of high-quality, credentialed teachers serving in Silicon Valley Catholic schools.

    The remaining $100,000 will support a multi-year planning process to develop The 21st Century Educational Leadership Initiative, which strives to produce effective leaders in Silicon Valley Catholic, charter, and public schools and in Catholic parishes.

    “We couldn't be more pleased about the grant and its endorsement of our efforts to prepare excellent Catholic school educators,” said Carol Ann Gittens, interim dean, School of Education and Counseling Psychology. “It shows the Sobrato Family Foundation’s confidence in the direction the School of Education and Counseling Psychology is headed with its Catholic school teacher prep residency program.

    “The grant also represents a significant investment in our shared vision for developing innovative educational leadership initiatives. We consider the Sobrato Family Foundation founding partners of ExCEL and the 21st Century Education Leadership Initiative.”


    ExCEL program students commit to teaching for three years in a partnering Diocese of San Jose school, to living a simple life in a community with their peers, and to engaging in an intentional spiritual life through reflection on the gospel and social justice.

    “ExCEL is a graduate level teaching service program that supports K-12 Catholic Education in Silicon Valley and is a member of the University Consortium for Catholic Education. The program is centered on and supported by three pillars: education and service through teaching, spirituality, and community living," said Paula Mitchell, director of ExCEL.

    The ExCEL program will utilize the funds from the grant to enroll 40 intern teachers teaching more than 2,000 K-12 students in the Diocese of San Jose. With 24 percent of students enrolled in diocesan schools coming from underserved Latino communities, ExCEL will focus on preparing teachers for those schools that exhibit the highest needs.

    In return for their service, ExCEL students earn a master’s degree in education from Santa Clara University at no cost, and become eligible for a California teaching credential when they meet all other certification requirements. Participants live together or in neighboring apartments rent-free, and are provided a modest stipend to cover other living expenses.

    The expected outcome for the teaching interns is that at the end of their three-year experience they will remain in the Diocese of San Jose as fully credentialed and newly minted master’s degree-holding teachers.

    The 21st Century Educational Leadership Initiative

    The grant will also help fund the further development of The 21st Century Educational Leadership Initiative. The initiative encompasses and expands upon successful programs that have been launched through the School of Education’s Institute for Innovation in Catholic Education over the past 36 months, including:

    • The Academy for Blended Learning, which helps instructors use the best mix of technology and teaching methods
    • The Effective Principal Program, which focuses on the development of leadership and management skills
    • “Principreneur” Accelerator Program, which uses a startup mindset to reconceptualize and innovate new approaches to becoming a more effective school leader

    The planning grant will fund an assessment of specific needs and market gaps; enable Santa Clara University to initiate new partnerships with Silicon Valley schools, districts, and organizations; and provide coaching for education leaders.


    ExCEL teacher Lysette Flores reading to the classroom

  •  UNITY 4 Forum

    Unity 4 holds first quarterly campus forum November 9

    Unity 4 will hold its first quarterly campus forum on Monday, November 9 in the Graham Commons from 7-8:30 p.m.

    What is Unity 4, you might ask? Unity 4 is a group of student leaders who stand in solidarity against hatred in all its forms. Their mission is to raise awareness and address issues related to racism, prejudice, and discrimination in all its forms in an intentional and structured way. The group is based on the belief that diversity in all its forms, as well as safety, and a positive campus climate are critical to the mission of Santa Clara University.

    Unity 4 formed in May 2015 in the aftermath of a Yik Yak bias incident that took place on campus. In response to the incident, a group of students joined together to write a compiled list of concerns and action items they developed for the University administration to address. On June 15, 2015 Father Engh formally responded with a letter to Unity 4 following the Yik Yak incident addressing concerns and highlighting five additional initiatives that were underway to contribute to the goal of making SCU a more inclusive campus. As a result of these conversations there was a consensus to have a quarterly campus forum to bring the University community together to address issues and get updates on progress towards inclusion.

    For a complete schedule of Unity 4 open forums CLICK HERE

  •  PREPARE for El Niño

    Campus Emergency Manager David Burns gives us the do’s and don'ts in preparing for the storms ahead

    Have you been feeling the little droplets of water coming down in short waves across the Bay Area lately? Have you walked on campus and noticed patches of water from the mild precipitation that occurred overnight? Well, believe it or not, this is the opening act of El Niño and, despite some naysayers and non-believers, it’s predicted to bring with it a colossal mess.

    So much so that SCU’s Campus Emergency Manager David Burns has done our community a favor and sent out some awesome tips to consider in preparing for the coming months. The key message to take away from it all?


    Beyond the daily earthquake threat that currently exists, El Niño reinforces the need for every single member of the Santa Clara University campus community (faculty, staff, and students) to create an emergency plan and maintain an emergency kit (at least 72 hours of resources). It's not a nice to have, it's a must have. With the reality of a known emergency hazard like El Niño, there are a variety of issues we should now consider:

    PAY ATTENTION: Your life could depend on monitoring the weather. If you are traveling by car through May 2016, pay attention to the weather in areas that could be affected during inclement weather. Review the three-day weather outlook before you travel. Keep adequate food, water, blankets, etc., readily available in your car. In the recent flash flood event in Southern California, it took over 20 hours for rescuers to reach the victims of the mudflows on I-5.

    MONITOR THE 10-DAY FORECAST: Subscribe to direct emergency warnings issued by the NWS meteorologist as they monitor creek flows, tidal flows, and small streams throughout the Santa Clara Valley, especially roadways that are adjacent to the SF Bay, rivers, streams, and canals.

    Many local highways have a history of flooding during storms—expect corridors like the "101" and San Francisquito Creek (Palo Alto) areas to see above average flooding. If you commute, have an alternate travel plan and detour established if your normally traveled route becomes inundated with flood water.


    • Be prepared for floods. Past El Niño events at this level brought 170% to 200% of normal rainfall events to the area below San Francisco—especially through February, March, and April.
    • Be prepared for prolonged power outages. Have a flashlight, with reserve batteries. DO NOT EVER USE CANDLES!
    • Consider rechargeable backup power supplies for cell phones and computers.
    • Consider refueling when your gas gauge falls below half a tank—fuel pumps will not operate in prolonged power outages.
    • Maintain cash reserves. ATMs do not work in power outages.


    Take the time to read the campus emergency plan, the Emergency Procedure Handbook for Faculty & Staff, and other readiness procedures posted online

    Read more here:


  •  Building Sustainable Communities at Home

    “House-Mama” Lauren McCutcheon gives the juice on the CITRUS house

    Did you know there’s an off-campus house here at SCU named after a member of the food group? Well, add that to the list of things you didn’t know about SCU!

    CITRUS, an acronym for Community Initiative to Restore Urban Sustainability, is a household unlike most others. From collaborating with the Food and Agribusiness Institute to hosting workshops on sustainable home cooking, to throwing a “Pancakes by Starlight” party that features mostly vegan breakfast dishes, CITRUS House is combining community engagement and sustainability with the joys of off-campus living.

    The Center for Sustainability’s Blair Libby sat down with house landlord Lauren McCutcheon to get the juice on the CITRUS house.

    Center for Sustainability (CfS): What's your connection to SCU, and what was the house like when you were living there?

    Lauren: I've lived at CITRUS through a few different phases of its history. The first three years (2000–03) was with three of the other "founding mothers" of CITRUS: Anna Kinney, Sarah Montgomery, and Kristin Silver. After graduating, I left CITRUS to live and work in DC for a short year or so. I moved back into the house in early 2005 and that's when the vision for CITRUS as the Community Initiative To Restore Urban Sustainability began in earnest.

    Myself and another founding mother, Agnieszka [Mazur] Dumett began hosting both gardening and other community events. We tried to bring the mantra of "think globally, act locally" to life, bringing together people from around the world (and from various different universities) who also had a passion or interest in sustainability and could contribute/share/collaborate/celebrate—then take that home with them.

    Wednesday night dinners became a regular thing. We would eat food out of the garden, learn about vegetarian cooking, discuss ecological issues, and—depending on available instruments and players—occasionally break into spontaneous jam sessions.

    CfS: What people/events/other factors brought up the idea for Citrus?

    Lauren: While living at and also managing the CITRUS house, I began to think of the concept of sustainability in a new way. The transience of student residents causes terrible amounts of waste, even in the best intentioned among us. Just take one look in the dumpsters outside the residence halls each spring and you will see examples of the convenience-driven consumerism that plagues our community.

    I thought, what if we set up a house that bucks this trend? A house that is also a community where furniture, dishes and other household tools can be inherited and shared between generations of residents. And hey—we could also grow some of our own food and teach each other how to cultivate a low-footprint household!

    Sustainability is not just solar panels and grey-water, it's bicycling and cooking together and composting and learning how to clean without harsh chemicals. So, CITRUS now stands as both a house and a community dedicated to sustainable living through responsible resource management and education. My hope is that anyone who lives or hangs out at CITRUS will walk away with inspiration and knowledge about how to live more lightly on our beautiful planet.

    For the full interview CLICK HERE

  •  Grants, Awards & Publications

    SCU faculty and staff receive recognition for their outstanding work

    Sherry Wang (Counseling and Psychology) has received a $29,215 subaward from the University of Mississippi (funds originated from the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).  The project is entitled: “Building on a culturally-sensitive network for PCOR/CER dissemination”. The aims of this project are to better understand, implement, and disseminate comparative effectiveness research findings that are sensitive to the needs of the African American communities living in the rural Mississippi Delta. A major focus of this engagement project is to develop approaches by which residents of the community can contribute to the participation in and dissemination of research, and in ways that builds on their cultural strengths. By engaging residents and other stakeholders in the Delta to be part of the research process, this project also serves to understand how patient centered outcomes research is received by different stakeholders, such as how community health advisors disseminate the research findings, and how research capacity-building activities with Delta stakeholder groups strengthen their capacity for engagement with research.

    Thomas Plante (Psychology) co-authored an article, “Psychological Well-Being of Roman Catholic and Episcopal Clergy Applicants” that was just published in Pastoral Psychology.


  •  SCU’s Next Law Building

    The striking design for the School of Law’s new home originated from the University’s first-ever architectural design competition

    The view from Stevens Stadium Plaza of the final design for the new home to Santa Clara University School of Law. Located on the site of the former parking lot for Lucas Hall, the building is expected to be operational by Fall 2017. Design firm: Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB)

    The view from Franklin Street of the final design for the new home to Santa Clara University School of Law. Located on the site of the former parking lot for Lucas Hall, the building is expected to be operational by Fall 2017. Design firm: Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB)

    The view from Schott Admissions of the future home to Santa Clara University School of Law, on the site of the former parking lot for Lucas Hall.

    One of the cornerstones of Santa Clara’s current strategic plan is to construct a striking, 96,000-square-foot new law school building at the entrance to campus, across from the newly renovated Stevens Stadium and Buck Shaw Field.

    The new building is a rare opportunity to create a grand presence at the gateway to the University, to anchor a corner of campus that may grow over time, and to showcase the future-oriented legal education taking place at the University’s 105-year-old law school.

    The building is expected to be named in honor of tech-company founder Howard Charney and his wife Alida Schoolmaster Charney, who donated the foundational $10 million to build the technologically advanced building.

    “Santa Clara has embarked on a transformative phase in its growth as a University, and the new law school building is going to be one of the most visible manifestations of that future,” said Michael Hindery, Santa Clara’s vice president for finance and administration. “To honor that fact, we wanted to generate fresh ideas for the building from some of the Bay Area’s most innovative design firms.”

    So, SCU this year sponsored its first-ever architectural design competition, inviting four San Francisco-based firms to each create a conceptual vision for the building, which is expected to be operational by Fall of 2017.

    None of the designs was ever intended to be final, said Hindery, but rather were solicited to provoke broader campus-wide discussion and initiate the ultimate design process.

    The competition asked the firms to spend 30 days coming up with renderings and models of a new building. Their work was guided by a  few basic requirements: The building needed to fit in with SCU’s existing, mission-style architecture, it couldn’t impede visitors’ view down Abby Sobrato mall to the Mission Church, and it needed to employ both interior and exterior dynamic and open space for student and faculty use.

    The firms also had to “convey the sense of importance of the University, celebrate the mission architecture, seek excellence in design and convey the simplicity of the Jesuit mission,” according to the competition guidelines.

    Four architecture firms presented on May 12: CannonDesign, Form4 Architecture, Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB), and WRNS Studio.

    The 12-member jury committee was delighted with the vast diversity of ideas submitted. The designs included a curved, glass-and-steel structure complete with a grand plaza and towering curved Greco-Roman style colonnade to greet visitors. Another proposed a fresh and modern three-story, garden-dotted building complete with a huge rounded-glass amphitheater and a meditation room. Another team harkened to SCU’s origins with a long, classically Mission-style building set far back from the street -- echoing the open, grassy spaces that were hallmarks of St. Joseph’s and O’Connor Hall when they were first built in 1911 and 1912, respectively.

    Each of the firms in the competition spoke of the exciting challenge of honoring Santa Clara’s historical Mission architecture – thick masonry, stucco-covered walls, small covered lobbies and walkway openings, linear shape, red clay roofs, and relatively modest-sized buildings – while also reflecting the modernity of the education being imparted to its inhabitants. They also strove to honor and incorporate the “third Mission site,” the historic spot in front of the new building where the Mission Church stood from 1784 to 1818 until demolished by an earthquake.

    “The variety and creativity of approaches taken by each of these talented firms was a joy to witness, and gave us valuable new insights into how our school can connect with our creative campus and Silicon Valley,” said Lisa Kloppenberg, dean of the School of Law.

    The entry that won over Kloppenberg and the other jury members was submitted by SCB, which has designed 14 buildings for Loyola University in Chicago and whose principals helped author SCU’s previous campus master plan in 2005. Their design was a modern, stacked building with four stories that step up to accommodate views of Abby Sobrato Mall. Views are also aided by vast spans of glass at the front of the building and in interior courtyards.

    SCB’s initial building honored the Mission style through a “sympathetic palette,” of terracotta tiles, tan stucco, and trellis elements. Lattices of terracotta shading elements screen windows and shade terraces, replacing the typical Mission-style pitched roofs, were incorporated in the SCB jury submission.

    “The competition had all the stuff architects live for,” said SCB principal Tim Stevens. “It was an exhilarating, exhausting, and thoroughly challenging process to create a building at a fabulous site at the threshold of campus.”

    After dozens of meetings to allow review by numerous groups on campus -- including the facilities subcommittee of the Board of Trustees, the law school community and trustee subcommittee, friends of the University, regents, and senior administrators -- the original design was changed notably to pay greater homage to Santa Clara’s Mission heritage, said Hindery.

    “While the SCB jury submission was exciting and modern, we are very cognizant of our commitment to honoring our heritage and the need to stay congruous with the overall campus environment,” said Hindery. “The new building meets both our goals of a forward-leaning design and honoring the sense of what makes Santa Clara University so special. The first impression is a distinctly Mission style, while conveying the contemporary context and ambition of the law school,” he added.

    Said Stevens: “We have enjoyed working with all the University stakeholders to develop a truly bespoke facility, one that reflects the University’s mission and place, now and for the future.”

    The view from Stevens Stadium Plaza of the final design for the Santa Clara University School of Law building. Located on the site of the former parking lot for Lucas Hall, the 96,000-square-foot building is expected to be operational by Fall 2017. Design firm: Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB)
  •  University on the Move

    SCU officials to embark on a multi-city tour along the West Coast to launch SCU Momentum

    Alumni often struggle to find time for a visit back to Santa Clara University.

    Problem solved: SCU is coming to them.

    Top administration officials including President Michael Engh, S.J., will travel the West Coast this fall to launch SCU Momentum, a multi-city tour where alumni and friends can catch up on old times and learn more about the emerging vision for SCU.

    In addition to Fr. Engh, the traveling party includes Vice President for University Relations Jim Lyons, Athletic Director Renee Baumgartner, and deans from one or more of the schools.

    “We have spent a great deal of time and effort determining what we want the future of Santa Clara University to be,” Lyons said. “It’s time to share that vision with the people who are as passionate as we are about it: our alumni and our good friends.”

    The kickoff event takes place Oct. 29 at the Langham Huntington in Pasadena and includes a cocktail reception, remarks from University leadership, and a video highlighting the University’s momentum and goals. Other tour stops are Nov. 3 in San Francisco (Westin St. Francis), Nov. 18 in Menlo Park (Rosewood Sand Hill), and Dec. 9 in Seattle (Four Seasons Hotel Seattle). More events are in the planning stages for 2016 and beyond.

    The new Mission Wine collection will also be introduced, featuring three selections from SCU-affiliated California wineries. The event is free, but registration is required. Visit to register or learn more.

  •  SCU Presents: One-Act Festival

    Theatre arts majors direct an eclectic collection of one-act plays

    Three student-directed one-act plays will be presented this weekend, October 24 and 25 at 2 p.m. in the Fess Parker Studio Theatre as part of the One Act Festival in the Theatre and Dance Department. Camila Biaggi (class of 2017) will direct Sorry written by Timothy Mason, followed by A Second of Pleasure by Neil Labute, directed by Lyndsey Brown (class of 2016) and Designer Genes by Kent R. Brown and directed by Abby René (class of 2016). All three plays deal with the joys, challenges, and complexities of relationships in the modern world.

    The One Act Festival is the culmination of comprehensive work of student directors in the Theatre and Dance Department. All of the directors have taken a series of courses in directing and also get a chance to synthesize many aspects of their overall theatre training from acting to design to theatre history when they direct a one act. For student directors, putting on this play serves as a capstone-like project in their senior year, though this opportunity is open to juniors who have met the requirements.

    The One Act Festival is done every fall and winter quarters with two or three plays produced in each quarter. The student directors work with a faculty advisor to select a play, research and conceptualize it, then hold auditions, cast, and rehearse the play before it is performed during a weekend run in the black box theatre space. These three directors have been rehearsing for the last four weeks with student actors, and working with student designers and a student stage manager to bring their vision of these plays to the stage.

    Students often find it challenging to direct their peers, but also find it rewarding to draw on their skills of both leadership and collaboration to craft a production. Beginning with the creative work in the rehearsal room, then transferring that work into the theatre, adding stage lighting, costumes, props, and sound effects, and then finally putting all of it in front of an appreciative audience is an exhilarating process for the whole team—especially for these student directors. This event is often one of the most memorable experiences of their college theatre careers.

  •  Engineering News: When Going to the Dogs is a Good Thing

    Tiny House team decides the final product will go to Operation Freedom Paws

    How can you reap gigantic benefits from a teeny house?

    For a group of SCU students competing in the Sacramento Municipal Utility District 2016 Tiny House Competition, the solution was easy: When the contest is over, pass along the 238-square-foot solar-powered home to a very worthy organization—Operation Freedom Paws (OFP), a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization empowering military veterans and others with disabilities to restore their independence by teaming them up with a service dog.

    "We've already done a lot of research and bought the trailer that our Tiny House will be built on, but construction hasn't started yet. Knowing who we are designing for and how the home will be used informs our design choices and gives us even more passion for the project," said J.J. Galvin '17, a mechanical engineering major working on the thermal analysis and HVAC systems for the house.

    Recently, the students spent a morning at OFP's facility in San Martin, California, seeing the operation in action and getting to know founder Mary Cortani. A Certified Army Master of Canine Education, Cortani prepared dogs for work in sentry and explosive detection during the Vietnam era. In a way, she does much the same thing through OFP, training dog-and-veteran teams to deal with the daily minefields encountered by those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and/or any number of other physical, neurological, or psychological challenges.

    Using a 30-step process, Cortani and her team of experts identify suitable dogs to match with veterans." Eighty percent of our dogs come from shelters, rescue programs, or were bred to be guide dogs but didn't make the cut," said Cortani." We assess the client's needs and match them with a dog. Together, they train here two to four times a week for 48 weeks—about 350 hours—receiving lessons, guidance, and exercises to practice at home. For people with PTSD or TBI, life can seem hopeless; just going to the grocery store or talking with strangers can be overwhelming; sleep is nearly impossible because of nightmares or night terrors. But as they train together, the dog learns to help the client stay calm and focused and alerts the client to events or danger. The veteran learns to trust the dog and is then able to venture out into the world. The team is healing together and providing each other with a new lease on life," she said. Veterans' accounts posted on attest to the miracles taking place through this organization.

    While the cost of a service dog ranges from $10,000 to $60,000, all of OFP's services are provided to veterans and others with disabilities at no cost.

    During their visit to OFP, the SCU students helped teams learn to deal with strangers wanting to pet the dogs (nearly every breed imaginable: Chihuahua, Rottweiler, Great Dane, Poodle, Greyhound, Labrador Retriever, and plenty of mutts); they witnessed the healing powers of "puppy yoga" as veterans practiced calming exercises;and they knew this was where they wanted their Tiny House to find its "forever home." Following the competition, their Tiny House will serve as temporary accommodations for a variety of visitors—out-of-town veterans being paired with a dog, shelter workers receiving training to identify potential service dogs, or trainers coming in to help lead c

    lasses. Installed between the Victory Garden and meditation memorial garden, and adjacent to the children's play area, rEvolve House will provide a serene and soothing environment for its guests.

    "Before we ever met the people at OFP, we'd named our house 'rEvolve,' in the tradition established with SCU's entries in the 2007, '09, and '13 Solar Decathlon competitions—Ripple House, Refract House, and Radiant House," said Nick Jensen '15. "It's almost like it was meant to be, that SCU and OFP would come together. Being a part of Operation Freedom Paws' evolution and of the veterans' growth and healing is a gift far greater than anything we are giving."

    Learn more:

  •  Loyal Bronco Program

    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

    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.

  •  de Saisset’s New Exhibit is Closer by the Minute

    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.

  •  Career Fair

    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.”

  •  Frugal Innovation Lab

    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.

  •  Grants, Awards, and Publications

    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 ( 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.

  •  SCU Alumna Wins Prestigious TechCrunch Start-Up Competition

    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

Printer-friendly format