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.

  •  Digital Spring Cleaning

    Five easy ways to declutter your SCU Gmail

    Marc Ramos from Technology Training shares tips on making Gmail work for you.

    Our tools for email communication have changed dramatically over the last few years. But for many of us, the way we interact with our email has not evolved as quickly. As your emails build up over time, your inbox could become unwieldy. Use these “spring cleaning” solutions to increase email efficiency.

    1. Use filters to skip the inbox entirely. Let Gmail’s filter tools be your personal assistant. Select an email and choose the “Filter Messages Like This” option from under your “More” menu. If you wish, you can create a filter that diverts all incoming mail from a specific person, group, or subject from the inbox. The filter can then apply a label to the message, auto reply using a canned response, or maybe someday auto forward it.

    2. Hide labels unless there’s an unread message. The real estate for your labels is relatively small. One solution to avoid cluttering this space is to hide labels entirely until needed. Take a quick visit to your email settings. Locate the tab called “Labels.” Display options for labels include show, hide, or only show if unread.

    3. Use Inbox Tabs to auto sort important emails. Gmail’s tabbed inbox categorizes your incoming emails into several categories: Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates, and Forums. A tabbed inbox helps you focus on emails that are high priority, and disregard the fluff. Navigate to your settings and select the “Configure Inbox” option. Select the tabs you would like to use, drag and drop emails to move them from one tab to another, and finally sit back as Gmail categorizes all of your new messages going forward.

    4. Archive instead of delete. Gmail’s search function is a powerful tool for locating old emails. Next time you open a message and can’t decide how to label it, simply select the archive button near the top of your message. Once your message has been archived it will be sitting under your “All Mail” label. Need to find it again someday? Enter any search term from the email and select the “Search Options” drop-down arrow to the far right of the search field. Search by sender, subject, attachment, size, date range, or keywords.

    5. Send and Archive. After replying to emails the original email will still take up room in your inbox. An inbox filled with emails that have been replied to may make us feel productive at the end of the day, but a clean inbox is even more rewarding. The “Send and Archive” feature does exactly as its name says—immediately archiving an email after you’ve replied to it. To enable this feature navigate to your general settings and select the “Show Send & Archive” button.

    Need to get a better grip on your email? Visit Santa Clara University’s Technology Training schedule for upcoming workshops.

  •  A Greater Good

    From international business ethics to earthquake safety to global medicine, several SCU students and alumni get ready to put their prestigious awards to good use

    Fulbright Award Recipients and Alternates

    Saayeli Mukherji ’13 is a finance major and history minor who will study at the Duisenberg School of Finance in The Netherlands. She plans to create an open forum on business ethics to help prevent global ethics catastrophes such as the 2008 financial crisis.

    "This Fulbright opportunity allows me to continue my work as a Hackworth Business Ethics Fellow and further ignite global conversations about business ethics. Specifically, I hope this dialogue allows for a crowd sourced business ethics guide that can help develop more integrity in future generations of business leaders."


    Julianne Parayo ’12  plans to use her English and music training at SCU to explore her capacity for teaching English in a new environment and to participate in a powerful and artistic cross-cultural exchange. She chose Poland to explore its deep regard for both tradition and progress and to investigate how cross-generational dynamics transform a nation's culture.

    "By teaching English not just as a foreign language, but as a means for self-expression, I hope to give Polish students a fair representation of American culture, and become an ambassador in an artistic sense, by allowing students to engage their voices in a cross-cultural discourse. In doing so, I wish to explore the ability to override language barriers through multi-disciplinary engagement of music and song."

    Natalie Lays ’14, will teach English in Brazil and looks forward to pursuing her interest in other cultures and global medicine. After a summer internship, she was inspired by the dynamic culture and forward-looking mentality of the Brazilian people. She is graduating with a degree in psychology from SCU this June.

    "With this award I hope to improve my leadership skills and gain a wider perspective on the health disparities experienced outside of the United States.

    Daniel Peng '12, is using his Fulbright award to address the growing diabetes epidemic in China.  Peng was a biology major at SCU and wants to improve diabetes management, as well as long-term clinical outcome in diabetes patients at a regional diabetes clinic in Hangzhou, China by establishing actionable patient goals, relevant community activity groups, and an electronic follow-up system.

    "Working with children affected by the disease has been a great personal motivation to create answers for how to better manage diabetes through health education and lifestyle habits. By investigating best practices in clinical health education in a rural clinic in China, my goal is to bring knowledge and answers back to the United States to advocate for better health education in underserved, immigrant communities."

    Rachel Wilmoth ’14, was selected as an alternate and is hoping her project to research the mechanical and structural components of the sea urchin’s self-sharpening teeth will be funded. The project could help improve the sharpness of tools like knives or drill bits. The tests would be run at a lab in New Zealand. She is graduating with a mechanical engineering degree in June.

    Erik McAdams ’14, was selected as an alternate and is hoping his project to address rural poverty in earthquake-prone Ecuador by analyzing the structural characteristics of houses in remote villages will be funded. He’s very involved in SCU’s chapter of Engineers without Borders and will graduate with a civil engineering major and Spanish minor from SCU in June.

    “With the Fulbright, I plan to use my engineering skills in an exciting and global context, and to learn about the cultural, social, and engineering practices of Ecuador. I also hope to grow personally through the many challenges that will be encountered during this overseas adventure. “


    National Science Foundation Research Fellowships Awards

    Julie Herman ’14 plans to use her NSF research fellowship award to study the evolutionary forces in the mustard oil biosynthetic pathway and possible coevolution of mustards and pierid butterflies. She trained under Dr. Justen Whittall and will receive her biology degree this June. She will then pursue her Ph.D. at UC Santa Cruz.

    “I hope to investigate evolutionary forces in the chemical pathways plants use to defend themselves against insects. Greater understanding of plant defense can help us improve our agricultural practices in a time when we are in danger of not being able to produce enough food to feed everyone in the world.” says Herman.

    Claire Kunkle ’14 will use her NSF award to study and design energy systems to benefit developing nations. She studied under Dr. Hohyn Lee at SCU and will earn her mechanical engineering degree this June. She will then pursue her Ph.D. at UC Berkeley.

    “In receiving this NSF fellowship I feel a renewed sense of excitement to pursue authentic, cutting-edge research. This will be coupled with a desire to explore the field of engineering pedagogy and hopefully become a new face in the national issue of engaging students of all backgrounds in STEM fields,” says Kunkle.

    Read the next edition of fyi for how Kunkle plans to inspire future engineers to accomplish their dreams, particularly young girls interested in STEM.

  •  How Tweet It Is

    Check out what people are saying about SCU on our social media channels.

    Many in the SCU community are putting why they love SCU into 140 characters or posting pictures of our beautiful campus on Facebook and Instagram. Here are just a few of our mentions. If you tweet, we’d love to follow you. Tweet us: @SantaClaraUniv and @SCUNews

  •  Hacking Retail

    Unusual hackathon taps retail executives to build the perfect course

    These days, when customers want to buy a dress from Macy’s, they are likely to turn to and then load into the car for a trip to the mall, or even get the product delivered that same day to their home. That means students of retail marketing need to be just as conversant in customer behavior as they shop across channels as they are with tried-and-true in-store marketing tools like impulse selling. They need to be masters of data analysis as well – to learn how to find a customer whose online behavior indicates she’s in the market for a dress in the first place, and if she wants it the same day, help her locate the inventory.

    This convergence of online marketing and retailing, offline and online retailing, was one of the key lessons to emerge from an unusual gathering hosted by the Retail Management Institute recently. Dubbed a “Retail/eCommerce Hackathon," the April 16 event was designed to tap the expertise of area retail executives, to help create the ideal university-level course for next-generation retail leaders.

    Retail powerhouses like Kent Anderson, president of, and Pat Connolly, chief marketing officer of Williams Sonoma, spent the afternoon brainstorming and sketching out a next-generation curriculum that would best position tomorrow’s retail student for success.

    After listening to a talk on the direction of the retail industry by Anderson and Connolly, the executives gathered into groups. Like traditional hackathons, the participants were given an in-the-moment assignment to work on during the event: Specifically, they were asked to identify the skills and talents that are vital in retail employees, but which are most often lacking in new hires, especially in the areas of technology and social media.
    A big theme of the day was data, said Kirthi Kalyanam,  director of the Retail Management Institute at Santa Clara University, and the organizer of the day’s event. The participants stressed that while retailing has always been a data-driven industry, today's challenge is to use large amounts of data to improve the customer experience and generate marketing insights in real time.

    “The executives noted that the shortage of talent that has these data skills is very, very real,” said Kalyanam. “It’s especially crucial given an accelerating trend of global e-commerce players, such as the Chinese giant Ali Baba, entering the U.S. market.”

    For students, that means they need a curriculum that is heavier than ever on multi-channel marketing skills, promotion, and being smart about big data, he said.

    Another theme was the blurring of lines between what happens offline – in retail stores – and what happens online. “With services like Google Express turning even your corner Target into an online-purchasing environment, there is no turning back the clock on online-offline convergence,” said Kalyanam.

    Some retailers are using that data to show that consumers use different channels for different things. “The word omni-channel (all channels are equal) is in high fashion in the retail industry, but several leading retailers are finding far more nuances among their consumers,” said Kalyanam.

    The participants – including officials from Google, Mattel, BuildDirect, Adobe, Shoprunner, and Twitter – will come together again to review progress towards a new curriculum, and to continue to expand the set of ideas.

  •  Ethics in Health-Care

    New charitable trust helps more students study bioethics with the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

    An elderly woman from a nursing facility is admitted to a hospital with a life-threatening illness. She is unable to discuss treatment options or make health-related decisions; no one has visited her in years and family telephone numbers on record are no longer in service. With no one to speak for her, how do medical professionals provide the care that is in her best interest?

    “This is a dilemma that we’re seeing more and more,” explained Margaret McLean, associate director of SCU’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and director of the Center’s bioethics program. “People are living longer; they’re geographically detached from family, and they’ve lost touch with friends and relatives.”

    Moved by the heartbreaking plight of such patients, an SCU alumnus and his wife set up a $2 million charitable trust to help fund health-care ethics – ensuring that work undertaken by the University’s bioethics program will continue long after the two of them are gone.

    The anonymous donors have long been “extremely passionate about medical ethics,
    especially concerning end-of-life issues affecting the poor,” according to Susan Lucas, senior director for development at the Center.

    Now infirmed themselves, the donors are relying on their two adult children to administer the fund. “This is a multi-generational estate gift,” said Lucas. “The couple’s children are carrying out the wishes of their parents.” She explained that the Center recently accepted a $500,000 advance from the family’s trust. Going forward, the bioethics program will receive regular interest payments from the funded endowment. “This family’s generous, ongoing gift means we can count on our work continuing in perpetuity,” Lucas noted.

    When the program began 20 years ago, Center staff formed a partnership with
    O’Connor Hospital in San Jose to act as consultants on ethics questions that typically arise in a hospital setting. Today, that partnership is flourishing, and several others are in place at nearby health facilities. Bioethics program staff members also teach core curriculum courses, conduct research on emerging health issues, and work with local medical teams to provide competent, sensitive care for cultural subgroups.

    A major component of the bioethics program is its innovative internships for undergraduates who are thinking about medical careers. Launched in 2001, the internship program takes students to hospital and hospice settings where, during the course of an entire school year, they observe and interact with medical professionals, social workers, chaplains, patients, and families.

    “They learn firsthand about ethical dilemmas,” explained McLean. “They’re in the middle of it all – all the joys and angst that people go through; they’re out of the classroom and into a context in which real-life decisions are made.” Mostly, she continued, “our students are observing families and patients dealing with end-of-life issues – and all too often, there are patients who are alone and can’t make their own decisions; it’s an increasing problem.”

    McLean said the Center’s internship program is unique in the U.S., and it sets the University’s bioethics program apart from other, larger medical-ethics centers. “Usually, you see interns, residents, and bioethics graduate students talking with patients and families and participating in ethics case consultations,” she explained. “Our vision is to educate our students to be persons for others. Even if these students don’t become health-care professionals, they will at some point have to make ethical treatment decisions – that’s a life skill worth learning.”

    Some 150 undergraduates have gone through the internship program since it began, and in biweekly reflection sessions, many of those students have described the impacts of their experiences. Briana Britton ’13, a program participant last year and an aspiring doctor, said the health-care ethics internship was a chance to live up to the Jesuit model of serving others.

    “You have the opportunity to shadow doctors and physicians and really be present to other peoples’ situations – sometimes they’re really challenging – but for me, it was a growing experience because I was able to learn how to be present with others’ challenges,” noted Britton. “It was a really formative experience for me as well, as a future medical professional.”

    Both Lucas and McLean are hoping to use some of the new, donor-provided funding to expand the internship program, which is currently open to only 15 students.

    “Many more than that are applying for it,” said Lucas. “They see it as a life-changing experience.”

    These funds will continue to support the Center's student fellowship in health-care ethics, which is awarded yearly to an outstanding graduate of the internship program.

  •  Hot Ticket

    de Saisset artist ignites imagination with a blowtorch

    At the de Saisset Museum this spring, images of plants and sea life will take on an almost calligraphic form. An exhibition of works by Bay Area artist Mirang Wonne called “Fire Script,” which will run from April 10 to June 15, will showcase the artist’s subtle blend of representation and abstract design.

    Wonne’s work can appear from a distance to look like delicate swaths of silk adorned with a sort of calligraphy. However, a closer look reveals an unusual technique. Wonne begins with a stainless steel mesh screen as her surface. Rather than using paints or pencils, she uses a blowtorch to make marks on the screen. “When the stainless steel heats up, chemical reactions happen,” said Lindsey Kouvaris, curator of exhibits and collections at the de Saisset Museum. “It leaves a darker mark and a rainbow patina behind.”

    The show is called “Fire Script” because the marks, made with fire, resemble calligraphy. “They have a kinship to the sumi ink traditions of her ancestors,” Kouvaris said.

    The exhibition will have a combination of screens hanging from the ceiling and wall-mounted pieces.

    Also on exhibit through June 15:

    • “Building Forward/Looking Back" highlights the contributions of Paula Z. Kirkeby to the de Saisset Museum. For more than 30 years, she has shared her time, her resources, and her connections with the museum, helping build the museum’s permanent collection through personal gifts, financial contributions, and her network of collectors and artists. This exhibition highlights some of the gifts that have come to the de Saisset Museum through Kirkeby.
    • "New Passages" challenges visitors to think about navigation, migration, time keeping, and travel. Featuring more than 20 pieces, the majority of which have not been shown previously, Bay Area artists Mari Andrews and Ann Holsberry worked separately, but on parallel paths to give visual form to the idea of "passage." The pieces are both personal and universal. Andrews’ pieces are sculptural in form, while Holsberry’s works are two-dimensional.

    images top to bottom: Mirang Wonne at work in her studio; Paula and Phillip Kirkeby viewing Bruce Conner's Go Ask Tucker (1961); Mari Andrews, Stoneswirl (2014) stone and found metal, Courtesy of Chandra Cerrito Contemporary, Oakland. Ann Holsberry; Navigating by Stars 2 (2014) Cyanotype, gouache, and encaustic on paper mounted on panel, Courtesy of the artist

  •  SCU in the Spotlight

    New ABC7 ad features Santa Clara University student

    Avid Jeopardy or ABC7 News viewers may have noticed the beautiful Mission Santa Clara flash across their TV screens in the past few weeks.

    Santa Clara University was chosen as a location for the local news station's “Where you Live” promo campaign. Malarie Howard, ‘14 is the student featured during the short commercial. She is graduating with a degree in communications this June and is hoping to work in the TV and film industry.

    “It was really great to see everything I’m learning in class put to use for an actual commercial,” said Howard. “I love that I’ve had so many opportunities at SCU to see what options are out there in my field.”

    The ABC7 crew said Howard was a natural and should think about being in front of the camera instead of her current goal of directing and behind-the-scenes work.

    Watch the commercial here:

  •  Grants, Awards, and Publications

    Tim Myers (English) children's book Basho and the River Stones is being reprinted in the Junior Great Books Series 3 Book Two Anthology, and is also being reprinted as part of K-12 Assessments in English from Pearson Education in association with the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, with six million anticipated users.

    Caroline Chen (School of Law) has received an $85,000 grant from the Internal Revenue Service. This grant will fund the continued operation of the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic located at the Katharine and George Alexander Community Law Center.

    Dale Larson (Psychology) recently had two works published: “Getting grief working: A guide for the new grief therapist” in the New Therapist, and “Taking stock: Past contributions and current thinking on death, dying, and grief” in Death Studies.

    Shannon Vallor (Philosophy) co-wrote a piece published in Communications of the ACM about why software engineering courses should cover ethics.

    Radha Basu (Frugal Innovation Labs, School of Engineering) received a $60,000 award from the Tech Museum of Innovation. With the Tech Museum, the Frugal Labs will collaborate in the development and implementation of four interactive workshops. Each workshop will address a different theme relating to a human or environmental need.

    Justin Boren (Communication) had his article "Affectionate Communication Can Suppress Immunity: Trait Affection Predicts Antibodies to Latent Epstein-Barr Virus" published in Southern Communication Journal.

    Angelo Ancheta (Law School) received a $33,252 from the State Bar of California to support the Alexander Community Law Center Legal Assistance for Consumer Rights Project. The Consumer Rights Project will provide assistance to low-income individuals, composed largely of limited-English-speaking immigrants who require assistance in obtaining information, advice, and legal representation for problems involving consumer protection including auto fraud, unfair credit and debt collection practices, and unfair business practices.

    Hohyun Lee (Mechanical Engineering) has received a $75,060 award from Applied Materials, Inc. to fund the "Non-Contact Thermal Plasma Calorimetry" project. This project will research and develop in situ substrate thermal measurement techniques making use of optical methods, specifically the development of reflective thermometry, modeling of light scattering, matching thin film properties with theoretical expectations, and the accomplishment of spatial resolution. He has also received a $5,000 award from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. Funds will be used to support a senior undergraduate project. The purpose of this project is to develop a smart water-heater controller, which evaluates characteristics of a house and optimum operation conditions assisted by a machine learning algorithm, in order to engage more people with energy-saving practices.

    Jerry Shapiro (Counseling Psychology) just published When She's Pregnant: An Essential Guide for Expectant Fathers. It’s an update to his 1987 and 1993 book When Men Are Pregnant: Needs and Concerns of Expectant Fathers.

    Shauna Shapiro (Counseling Psychology) and David Germano (University of Virginia) have collaboratively received a $60,000 fellowship from The Mind and Life Institute, with $21,015 coming to Santa Clara University. The Mind and Life Institute, co-founded by the Dalai Lama, provides a fellowship which will seek to integrate the perspectives of religious studies and psychological sciences in addressing the central question of context in contemplative practice.

  •  Ethics: There’s an App For That!

    Markkula Center unleashes new tool for life’s tough decisions.

    Sometimes it’s not enough to let your conscience be your guide. In the throes of a complex ethical dilemma, for example, some practical direction and a smart phone in your pocket might prove handier.

    A new app from the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics offers users a step-by-step approach toward ethical decision making in the face of any quandary. The Center’s “Ethical Decision Making” app is available through the Apple iTunes app store and can be viewed online at

    “It walks people through a series of questions with the facts of the situation and the stakeholders in mind,” explained Miriam Schulman, assistant director of the Center. She said the questions are general, based on five classic ethical approaches that consider if an action is fair and just; if it promotes virtue; if it promotes the common good; if it respects the rights of individuals; and if it produces the most good and the least harm.

    Users choose a decision they think will best address their problem, and then evaluate the ethics of that decision by ranking their responses to the five questions. Along the way, the app presents supplemental information and guidance to help the user make a thoughtful evaluation. “It’s not going to tell you ‘yes’ or ‘no’ at the end,” said Schulman. “The responses are weighed and a score is given; depending on that score, the user may wish to move forward with his decision or consider a different option.”

    History of the Ethical App
    The app’s five questions have been used to discuss ethical thinking by the Markkula Center since it was founded in 1986. Schulman says the framework can be found in different programs and settings.

    “We didn’t make them up. These are classical approaches that have been around a long time, coming from Aristotle and other philosophers, traditional ethicists, the Bible,” she explained.

    Today, the relevance and durability of these ethical guideposts is evident. Schulman said the Center website receives hundreds of hits from people all over who are interested in the framework and who wish to reprint and use the information that forms the basis of it. That’s one reason why Markkula Center staff believes the app will appeal to a sizeable audience.

    “We know people will find it handy and useful,” said Schulman. “I can’t envision any situation that it wouldn’t cover.” She noted that the app can work for anyone—from a businessman thinking about off-shoring part of his operation to a daughter grappling with the idea of putting her mother in a nursing home. “It’s versatile. The questions are the underpinning for any ethical situation; it doesn’t matter what field it’s in.”

    The Markkula Center’s advisory board began discussing the idea for an app last summer. Soon after, Schulman and Irina Raicu, Internet ethics director, started work on the project. They were aided by Executive Director Kirk Hanson, who figured out how to translate the Center’s framework for the app software.

    “Most university ethics centers are very small,” explained Schulman, “but SCU has made a big investment in the Markkula Center—we believe we’re the largest in the U.S. with a staff of 20—and we get a tremendous amount of support from the University and our donors.”

    That vital assistance, she noted, has allowed the Center to become a leader in ethics education and communications. “We were on the Web very early and on social media sites as well,” she said. And as far as software applications go, “there’s not much out there, so I believe we’re at least one of the first to develop an app that helps people make ethical decisions.”

    Celebration of a Launch
    A party celebrating the app launch will take place April 15, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics in the Arts & Sciences Building on the Santa Clara University campus. The SCU community is invited for refreshments and a demo of “Ethical Decision Making.”

  •  Class of 2014

    World renowned soccer star and girls’ advocate Brandi Chastain to speak at commencement

    Santa Clara University will honor world famous soccer athlete, champion of girls’ health, and 1991 SCU graduate Brandi Chastain at the University’s 163rd undergraduate commencement ceremony June 14. Chastain’s selection to give the commencement address memorializes the 50th anniversary of women’s athletics at Santa Clara which the University celebrates this year.

    Chastain is best known for scoring the penalty kick goal that won the United States the 1999 Women’s World Cup and for her passionate celebration in the moments following. Her success earned her a spot as one of People Magazine’s 25 Most Intriguing People that year, while the photo of her celebration was named one of the 100 greatest sports photos of all time by Sports Illustrated. She took home a gold medal in the 1996 Olympic games, a silver medal in 2000 and a gold medal in 2004 games.

    More recently, Chastain co-founded the Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative in 2005 with a mission to create programs and partnerships through which women athletes bring health, hope, and wholeness to the community. The initiative offers a free weekly after-school program for elementary school girls to develop self-esteem and good health practices with mentoring from women athletes from collegiate and high school teams.

    “Brandi epitomizes the world-class leadership and fortitude that every Bronco is capable of achieving,” says SCU President Michael Engh, S.J. “She is a dedicated and disciplined athlete who is also committed to strengthening communities by advocating for and empowering young girls.”

    Chastain earned a degree in communication from SCU in 1991. She was named an All-American twice in soccer during her time as a student. She was also the assistant coach for the Santa Clara Broncos from 1994 to 2000 and is currently in her fourth season as a volunteer assistant coach.

    "I'm proud to be a part of such a strong legacy of women in sports at Santa Clara," says Chastain. "To be recognized by a school that is deeply committed to empowering the underserved to succeed is an honor."

    Chastain will address graduating seniors and their friends and families at the commencement ceremonies June 14 at 8:30 a.m. She will receive an honorary Doctorate of Public Service. Honorary degrees will also be awarded to Rupert and Maryellie Johnson, Rev. Howard A. Lincoln, and the Kino Border Initiative represented by Sean Carroll, S.J.

    Other commencement 2014 activities:

    Santa Clara University School of Law, May 24
    Almudena Bernabeu, an attorney with the Center for Justice and Accountability whose pursuit of justice for human-rights justice abuses includes helping to prosecute the alleged killers of six Jesuit priests in El Salvador in 1989, will be the commencement speaker for Santa Clara University School of Law. Bernabeu will receive an honorary degree in law at the event, being held on May 24 at 9:30 a.m. in the University’s Mission Gardens.

    Jesuit School of Theology, May 24
    Jon Sobrino, S.J., a Jesuit priest and liberation theologian who narrowly escaped the 1989 massacre of six Jesuit priests and two others in El Salvador, will be the commencement speaker at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University. The ceremony will be held May 24 at 3 p.m. at Zaytuna College in Berkeley. Also at the event, Joseph Chinnici, O.F.M., president of Franciscan School of Theology, will be the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Divinity.

    Graduate Commencement, June 13
    Commencement for the students receiving advanced degrees from the College of Arts and Sciences’ Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries, the School of Engineering, the Leavey School of Business, and the School of Education and Counseling Psychology will be held Friday, June 13 at 7:30 p.m. at the Leavey Event Center. During the evening, Frederick J. Ferrer, ’80 CEO of the Health Trust and a nationally recognized expert in child development and nonprofit leadership strategies, will receive an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree.

  •  A Day to Remember

    Looking back on the Dalai Lama’s historic visit to Santa Clara University

    The Dalai Lama’s most recent trip to the Bay Area included a historic visit to Santa Clara University—his first time at SCU. His Holiness addressed the business community about the importance of compassion in organizations.

    Now, the excitement and lessons of the day have been captured in a series of short video features. You can watch the videos here and experience the sights, sounds, and insights of one of the most important events to take place on the Mission Campus

    Watch Videos:

  •  Giving Thanks

    Students share their gratitude for donors at Sprinksgiving event

    More than a thousand Santa Clara University students came together Wednesday for the second annual Sprinksgiving to celebrate those who help make a world-class education at SCU possible. The event is aimed at raising awareness about the impact of donations on campus and also provides a meaningful connection between students and donors. Students signed a giant thank you card, and enjoyed turkey sandwiches, a nod to bringing the gratitude of Thanksgiving into the spring season.

    "We want to thank the campus community for all their support for this event and throughout the year," says Katherine Nicholson, class giving officer. "The generous support of our donors and gratitude of our students allow SCU to thrive."

    Balloons were also delivered to the 350 SCU faculty and staff members who have donated to the University so far this calendar year.

  •  SCU Ranks High for “Return on Investment”

    SCU’s undergraduate degree recipients rank in top 3 percent for "return on investment" and in the top 4 percent of earners at mid-career

    A degree from Santa Clara University ranks as one of the best-returning college investments in the country, according to a new survey by PayScale, a compensation-data company based in Seattle.

    Santa Clara University ranked in the top 3 percent in the survey—coming in 27th out of 1330 colleges or universities ranked by PayScale (some state schools were listed more than once to distinguish between in-state and out-of-state tuition rates). Among the 476 private, nonprofit institutions in the list, Santa Clara’s ROI ranked No. 17, (in the top 4 percent) and among 77 California schools, SCU was fifth (top 7 percent).

    The survey ranked schools by their “20-Year Return on Investment,” meaning the additional salary over 20 years that a graduating student would earn above that of a high-school graduate, after subtracting the cost of the education itself.

    At Santa Clara University, graduates were calculated to have a 20-year net ROI of $635,400. Grads reported having a typical starting salary after graduation of $53,300 and a mid-career salary of $110,000—which PayScale ranked 21st out of 583 institutions.

    PayScale's data came from its 1.4 million website users, who self-report their salaries and their alma maters.

    The company only included respondents whose highest degree is a bachelor’s degree, so lawyers, doctors, and other advanced-degree recipients were not part of the results. PayScale says its “confidence interval” for most schools is 90 percent at the median, plus or minus 5 percent (plus or minus 10 percent for elite/Ivy League schools).

    The survey and methodology can be found at

  •  SCU Water Conservation

    With Gov. Jerry Brown’s declaration of a drought and request that residents cut their water use by 20 percent, Santa Clara University is redoubling its efforts to conserve water.

    The University started using recycled water for some purposes in 2002. It has cut its per-person use of potable water by 29 percent since 2005, and potable water use per square foot of building space has fallen 21 percent since 2005. But given the need to conserve even more, the University is looking at new ways to cut back.

    Lindsey Kalkbrenner, director of the Center for Sustainability at Santa Clara University, emphasizes efforts at conservation the University has undertaken during the past several years:

    Efficient fixtures and plumbing. The University has installed motion-activated faucets, low-flow showers and toilets, and waterless urinals. “The interesting thing is that the waterless urinals saved us money on the labor associated with maintaining the plumbing,” Kalkbrenner said. “It was a retrofit we did just thinking about water, but we actually got other benefits from it.”

    Recycled water for irrigation. The beautiful University campus obviously requires water to maintain. Today, more than 85 percent of the campus landscape is irrigated with recycled water, Kalkbrenner said. This is water that has been used once, sent to a water treatment facility for treatment that is less extensive than what is used for drinking water, then sent back to the campus in purple pipes. Recycled water is not drinkable, but it used for irrigation and for flushing toilets in some buildings.

    Synthetic turf. Bellomy Field and Stanton Soccer Field are both synthetic, which takes less water than real grass. (They do still require some water, though, for washing and to keep the temperature down on hot days.)

    Weather monitoring. The University’s sprinkler systems use a weather monitoring system to remain off if it has been raining.

    Native plants. The University has been increasing the use of native plants, which don’t require much water, in its landscaping.

    Swimming pool cover. Covering the pool at night has helped prevent evaporation.

    Submeters. Submeters monitor water use in individual buildings or parts of campus, making it easier to pinpoint opportunities to reduce use further.

    Education. The University has had an ongoing education program to encourage saving water.

    To further reduce water use, the University is also taking the following new actions:

    • Campus water audit to find possible water leaks or ways to reduce water demand.
    • Further increases in areas that are irrigated by recycled water.
    • Further reductions in the amount of water per square foot that is used for irrigation.
    • Increased use of low-water plants.
    • Further education, including residence hall competitions.
    • Increased metering to make consumption more visible.


    Mondays through Thursdays from 2 to 5 p.m., the garden manager is available to provide information on reducing water use in the garden. The Center for Sustainability is also offering a water-wise gardening workshop on March 29 at Forge Garden. Participants will learn about drought-tolerant landscaping as well as efficient water use (and re-use) for backyard gardens. RSVP here.

  •  Defending Human Rights

    The founder of an organization that has pursued the cause of human rights in Egypt since 2002 will be the recipient of the 2014 Katharine and George Alexander Law Prize from Santa Clara University School of Law. The award honors top legal advocates who have used their careers to help alleviate injustice and inequity, often putting their own safety on the line. 

    The Alexander Law Prize will be presented to Hossam Bahgat at a ceremony on March 20, at Santa Clara University’s Williman Room in Benson Center. A reception will be held at 5 p.m., with the presentation of the award and a discussion taking place at 6 p.m.

    Hossam Bahgat is the founder and former executive director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), a Cairo-based independent organization created in 2002 to defend human rights in Egypt (

    Since 2002, the EIPR has used the power of research, advocacy, and litigation to promote and defend the rights to privacy, religious freedom, health, and bodily integrity.

    “Hossam Bahgat is an outstanding model of bravely using one’s gifts and talents to pursue a larger good of religious and political freedom,” said Santa Clara University School of Law Dean Lisa Kloppenberg. “We are proud to make this year’s award to him.”

    After the 2011 revolution, EIPR expanded its scope of work to include transitional justice, the protection of civil liberties and political rights, promotion of economic and social justice, and reform of the criminal justice system.

    Anthony Romero, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, calls Bahgat a Nobel Peace Prize-caliber advocate who is “passionate, strategic, visionary, and courageous.”

    With training in political science and international human rights law, Bahgat is also board chair of the International Network for Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ESCR-Net), and a member of the board of directors of the Fund for Global Human Rights. In 2011, Bahgat received Human Rights Watch’s Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism.

    Human Rights Watch noted that after the Tahrir uprising began, the high-profile Bahgat and EIPR helped document violence against protesters and prisoners, and led a campaign against military trials of civilian protesters. After the ouster of President Mubarak, the group said, “Bahgat stepped up his efforts, seeking new laws and lasting institutional change to build a more rights-respecting Egypt.”

  •  Pluralism, Prejudice, and the Promise of America

    Eboo Patel comes to campus April 9 for the President’s Speaker Series

    All too often, pundits and politicians invoke the specter of Islam as a menacing and anti-American force. What is the solution to the problem of alarmist, hateful rhetoric, once relegated to the fringes, that has now become frighteningly mainstream? Can the forces of pluralism defeat the forces of prejudice?

    On April 9, author and scholar Eboo Patel will share his thoughts during the final lecture of this year’s President’s Speaker Series.

    Eboo Patel is the founder and executive director of the Interfaith Youth Core, a Chicago-based institution building the global interfaith youth movement. He was appointed by President Obama to the Advisory Council of the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Initiatives, where he is working to realize the president's priority of interfaith cooperation.

    Released in 2012, his newest book, Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice, and the Promise of America is a history of American religious integration. It tells how, despite the current politically motivated anti-Muslim fervor, America's history of tolerance and eventual integration will prevail with Muslim Americans as well. He is also the author of Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation.

    Patel holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes scholarship. He writes “The Faith Divide,” a featured blog on religion for the Washington Post and has also written for the Harvard Divinity School Bulletin, the Chicago Tribune, and many other media outlets.

    The event will be followed by a book signing. Staff and faculty can get discounted tickets for $20, available online.

  •  What Happens When We Die?

    What happens when we die? Is it the magical mystery tour? Nothing? Or something in between?

    SCU Presents poses these questions in “HereAfterHere: A Self-guided Tour of Eternity” as part of SCU•Presents Arts for Social Justice and Visiting Artist Series March 28 to 30. The eclectic performance of original dance, theatre, music, and videos was created by self-described "director, choreographer, performer, teacher, and dreamer” Tandy Beal. Her work represents an array of religious, cultural, and historical views, without making any definitive conclusions about the afterlife.

    "It opens the door to this astonishing event in our lives, and it's an invitation to simply rest in the question," Beal told Catalyst Magazine.

    In conjunction with the performances, a series of panels and discussions will be held throughout the county, each with a distinguished group of speakers from various religions and fields of medicine, in order to broaden the discussion about this inevitable future step in all of our lives.

    “We’re excited to invite the SCU community and beyond to explore this topic,” says SCU Presents Director Butch Coyne. “It’s core to our values here at Santa Clara and in the arts world to question and explore often difficult and complicated topics. The performance is as fascinating to the senses as it is to your conscience.”

    “HereAfterHere” has three showings March 28 to 30 and tickets are $20 or $40. For more information, visit

  •  Engage SCU Alumni

    The Alumni Office is putting out a call for speakers for the Grand Reunion Weekend October 9 to 12, 2014. This is an opportunity to address an audience of alumni from all decades, for many faculty members this will include former students. Speaking times are available on Friday, Oct. 10, between 1:30 and 5:30 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 11, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sessions can last 60 to 90 minutes including Q&A.

    If interested, please send Maureen Muscat an email and include:

    • Speaker Name
    • Topic Name/Title
    • Short description of topic
    • Preferred time frame and length of tal

    The deadline for submissions is April 1.

    Due to limited time slots and the desire for offering diverse topics, not all proposals may be chosen. Speakers will be notified no later than April 15 either way.

  •  The Dalai Lama Visit

    His Holiness the Dalai Lama visited Santa Clara University this week to deliver a message of compassion and empathy to an audience of more than 4,000 people.

    The Tibetan spiritual leader spoke at Santa Clara University’s Leavey Event Center as part of a discussion entitled “Compassion, Business, and Ethics: A Dialogue with the Dalai Lama.” The event was co-sponsored by the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University and Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education.

    Beginning a dialogue

    His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, has visited the United States regularly over the past 30 years, but this was his first stop at Santa Clara University. The sold-out event drew an audience that included students, alumni, business people, and clergy, who packed the Leavey Center to listen to the spiritual leader speak about compassion and the interconnectedness of all humanity—particularly as it applies to Silicon Valley.

    Noting that all people wish to be happy and suffer less, His Holiness said that the key to happiness lies in how we treat others. “If you think of others, you will maximize your own happiness,” he said. “If you think selfishly, shortsightedly, you will suffer.”

    A buzz of anticipation preceded the discussion, which opened when six Tibetan monks took to the stage to perform a distinctive chant. Following opening remarks from SCU President Michael Engh, S.J., and James Doty from Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, students from Palo Alto’s Living Wisdom School sang for His Holiness. Afterward, the 78-year-old peace advocate came forward to shake their hands.

    In a moment that elicited loud cheers from the crowd, Engh presented His Holiness the Dalai Lama with a Santa Clara University visor. The Tibetan spiritual leader is known for frequently wearing a visor under the bright lights of a stage.

    Also part of the conversation was Lloyd Dean, CEO of San Francisco-based Dignity Health. Dean leads one of the country’s largest health care systems and is a reformer in the field. In his comments, Dean spoke about how compassion and creating personal connections between health professionals and patients is essential.

    "Compassion isn't just a business strategy, it's at the core of what Dignity Health is," Dean said.

    The Dalai Lama gets down to business

    Sharing the stage with the co-founder of Adobe, a former chair of the board of Intel, and a leading researching in the field of compassion in business, the Dalai Lama listened, and was pleased with what he heard during an afternoon panel discussion.

    Each panel member shared experiences that underscored the value of compassion and ethics in business. Charles Geschke, the co-founder of Adobe, described Adobe’s hiring process as weighing the importance of both technical and personal skills in order to build high-functioning teams. Jane Shaw, the retired board chair for Intel, told a story of how Intel negotiated contracts with suppliers of rare-earth metals in order to avoid conflicts in the developing world and keep Intel dollars out of the pockets of warlords.

    Monica Worline, a research fellow at University of Michigan’s CompassionLab, shared research that showed how employees can become pressured to act unethically and without compassion when held to strict rules or put under stress.
    His Holiness congratulated the pair of executives on their corporate behavior, and again stressed the theme of educating employees and business leaders on how important compassion is to life—education focused on developing compassionate and altruistic behavior being a topic that His Holiness returned to again and again throughout the day at SCU.

    Specific to the afternoon panel discussion, the Dalai Lama discussed both competition and women in business. He stressed that competition can be compassionate when it strives to advance a field as a whole. He cautioned against competition that aimed to hold back peers in order to advance a singular company’s interest. His Holiness also supported his belief that women would be crucial business leaders in the next century as science has shown distinct differences in levels of compassion between genders.




    Watch the event here:

  •  Student Perspectives

    FYI asked two students to share their experience of the Dalai Lama’s first trip to SCU. Erin Callister is a Hackworth Fellow with the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and studies compassion. She had the pleasure of meeting His Holiness and shaking his hand before the morning session. Marissa Minnick is a regular blogger for Campus Ministry and had early access to the Leavey Event Center prior to the Dalai Lama’s arrival.

    Erin Callister '14, Psychology

    I don’t think anything can prepare one for meeting the Dalai Lama—for his spontaneity, goofiness, and the fact he’s as jovial as he is wise. I was one of 30 students fortunate enough to meet His Holiness when he visited campus. Although we had no more than five minutes in his presence, I know I speak for the whole group when I say those were five minutes we’ll never forget. They were immortalized in our memories more vividly than the photograph we took with him.

    I shook the Dalai Lama’s hand (which is incredibly soft, by the way), and I felt a surge of peace and calm run through my body, easing the nerves I initially felt from seeing him in person. In that moment, all fears and concerns evaporated. I was tremendously present, immersed in the collective giddiness of the student group. We were on a high, riding a wave of joy and gratitude from simply being alive, from being in the here and now.

    After shaking our hands, and poking and giggling at my friend Natalie Lays’ nose piercing, the Dalai Lama addressed us as a group. He emphasized and re-emphasized the importance of education in our lives: “Education is more important than prayer,” he said.

    He told us we must continue to educate ourselves and those around us because the world depends on it. “The more education, the better.”

    Then, the Dalai Lama spoke words I’ll never forget, calling our group to action: “I’m old. And he’s old too,” he said, pointing to Kirk Hanson, the director of the Markkula Center of Applied Ethics with a laugh. “The generation after you is too late. The future is in your hands. It is up to you to make peace.”

    He continued, telling us that we need to develop a code of secular ethics—that secular morality is the way of the future, more so than religion. “It’s not easy. It’s very, very difficult. But it must be done by you.”

    Watch Video:

    Marissa Minnick '14

    As soon as I walked into Leavey Center, a sense of calm overtook me. As I looked around at my fellow students and others who were at the event, I realized that I was not the only one experiencing this tranquility. The aura of peace was audible; believe it or not, I could feel the calmness in my body—a warm, relaxed feeling that I had not expected. Looking at and chatting with the people around me, I could tell that there was a shared feeling of peace in Leavey Center, and perhaps even across campus. The Dalai Lama was not even in the building, yet we could already feel his presence. Furthermore, Twitter was facilitating a student discussion, as we were posting to #DalaiLamaSCU to share in our anticipation of seeing the Dalai Lama take the stage. And the moment he did take the stage, it was like a charge of electricity entered the room. His Holiness filled us with awe.

    One of the most unexpected and wonderful aspects of the Dalai Lama’s talk was the natural humor that he exuded. Oftentimes, we think of religious leaders as serious beings, unwilling to make or take a joke, yet here was one of the most important leaders in the world joking with the audience, even laughing at a joke about prostate exams. His humor was so incredibly genuine that as a member of the audience, it made me more comfortable, more open to listening to his message. The fact that the Dalai Lama can find humor in this chaotic world gave me a sense of hope, and his laughter reflected the true joy that he surely has. And his laughter was definitely a source of joy for the audience; it was one of the most pleasant and authentic laughs I’d ever heard.

    It was not all jokes, though. The Dalai Lama also conquered difficult topics for students including finding a balance for material versus spiritual wealth, being inclusive of nonbelievers in discussions for peace, and trusting others. One of his quotes that really stood out to me was “The 21st century could be a more compassionate society...but we need to make an effort.” The fact that he sees brightness in the dark corners of this world filled me with hope. The Dalai Lama is honest in acknowledging that there are damaging aspects in the world including weapons and overwhelming material desires, yet he also truly believes that humans are, by nature, good, and therefore there is always a reason to work for peace. Hearing him tell us that peace is possible was reassuring and reminded me why I desire to change the world.

    As a senior who falls into a cynical mindset when things aren’t going right in my life, it is vital for me to remember that there is always, always hope, despite the darkness that I experience. The Dalai Lama helped me to remember this, and I think his message resonated deeply with the rest of the Santa Clara community. In a way, his visit was a source of rejuvenation and spiritual refreshment. The fact that our university got to witness, however briefly, a source of the world’s healing is the most incredible blessing many of us could have ever asked for.

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