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.

  •  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.

  •  Social Media Milestone

    Santa Clara University reached a new milestone in its online presence with the Dalai Lama’s visit Monday. The official hashtag #DalaiLamaSCU was trending on Twitter during the morning event, making the visit one of the most talked about events in the country at the time. This milestone was made possible by a big campaign from Santa Clara University’s media relations team and social media managers across campus with the support of the folks at Stanford’s CCARE in the weeks leading up to the event. The University has an active and committed community of Broncos who share their love of SCU on various social media channels. Below are some of the top tweets and a link to more of the SCU social media presence for the Dalai Lama visit.

    More Social Media Posts:





















  •  Outstanding Director

    A veteran technology executive who chairs Santa Clara University’s Board of Trustees has been named one of eight “Outstanding Directors” by the San Francisco Business Times and the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

    Robert Finocchio Jr., was formerly president, CEO, and chairman of Informix, where he was brought in to turn the information software company around. The business was acquired in 2001 by IBM. Before that he spent nine years at 3Com in various roles including president of 3Com Systems, and spent 10 years at ROLM Corp.

    In naming him to its Outstanding Directors list this year, the San Francisco Business Times noted that his “hell-and-back” experience at Informix—and the valuable lessons it taught him about corporate governance—helps make him a sought-after board member. He currently serves on the boards of Broadcom, Echelon, Silver-Peak Systems, and He previously has served on the boards of 17 other companies, including Altera, Pinnacle, and Sun Microsystems.

    “Santa Clara University has a tremendous asset in Robert Finocchio, with his vast corporate governance experience and involvement in our Markkula Center for Applied Ethics,” said Santa Clara University President Michael Engh, S.J. “We join the San Francisco Business Times and Silicon Valley Business Journal in celebrating him.”

    Finocchio became the chair of Santa Clara University’s board in 2009, after having served nine years on the board and four years on the Board of Regents. He told the Business Times that Santa Clara “had a huge impact” on his life. He is a dean’s executive professor of management—teaching a course called Contemporary Business Issues—and holds a B.S. (magna cum laude) in economics from Santa Clara University and an MBA (Baker Scholar, with high distinction) from Harvard Business School.

    Other Outstanding Director honorees this year include Richard Rosenberg, former chair of Bank of America; Barry Lawson Williams from the board of PG&E; and Mariann Byerwalter of Stanford Hospital and Clinics. A dinner celebrating the eight honorees was held on Feb. 21 at the Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco.

  •  Emotions Triggered

    “First Person Shooter,” opening tomorrow night at Mayer Theatre, highlights the struggle of a fictional game maker who is sued after a schoolyard shooting. The play is written by Aaron Loeb who worked in the video game industry for several years.

    “Just as one of the characters says in the play, when the tragedy of a school shooting happens we all look for answers and one easy answer is to point to something kids are doing today that lots of adults didn’t do as children,” says co-Director and Theatre Professor Aldo Billingslea of why many blame violent video games for school shootings.

    Billingslea adds the play will hit home for a lot of people in the Bay Area. One of the largest video game makers in the country, Electronic Arts, is a short drive north of campus.

    The play also takes a swing at how media fuels tension when complicated issues are forced into tight timeslots. One particularly intense scene involves a father who’s just lost his son being interviewed on live television.

    “From the sound and fury of the headline-rattling conflict emerges an evocative drama about two men trying to maintain their integrity and focus in a society pushing to reduce them to sound bites about video violence, school bullying, and race,” wrote San Francisco Chronicle theater critic Robert Hurwitt of the play’s run in San Francisco a few years ago.

    SCU Presents presents “First Person Shooter” Friday, Feb. 28 through Saturday, March 8. Tickets are $10 for the SCU community and $15 for the public.

    For tickets visit:

  •  A Future So Bright

    A few years ago, employment opportunities for aspiring teachers and counselors a were mixed or uncertain. Today, many of those students are looking at brighter prospects as they pursue advanced degrees from SCU’s School of Education and Counseling Psychology (ECP).

    “They’re not so much bucking a trend, as they are riding a wave,” said Dean Nick Ladany.

    In the 18 months since Ladany has served as dean of the ECP, from fall 2012 to the current winter quarter, student enrollment in the school has increased by 45 percent. The rise in numbers, according to Ladany, can be attributed to several factors, both internal and external.

    “The new Affordable Care Act means that more people will be seeking needed therapy,” he explained. “Estimates are that about 25 percent more therapists will be needed in the next decade. The concern over gun violence has also resulted in the government encouraging more proactive mental health treatment—and returning veterans will significantly increase the need for added resources and programs.” 

    Although the demand for teachers is not expected to be quite as steep, Ladany said that newly minted educators still will find a more welcoming job market. “Teachers are retiring at a higher rate now and schools are looking for qualified replacements, including more educational leaders and international instructors.” And in diocesan schools, he noted, “there is always a large need for good teachers with a strong commitment to Catholic values.”

    As head of the ECP, Ladany intends to help fill that specific need. “One priority is to enhance our outreach efforts and make more connections with Catholic education in the San Jose area, as well as throughout the state and even nationally,” he said. SCU’s Blended Learning Academy, a professional development program for San Jose Diocese teachers, got the ball rolling last summer. The project, according to Ladany, has already led to conversations with seven of the nine dioceses throughout California. “Word has spread,” explained the dean. “We were very responsive in that initial foray and quickly developed a high-quality program that people now want to know about.”

    Since his appointment as dean, Ladany has stressed the importance of responsiveness, in the form of customer service, and quality throughout ECP—especially in the area of recruitment and retention. Those traits, he believes, have a direct impact on enrollment increases.

    “We’re finding that most applicants are acknowledging our customer-student service and responsiveness,” he said. “We are more thorough with information we provide and do things faster. We show competence in our admissions process and get back to people quickly. We get faculty involved in student meetings. All this makes a big difference in recruitment.”

    Student numbers have also increased because of ECP’s more targeted marketing efforts, according to Ladany. “We’ve done more outreach to multicultural groups, students of color, and those likely to be committed to social justice,” he explained. “Students who want to work with underserved populations find that our programs are a very good fit.”

    Many of those programs, he noted, are particularly appealing to specific student groups. The Department of Counseling Psychology, for example, offers an emphasis in Latino counseling, one of only a few such programs in the nation. And, SCU’s one-year teaching credential program “is huge,” he said. “Students want to stop accumulating debt and get out there and work.”

    Another recent change, according to Ladany, involves scholarships being distributed at the time of acceptance, rather than during the year. “It all goes back to being responsive to student needs and giving good customer service, backed by quality programs,” he said. “It’s what sets us apart.”

    During the coming year, ECP will work on a number of goals, the dean noted. These include more involvement with the Diocese of San Jose in teacher training and education, more recruitment of international students, and more online courses. “We have a Clear Teaching Credential program now fully online,” he explained, “and we’re looking at other cost-efficient, targeted professional development courses for teachers and therapists.” One new offering will be a certificate program in church management, scheduled to begin in the summer.

    “We still have work to do,” Ladany acknowledged, “but we’re in a good position to innovate; it’s a very exciting time for us.”

  •  The Physics of Curling

    Santa Clara University Professor Phil Kesten, along with research assistant Dick Mule and SCU student Alex Sudomoeva, slide onto the ice to discover the fascinating physics behind the sport of curling. Why do the stones curl the direction that they do, how do colliding stones interact with one another, and what's the point of sweeping?

    Make sure to watch team USA compete in curling during the 2014 Sochi Olympics! #Sochi2014

    Special thanks to the Bay Area Curling Club and Shark's Ice in San Jose.

    Video by Nic Domek

  •  Solar Bidding

    The School of Engineering and Santa Clara University are putting the 2013 Solar Decathlon entry up for bid and giving the SCU community the first chance to call it home. The 1,050-square-foot Radiant House is a solar-powered, net-zero home designed and built by SCU students for the Department of Energy competition held last October.

    “We’re extremely proud of the work our students put into this project, but unfortunately there is not enough room on campus for another Solar Decathlon entry,” says team advisor and SCU mechanical engineering Associate Professor Tim Hight. “Radiant House could make one lucky bidder a sustainable and beautiful home or office.”

    The one bedroom, one bathroom home features a beautiful, wraparound bamboo Tiger deck, an innovative solar-racking system called Sunplanter, top-notch energy efficient appliances, as well as an impressive reputation. Dozens of media outlets covered the team’s journey to build the home that won first place in most of the international competition's engineering categories.

    “Radiant House is a labor of love that we spent two years designing, building, and using to inspire others to live a more sustainable lifestyle,” says Brian Grau ’15. “We’d love to see it put to good use."

    The home meets building codes and has been through permitting process in Santa Clara and Irvine, where the 2013 competition was held. The minimum bid is $250,000 and the buyer would be responsible for all transportation and assembly costs. If the home is not sold by Feb. 20, bidding will potentially open on eBay. To bid or request more information, contact Tim Hight at

    Learn more about the Solar House here.

  •  Business, Ethics and Compassion

    Religious Studies Professor David Gray discusses teachings on ethics, compassion, and business ahead of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s visit to the Mission Campus Feb. 24.

    Santa Clara University Associate Professor David Gray teaches courses on Buddhism, Buddhism and Film, and Buddhism in America, as well as Tibetan and East Asian Buddhism. He recently spoke with Deborah Lohse, assistant director for SCU’s media relations, about the upcoming visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Santa Clara University on Feb. 24. Learn more about the visit and how you can watch this sold-out event by visiting

    What are some key messages we can expect to hear from His Holiness the Dalai Lama?
    His Holiness has tended to focus on several key Buddhist teachings in his books and the lectures he gives. One of them is compassion, which is a general Buddhist moral principle but also the idea that we’re all interconnected—that we live in an interconnected world and the things we do have an impact that goes beyond ourselves. They affect others around us. The decisions we make affect other people, affect the environment—this has been a big focus of his writings. I’m sure these will be ideas that he’ll be emphasizing when he speaks here.

    What is his perspective on business?
    His Holiness will argue that, on the one hand of course, businesses have the goal of making successful products, making money for shareholders, and making money for investors, but he would also argue that the same kind of moral responsibility to be compassionate—to look out for the greater good that affects all of us—applies to businesses as well. He would probably say that truly successful businesses should be attempting to create a product that is of maximum benefit for as many of us as possible, while causing the smallest amount of harm. It’s the same sort of idea that he calls the universal ethic, which he’s written about in some of his works—it applies to business as well as to individuals. I think he would argue that businesses need to have more than just the bottom line in mind; they need to also take into consideration the effects business decisions might have on communities, on the environment, and on social justice.

    Continue the Q&A Here:

    Event Updates:

    A second invitation-only event will now be live-streamed. The campus community is invited to watch the following talks online at

    10 am - 11:30 am
    “Business, Ethics and Compassion: A public Dialogue” will feature His Holiness Dalai Lama, Dignity Health CEO Lloyd Dean and moderator Jim Doty, Director of Stanford’s Center for Compassion, and Altruism Research and Education.

    1:30 – 3:15 p.m.
    The Dalai Lama will address a panel that includes four academic and business
    leaders for a discussion that will encompass religion, research, and business. The panel will consist of Charles Geschke, co-founder of Adobe Systems, Inc.; Jane Shaw, retired chairman of the board of Intel; Kirk O. Hanson, executive director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics; and Monica Worline, research fellow at University of Michigan’s CompassionLab.

    Please note that backpacks and any purses larger than a small clutch will not be allowed in the Leavey Events Center. You may bring in personal items in a gallon size clear bag.

    The SCU community is encouraged to avoid Palm Drive if possible and take advantage of the newly constructed North Campus Parking Garage on Benton Street between Alviso St. & the Alameda, the Benson Lot or the Old Alameda Lot.

    For more information and answers to other Frequently Asked Questions, please visit

  •  New Business School Leader

    Dr. Carolyn Evans named senior assistant dean of graduate business programs at the Leavey School of Business

    Carolyn Evans, a senior economist at Intel Corp., began her role as senior assistant dean for graduate business programs in the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University Jan. 27.

    “Dr. Evans’ academic expertise and industry experience make her an exceptional choice to lead the growth of our graduate business program,” said Dean Drew Starbird, in making the announcement. “Her leadership will be significant as we strengthen our flexible MBA offerings and add new master’s degrees to serve a diverse Silicon Valley workforce.”

    Evans was most recently senior economist in the sales and marketing division at Intel. Previously she was associate professor of economics and faculty director of the undergraduate business program at Santa Clara University. She was formerly a senior economist for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, and served as senior staff economist on the Council of Economic Advisers at the White House.

    She earned A.B., A.M. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University, and holds a master’s of science degree from the London School of Economics.

  •  New Art and Art History Building

    $12 Million Gift from Real Estate Investor Ed Dowd Advances the Role of Arts in Education at Santa Clara University

    A veteran real-estate investor, financier, and CEO who has learned the healing qualities of art has donated $12 million to Santa Clara University to help build a grand, three-story art and art history facility on campus by 2016.

    The generous gift of Ed Dowd, owner of EMD Properties, Inc., Los Altos, forms the foundation for a campaign that aims to raise $26 million for the new 43,500-square-foot building.

    The modern and dramatic Edward M. Dowd Art and Art History Building will unite SCU’s entire undergraduate community around creativity and innovation, offering centralized studio space, classrooms, gallery displays, a sculpture garden, as well as ample space for faculty, students, visiting artists, and scholars to congregate.

    “We are deeply honored and grateful that Ed Dowd has so generously provided this important foundation upon which Santa Clara University will build the new artistic center of campus,” said Michael Engh, S.J., president of Santa Clara University.

    Dowd, who graduated from Santa Clara University in 1972 with a degree in science and commerce, said he became interested in art after the purchase of his home in San Francisco where he began collecting art. This led to the funding of a public-art project at Palo Alto Medical Foundation’s Mountain View campus, where he receives treatment for the multiple sclerosis that’s been part of his life since 1993.

    “Art transcends all time and seems like a great cause to me,” said Dowd, who says he wants his legacy to extend beyond business causes.  “I have a desire to use my resources to create a better world, and I feel a world filled with art is a far more enjoyable place."

    Continue Reading Here

  •  3-D Innovation

    SCU engineering professor’s work takes on new dimension

    A year from now, engineers working for big-name companies like Samsung, Microsoft, and Intel will be implanting chips in products that contain a piece of Santa Clara University.

    The integrated circuits used in today’s electronic equipment, from cell phones to home appliances, are tiny, complex, and carry innumerable components. One chip element deals with how 3-D video data is compressed. By 2015, a new standard for this coding will be in effect throughout the world. Nam Ling, SCU computer engineering professor/department chair, and his group of researchers have made an impressive contribution to this new standard.

    Known as 3D-HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding), the new standard for 3-D video compression is being developed by JCT-3V, the international joint collaborative team that controls the common platforms for all next generation 3-D video compression issues.

    “We’ve had two video coding proposals already adopted by the JCT-3V,” explained Ling, “but this is the first time that one of our methods has been adopted as normative, that is, a required and not an optional part for coding."

    Ling’s group collaborates with researchers from Huawei/Hisilicon, the company that partly sponsors his project. The team’s most recent major achievement came about in July when JCT-3V held its quarterly standards meeting in Vienna. Ling sent Zhouye Gu, an SCU research scholar and the primary contributor on the project, to the meeting.

    “All the major players attend the meetings and all are looking to dominate the market by having their company methods adopted in this next generation standard,” said Ling. “So, SCU comes along and we have to not only prove our method is technically sound, but we also must convince the big companies that our method enhances the performance of coding.” Gu successfully made this case in Vienna, and now Ling and his group are researching ways to make further contributions to the new international standard.

    Ling has been working with 2-D video coding for about 20 years with support from different sponsors. In 2007, he was awarded the first phase of a grant from Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd and has thus far received a total of $380,220 from the company. He began concentrating on high efficiency 3-D video compression last year, applying funds from the grant to that endeavor.

    In a nutshell, Ling, his students, and researchers have devised a way to improve the compression of the depth map in 3-D video, allowing enormous amounts of 3-D video data to be compressed in a more efficient manner. Their contribution is acknowledged for its simplicity and for the time it saves—making intra-frame compression about 30 percent faster than that of the previous method.

    The professor said the term “3-D” is often misinterpreted by the general public. “In the movies when you put those special glasses on, you get a stereoscopic view—a two-dimensional image with the illusion of depth.” Real 3-D, he explained, “is not just looking at something with your right and left eyes; it enables users to view objects and scenes completely, at 360 degrees in any direction. It provides a realistic sense of depth even viewed from these directions, just like in real life.” The ultimate aim of the new standard is to enable 3-D video for ultra-high definition, 16 times the spatial resolution of today’s HDTV, he noted.

    According to Ling, 3-D video technology is rapidly making its way into the lives of consumers and because of that, “there is a sense of urgency to come out with new, efficient ways of moving much greater amounts of data through the existing video bandwidth.”

    He said he is pleased to be doing work that will have such a significant impact on peoples’ lives, even for those living in developing countries. “Many places around the world don’t have the infrastructure to support large bandwidth applications or must rely on wireless service,” he explained. “If we can efficiently compress video data, much more information can be transmitted to those countries and accessed by those living there."

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