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.

  •  Build. Plant. Grow.

    A faith formation program with a focus on ethics

    If the language of Thessalonians or Luke isn’t holding your child’s attention in Mass, how about the musings of Dr. Seuss? A new, free curriculum developed in conjunction with Santa Clara University’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics is using contemporary texts to help the ancient words of scripture make sense to kids.

    Build. Plant. Grow., available online at, pairs the Sunday readings with classic children’s books and uses both to highlight a virtue that anyone can practice.

    “This is a faith formation program for people of any age who build, plant, and grow the word in their lives. It’s especially for use in schools and parishes as children break open the word each week,” says Steve Johnson, director of character education at the ethics center.

    The online curriculum provides weekly lesson plans that suggest how people can, as Johnson puts it, “live our daily lives as Christians at our best.”

    For example, the lesson plan for the third Sunday in Advent looks at the value of joy in How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss. It is paired with that week’s passages from the Gospel of St. Matthew, from Isaiah, and from James. In each, students are encouraged to connect with the joy that comes from within, from a relationship with God and with others.

    Other children’s classics in the curriculum include The Hundred Dresses, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, Horton Hears a Who, and Frog and Toad. Curriculum is currently available through Advent and updates are posted regularly.
    The lesson plans also offer hands-on activities, with different approaches sensitive to the different ways children learn. Another section, called “What can I do today?” asks children to take concrete actions based on the virtue they’re learning. Finally, the lesson concludes with a prayer.

    Build. Plant. Grow. takes its title from a passage in Jeremiah: "Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat what they produce... multiply there and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare, you will find your welfare."

    Anthony Mancuso, S.J., chaplain at St. Francis High School in Mountain View, Calif., wrote many of the lesson plans for Build. Plant. Grow.

    “I took the readings for each Sunday and pulled out a connection between them, often a word related to a virtue, such as justice or courage,” he said. Mancuso tied that idea to a children’s book dealing with the same theme, which “allows the ethics to come alive for a younger mind.”

    Build. Plant. Grow. is intended for use by Catholic school and parish religion teachers and by parents who want to engage young people in the Gospel message in a way that is relevant and vital.

  •  ’Tis the Season

    All are invited to attend the annual ecumenical Christmas service in the Mission Church on December 18 at 4:30 p.m. Following the service, SCU will hold our Christmas and Holidays Party for faculty and staff at the Benson Memorial Center at 5:15 pm.

    Please Consider donating a new, unwrapped toy, target gift card, or safeway gift cards to Catholic Charities and Sacred Heart Nativity School for those in need.

    RSVP Here.

  •  SCU in Myanmar

    Two years ago, Americans could not visit Myanmar, the beautiful Southeast Asian country that is transitioning—with occasional setbacks and bouts of violence—from a military-ruled country to a democracy. 

    But in early September, a group of 11 Santa Clara University students responded to an invitation from the business school’s Food and Agribusiness Institute (FAI), and joined a trip to Myanmar as a way of learning up close about that country’s traditional and varied farming methods for everything from tea, rice, sugar, peanuts to grapes; its challenges to develop its agricultural industry without damaging the environment; and the threats of global warming to the country’s industrious inhabitants.

    “We had hoped the students would be pushed out of their comfort zone to experience both the challenges and richness of life in a developing country,” said Naumes Family Professor Greg Baker, the director of FAI who also accompanied the students on the two-week trip. “When I hear students describe their experiences as transformative or life-changing, I know that we’ve been successful.”

    FAI Assistant Director Erika French-Arnold, who planned and co-chaperoned the trip, believes SCU may be the first university to take students on an immersion trip to Myanmar.

    Several  students recently shared their experience with fyi:  Garrett Jensen, a senior accounting major; Lisa McMonagle, a junior majoring in political science and environmental studies; and Nicole Orban, a junior finance major. They each marveled at the country’s beauty and how vastly different it is from America—from its pagoda-dotted landscape to its extravagantly friendly residents (some of whom had never seen an outsider before).

    “Myanmar has very little western influence,” said McMonagle. “If you visit in the future, it probably won’t be the same. We all felt we came at a very unique time.”

    Among the highlights for students was a trip to a Yangong village, which required a four-hour bus ride and a two-hour boat ride on a branch of the Irrawaddy River. They were heading to a village that had never been visited by foreigners, so some of the children had never seen people with white faces. When the SCU students arrived, the entire village welcomed the group, escorting them to a monastery, feeding them nonstop, offering them extra bedding and setting up mosquito nets.

    “We were really struck by their generosity, and we did not feel that we deserved that necessarily,” said McMonagle. “One of my friends said it made her really aware of how other people treat strangers in other parts of the world.”

    The students also visited the city of Bagan, home to thousands of pagodas and temples, and villages along the Inle Lake region, where villagers farm on unique lake gardens, floating incubators for crops like tomatoes, supported with bamboo and beds of weeds.

    The visit included many stays in monasteries; meditation with Buddhist monks; lessons in microfinance; an audience with a midwife who shared tales of NGO contraceptive workshops that didn’t quite take (think men taking birth control pills and putting condoms on fruit, as they had been shown in demonstrations); and an attempt at foot-steering a fishing boat that almost landed some students in the drink.

    The level of poverty in the area was a shock to some students. “The poverty I experienced in Burma was unlike anything I was expecting to see,” said Orban. “Before the trip, I imagined that I would come into contact with begging, homelessness, and people suffering from a lack of the necessities of life. I found the most significant poverty was a poverty of options.”

    Orban noted that many of the younger girls were excited to find husbands—and will never have the opportunity to travel or learn in a classroom. “They don't have the luxury of choosing a career path,” said Orban. “They will marry young, live life on a farm, and raise their daughters to do the same.”

    Also during their stay, the students couldn’t avoid politics and the fact that the country (called Burma by countries like America that didn’t recognize the right of the military to change the name in 1989) is still heavily influenced by the military, which gave up power in 2011.

    “All of the people we talked to were extremely honest,” said Jensen. “But they were hesitant to be honest if they were government employees.”

    The students are now taking two classes to reflect on the experience, and have become Facebook friends with an author on Burmese culture and food whom they met during a class session before the trip.

    “I think that our students gained an appreciation of how privileged they are,” said Baker. “They learned the importance of a functioning democracy, infrastructure, education, working markets, access to health care—all of the things that we take for granted.”

    Both students recalled fondly using their free time to climb to the top of a pagoda in Bagan at sunrise and sunset, where they surveyed the landscape of the entire region, with its verdant waterways, crops, and temples and pagodas “popping out everywhere,” said McMonagle.

    “We were seeing this ancient, ancient place,” she said. “It was just beautiful.”

    Read more about the trip in a blog post .

  •  App for Homeless

    Many local agencies offer services for those in need, but for the estimated 7,000 homeless people in Santa Clara County, help is often elusive. Now a small group of Santa Clara University students has transformed a simple mobile phone into a vital conduit for assistance.

    “Among the homeless in San Jose, 69 percent have cell phones,” said Silvia Figueira, associate professor in the Computer Engineering Department. “That’s a large population that can benefit from technology.”

    Tapping into that statistic, 11 students in Figueira’s spring quarter Mobile Projects for Social Benefit course built the framework for an app that hooks up homeless individuals and low-income families with customized community services. They call the project “StreetConnect.” Natalie Linnell, lecturer in mathematics and computer science, also co-advised the project.

    The app is text-based, which means even the simplest cell phone can be used to access information. Users specify the type of notifications they want to receive about services that can meet their needs, and information is transmitted via text message.

    “I was looking for a small project that four or five students could work on for a pilot course,” explained Figueira. At about the same time, she was approached by representatives of the Community Technology Alliance (CTA), a San Jose-based non-profit group that operates an extensive homeless management information system. And the idea was born. “I like projects that actually solve problems in the field, and this one really took off.”

    Expecting four or five students to sign up for the class, which was offered through SCU’s Frugal Innovation Lab (FIL), Figueira said she was surprised when more than twice that number enrolled. One of those students was Nicholas Fong, now a junior majoring in computer science and engineering. “The FIL and what it does for the community and the
    world has always intrigued me,” he said. When the class was announced, “I jumped at the opportunity to take it.”

    Working with partners from CTA, the advisors and their crew soon discovered a labyrinth of social service agencies offering a wide array of specialized assistance. To effectively manage their project, Figueira and Linnell decided to start small, focusing on one organization—Sacred Heart Community Services—and one client group, people looking for job information.

    By the end of the class, said Figueira, the team “had put their computer skills to use for social benefit, coming up with a functional system with a very cool design.” Throughout the summer, Fong continued to work on the app, “improving and adding to all of the hard work that was done in class,” he explained. He also presented the project to other community service providers, documenting their feedback. With all the final touches in place, the students’ StreetConnect app was launched as a pilot at the end of September.

    While the class project currently centers on only one agency and one service need, it provides the structure for much more information and a wider audience. To achieve its maximum potential, the app will be turned over to CTA administrators, who will integrate it with the resource material contained in their vast database.

    “It’s been a wonderful experience, and hopefully we can continue the course with another meaningful project next spring,” said Figueira.

    In the meantime, thanks to one SCU class, community members in need soon will have an easier way of accessing important support services.

    “Most people are surprised to learn that so many homeless people have cell phones,” said Figueira. “But, it makes sense; when you don’t have a job or a house, a phone is what connects you to the world.”

  •  Food and Agribusiness Institute Celebrates 40 Years

    This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Food and Agribusiness Institute at Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business, which has launched the careers of hundreds of leaders in winemaking, commercial farming, packing, and food processing.

    The FAI celebrated the milestone at a Nov. 16 gala at the University’s Paul L. Locatelli Student Activities Center.
    The institute was launched in 1973 as the Institute of Agribusiness, with an MBA degree program that focused on production, marketing, and management in the agribusiness industry for students who intended to go into the business of farming, food production, winemaking, food packing, or related fields.

    The FAI was launched with a generous gift from Joseph Naumes, ’34, and his family. After beginning college during the Great Depression, Joe’s family hit upon hard times. He returned to Santa Clara University to complete his degree after accepting an offer of financial assistance from the Jesuit faculty. After college, Joe began a successful career in nut and fruit production in Oregon, Washington, and California.

    “At the time, the South Bay was a thriving agricultural region known as ‘The Valley of Heart’s Delight,’ and the institute was started to prepare leaders for agribusiness both locally and throughout California,” says FAI’s current director, Naumes Family Professor Greg Baker.

    Early students included Jeff Goshorn, ’80, currently the COO at the Santa Clara-based Diana Fruit Co.; Greg Pruett, ’84, now the CEO at Los Banos-based Ingomar Packing Company; and John Hasbrook, ’83, owner of SunWest Wild Rice in Winters, Calif. Lawrence Yee, ’83, the former Department of Agriculture program leader in food marketing systems innovations and member of the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, is also an alumnus.

    Before long, the institute was attracting a core group of international students who wanted to learn about advanced management principles that could be applied back home in their own countries, many of which were heavily dependent on agriculture. Students like Armando Gonzalez, ’87 came to the FAI from Costa Rica to learn how to increase the profitability of his family’s coffee plantation. A management program for executives from developing countries, which ran from 1989 to 2009, also solidified FAI as a leader in international agribusiness education.

    As the field of agribusiness became more complex and globalized, the institute broadened its mandate in 1999 to become the Food and Agribusiness Institute, focusing more heavily on global, social, and environmental issues connected to the food system.

    The FAI program was opened to undergraduates in 2009 with a “pathway” series of classes called, Food, Hunger, Poverty, Environment. Classes including Feeding the World; Resources, Food, and the Environment; and Environmental and Food Justice are taught in the pathway. Also an immersion course was introduced that has taken students to Ghana, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Burma/Myanmar.

    In recent years, the FAI has launched hunger-related initiatives such as the Hunger Index and the “Cost of a Healthy Meal” project, and played host to countless speakers on sustainability, food safety, and food security.

    “Over time, the role of the FAI has focused not only on educating tomorrow’s leaders in commercial food production, but also on anticipating the future challenges for meeting food needs both locally and globally,” says Baker.

    At the graduate level, the food and agribusiness program has evolved into a concentration within the MBA program and most recently, in 2013, to a three-course specialization within the MBA program. In addition, since 2007, FAI’s MBA students can attend an annual international student case competition sponsored by the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association, where they compete to develop solutions to food-industry business problems. SCU’s team won the competition in 2009 and again in 2013, when they beat out 21 other competitors in Atlanta to take home top honors.

    The FAI recently teamed up with the business school’s Contemplative Leadership and Sustainability Program to learn, reflect, and take action on global agricultural and sustainability issues—including a Jesuit perspective that seeks social justice for impoverished nations and others most affected by global climate change.


    Ronald Stucky, 1974–79

    James Niles, acting director,1979–80

    Eric Thor, 1981

    Mario Belotti, acting director, 1981

    Charles French, 1982–88

    Mario Belotti, 1988–96

    Drew Starbird, 1996–2000

    Greg Baker, 2000–present

  •  How Tweet It Is

    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. Below are just a few of the instagram photos of our beautiful campus. If you tweet, we’d love to follow you. Tweet us: @SantaClaraUniv and @SCUNews

  •  Mission iBooks Textbook

    For more than 30 years, the de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University has brought history to life for hundreds of local fourth graders studying the California Mission period. And soon those youngsters—along with people of all ages—will discover even deeper meaning in the museum’s lessons from the past with a Silicon Valley twist.

    The museum’s staff just released its first iBooks Textbook, a digital publication designed to give visitors a more enriching look at art and artifacts from the early days of Santa Clara Valley and Mission Santa Clara de Asís. Moving Forward: Santa Clara’s Story of Transformation is the first Multi-Touch book highlighting the history of one of California’s historic missions. The project is made possible through the support of Silicon Valley Creates and a gift from an anonymous donor.

    “We have many objects on display in our permanent California History exhibition but they can’t tell the whole story,” says Lindsey Kouvaris, curator of exhibits and collections. “The iBooks Textbook will offer a much fuller picture of the history of this place at a level that’s accessible to everyone.”

    Moving Forward is available to download for free in the iBooks Store and on the University and museum websites. The de Saisset will also be installing special kiosks throughout the galleries featuring the iBooks Textbook. Using accessible language that a fourth grader can understand, the seven-chapter book traces the area’s history from the Native Ohlone to the Mission period, through the Rancho period and the Gold Rush, and up to the early days of Santa Clara College.

    “Anyone will be able to walk into the museum and use their own device or one of our iPad devices to enjoy a more enhanced experience,” says Kouvaris. “For example, the Mission Church standing at the center of campus today is the sixth structure on the fifth site. The materials and objects that remain from the previous iterations are limited; the iBooks Textbook gives us the ability to convey a more complete and historically accurate story about the history of the Mission.”

    Produced with iBooks Author, the iBooks Textbook contains a variety of visual media ranging from still images to video clips and interactive graphics. Kouvaris and her team spent nine months creating much of the content from scratch, including updated maps and illustrations, new photographs of historical objects and sites, and interactive features that highlight the rich history of Mission Santa Clara. She sees the project as part of a greater museum trend.

    “Many museums are incorporating different types of multimedia in their exhibits,” Kouvaris explains. “They’re doing podcasts, cell phone audio tours, and QR codes—making exhibits more interactive is hugely popular now.”

    This digital presentation of the de Saisset’s permanent history collection is just a taste of what’s to come. “We have a major redesign on the horizon for the permanent collection exhibition,” says Rebecca Schapp, the museum’s director. “The installation has been much the same for 30 years. This project is another step on the way to rethinking the future of the exhibit. We’re gaining momentum and continuing to build on the work we accomplished through our National Endowment for the Arts funding last year.”

    The iBooks Textbook was made possible in part by a grant from Silicon Valley Creates. Matching grant funds contributed to the development and dissemination of the iBooks Textbook and the design and implementation of kiosks with iPads that will be installed throughout the museum. An anonymous donor also graciously provided the museum with iPad devices that will make the iBooks Textbook content easily accessible to visitors.

    Moving Forward is available for download here:

  •  Jesuit Volunteers

    Four students dedicate a year to service

    Four recent graduates of Santa Clara University have dedicated a year of their life to working in the Northwest U.S. as volunteers with Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest.

    As volunteers with the Jesuit volunteer organization—one of two such groups in the U.S.—the graduates work with people who live on the margins of society, and commit to living simply and working for social and ecological justice in a spiritually supportive community with other Jesuit Volunteers.

    Volunteers serve in critical social services advocating for domestic violence survivors; nursing in community clinics; teaching and tutoring in schools with Native American children; assisting in shelters; working for food justice issues; and many more important works.

    The SCU alumnae volunteers, and where they will be working, are:

    • Claire Anderson, YWCA, Anchorage, Alaska
    • Caroline Read, Raphael House, Portland, Ore.
    • Jackie Ruiz, Wallace Medical Concern, Portland, Ore.
    • Chloe Wilson, Northwest Justice Project, Omak, Wash.

    Since 2010, JVC Northwest has partnered with AmeriCorps, funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service. SCU’s former students will receive additional benefits from that partnership, including a $5,550 education award at the completion of their service and membership in the extensive AmeriCorps alumni network.

    A total of 148 Jesuit Volunteer and AmeriCorps members joined JVC Northwest this year. They are serving in 21 locales throughout the five states of the Northwest. Throughout their year of service, these volunteers will focus on four core values: social and ecological justice, simple living, spirituality, and community.

    “Jesuit Volunteers and AmeriCorps members come to the year with the hope of making a difference in the lives of those they serve, and in the ecosystems in which they live,” said Jeanne Haster, executive director for JVC Northwest. “They will offer more than 280,000 hours of service this year and touch the lives of thousands. Jesuit Volunteers often don’t realize how significantly they themselves will be transformed throughout the process.”

  •  Take Five

    Get to know a member of the SCU community

    Fred Tollini, S.J., is a professor in the department of theatre and dance, specializing in drama and theatre history, Shakespeare studies, and directing. He is directing SCU Presents latest production, Pride and Prejudice, which opens this week.

    Tickets are on sale at

    1. What do you enjoy most about teaching theater?

    I love to watch students working: to act, to understand a text, to speak and express themselves. Also to exercise their memories, which is an essential part of education. Finally, to work with others in achieving a unified result. In the process, the goal is to appropriate the humanity of the characters they impersonate and thereby increase their own capacity for understanding and having compassion for others. Ultimately, it is part of the goal to live not only for oneself, but for others.

    2. You've directed over 50 performances at SCU. What's been your favorite?

    Pride and Prejudice is, of course, my current addiction. Looking back, I remember my first show in the Mayer Theatre, A Streetcar Named Desire and The Beggar’s Opera. In the Studio Theatre, Measure for Measure stands out and 9 Circles, with Nick Manfredi, who’s currently co-director of Pride and Prejudice. But every show has a glow of it’s own in my memory.

    3. What about your current production, the 200-year-old Pride and Prejudice, can this generation of students relate to?

    The role of women in challenging and the constraints found in a male-dominated society. That is the essential spine of the play: Elizabeth Bennet’s perfection of social roles and the pride and prejudice between different levels of society shapes the dynamic of both the novel and the play. The comedic element is that a mother must find five rich husbands for her five daughters to ensure their future.

    4. What's your favorite piece of advice for students?

    To acting students, I say, don’t worry about how you’re doing on stage, but how you can best help the others to succeed. That’s essential.

    5. How has technology changed the performing arts world?

    Technology has made things possible in theater that were much more difficult to achieve before. What used to take 10 stage hands to accomplish now may take only two. Control and precision becomes more possible, and it's easier to replicate a show each evening.

    Pride and Prejudice opens Friday, Nov. 8 and closes Sunday, Nov. 16.

  •  Inside the Shark Tank

    Santa Clara University entrepreneurial-law students will be given a chance to help launch Silicon Valley startup ventures, as part of a new collaboration between Keiretsu Forum and Santa Clara University School of Law’s Entrepreneurs’ Law Clinic.

    Starting last month, eight students in the new Santa Clara University Entrepreneurs’ Law Clinic, under the supervision of the clinic’s director, will be joining Keiretsu’s “angel investors” at monthly Keiretsu Silicon Valley investor meetings, where a handful of startup entrepreneurs will pitch their ideas to a room of savvy evaluators. Angel investors provide financing to early-stage companies in exchange for a stake in the company or other consideration.

    “This project will cultivate a new generation of entrepreneurial students while adding a fresh perspective to angel investing,” said Laura Norris, director of Santa Clara University’s Entrepreneurs’ Law Clinic.

    The students will get the rare opportunity to listen in and provide input as teams of angel investors examine the viability of the potential investments, a process called “due diligence.” Students will gain valuable insight into the process investors use to make investment decisions, while the angels will benefit from gaining access to the opinions of the student demographic—a point of view not readily available to most angel investors.

    While the initial collaboration includes only students from Santa Clara Law, the intention is to include students from other Santa Clara University departments to create cross-disciplinary diligence teams, said Norris.

    “This is really a win-win partnership,” said Randy Williams, CEO and founder of Keiretsu Forum. “The students’ perceptions of the proposed deals will be a valued addition to our current process, and the students will get a bird’s eye view of how angel investing works.”

    “Santa Clara University is fortunate to be offered this opportunity to work with Keiretsu and their robust network of angel investors,” added Norris. “This partnership is part of the University’s commitment to supporting the local entrepreneurial community while providing a relevant experiential learning opportunity for the students.”

  •  Grants, Awards, and Publications

    Jessica Lucas (Biology) has received $407,821 from the National Science Foundation to support "MRI: Acquisition of a Confocal Microscope for Multi-disciplinary Research."

    Francisco Jimenez (Modern Languages & Literatures) received honors for his participation in a Community Read Program in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. The community-wide read program promotes literacy and and his book, Cajas de Carton (The Circuit), was selected for this year's program.

    Tim Meyers (English) signed contracts for four new children's books with three different publishers. He has 11 children's books and three adult books out already.

    Angelo Ancheta (School of Law) has received $6,750 from the Catholic Charities to support the "South Bay Legal Immigration Services Network." Ancheta has received $22,113 from the State Bar of California to support the Katharine & George Alexander Community Law Center.

    Radha Basu (School of Engineering) has received $75,000 from Cisco Systems, Inc. to support "Accelerating Mobile and Cloud-Based Solutions for Emerging-market Social Entrepreneurs."

    David Onek (Northern California Innocence Project, Law School) has received $249,781 from the Department of Justice to support "Wrongful Conviction Review Program FY 2013."

    Naomi Levy (political science) has received $224,376 from the Office of Naval Research's Minerva Initiative to support "Public Service Provision as Peace-building." This project compares autonomous peace-building efforts and internationally aided interventions in Laos, Cambodia, and Uganda to shed light on the causal relationships between the "degree of aidedness," state-building, and peace-building.

    Chris Kitts (Mechanical Engineering) has received $150,000 subcontract from The University of Alaska Fairbanks/Marine Science and Technology Foundation Prime to support "Dark Energy Biosphere Initiative - Subsurface Life Characterization Tool." This is a three-year grant and includes funding for graduate research assistants.

    Guy Ramon (Physics) has received $95,000 from the National Science Foundation to support "RUI: Theoretical Study of Quantum Control and Coherence Preserving Strategies in Solid State Spin Qubits."

    Nam Ling (Computer Engineering) has received $100,220 from the Huawei Technologies, Co., Ltd. to support "Depth and Mode Coding for HEVC-3D."

  •  Mixing Business with Ethics

    The first free, unlimited-enrollment massive open online course (MOOC) offered by the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University will start Nov. 4.

    Business Ethics in the Real World,” will offer practical advice on confronting unethical situations in the workplace—from white lies on resumes and manager pressure to falsify reports, to bosses accepting bribes or questionable company actions against industry competitors. The course is designed for everyone from a new business student to a seasoned chief executive.

    Registration is now open for the course, which spans four weeks but may be taken anytime within a four-month window starting Nov. 4, 2013 until  Feb. 28, 2014. Two additional MOOCs are scheduled to start in early January and March 2014.

    There will be no limit to the number of students who may sign up. The course includes a series of video lectures, discussions of real world ethical dilemmas, and opportunities to interact with the instructor and classmates from around the globe.

    Last winter, a pilot course, capped at 500 students filled up in just six weeks, with participants from 25 different countries and six continents. The course is in demand for many reasons, said Kirk O. Hanson, the course instructor and executive director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. Company executives increasingly are asking questions about corporate behavior and ethical character and are being examined closely when they engage business partners who may not act ethically or outsource to local cultures where corruption is common.

    “Every professional in business asks herself or himself difficult questions about ‘what am I willing to do to meet my business goals, and what am I willing to tolerate in my own company’s behavior?’” Hanson said.

    The next two MOOCs will build on the first, addressing more-complex questions regarding creating ethical corporate cultures and operating in international business.

    “The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics is uniquely positioned to explore such ethical dilemmas, especially given its Silicon Valley location,” Hanson added. “Our mission is to raise awareness about daily ethical issues, and to provide practical tools for managing ethical choices.”

    SCU’s pilot MOOC was the first to be offered at a Jesuit university, and since then Marquette, Georgetown, and others have launched MOOCs.

    “For people who don’t have ready access to education, who might be homebound or not near a university, MOOCs offer a wonderful opportunity,” says Miriam Schulman, the ethics center’s assistant director. “You have one of the best teachers in the world giving you a free class.”  Hanson has taught business ethics at Santa Clara University for the past 12 years, after 23 years at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

    For more information about SCU’s ethics in business MOOCs, visit



  •  What Good is God?

    Ignatian Center series probes faith

    A Marxist who says atheists and believers alike are woefully misinformed about the nature of faith and God.

    A theologian whose work explores animals as spiritual beings.

    An editor who worked with famed Catholic activist Dorothy Day through the final years of her life.

    These are among the provocative and thoughtful speakers participating in the annual Bannan Institute lectures throughout the academic year at Santa Clara University. 

    The Institute’s theme “What Good is God?” is especially pertinent at a time when one-fifth of the U.S. public and one-third of adults under age 30 identify as religiously unaffiliated, and when violence is justified erroneously as necessary for religious devotion, says Michael McCarthy, S.J., executive director of Santa Clara’s Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education.

    “‘God’ is one of those topics that lots of people are afraid to talk about for lots of reasons,” said McCarthy, who will give a talk on April 15 titled “How can a thinking person still believe in God?”

    “At Santa Clara University, we are not afraid," he added. 

    Speakers will approach the question “What Good is God?” from multiple angles, such as:

    God and Conscience. On Oct. 30, Catholic writers including Ron Hansen, Tobias Wolff, Bo Caldwell, and Robert Ellsberg will discuss the influence of heroes of conscience such as Dorothy Day and Oscar Romero on their journeys of faith. Also, on Nov. 6, Jerome Baggett of SCU’s Jesuit School of Theology will discuss his upcoming book on American atheists.

    God and Violence. On Nov. 12, Professor William Cavanaugh of DePaul University will discuss the relationship between “secular” violence and “religious” violence, inviting us to question if there is any significant difference.

    God and Google. Noreen Herzfeld, a professor of theology and computer science at St. John’s University, studies the social and religious impacts of computer technology on our collective memory. She argues that as we rely more on technology as an external memory, we alter how and what we remember and alter our capacity for forgiveness. She’ll discuss her research on this topic on Feb. 2, 2014.

    God and Space. Brother Guy Consolmagno, S.J., the conservator of meteorites at the Vatican Observatory in Rome will discuss the relationship between the assumptions of science and faith in God on Feb. 11.

    God and Literature. On Feb. 26, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Marilynne Robinson will discuss the way in which grace is manifested in Shakespeare and what this may suggest about our engagement with God in human tragedy and comedy. 

    God and Animals. As part of a symposium session on March 1, Santa Clara University religious studies lecturer, Oliver Putz, will discuss the possibility of nonhuman spiritual beings and consider the challenges this possibility issues to human primacy from a theological perspective.

    God and Higher Education. On April 22, a Harvard professor who has studied the marginalization of religion at educational institutions such as Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Johns Hopkins, and Stanford will discuss why the religious roots of such schools devolved over time.  She will be joined by two professors from the Religion in the Academy project, who will discuss their findings regarding the surging interest in religion on college campuses today, as students grapple with the importance of religious literacy and inter-religious understanding in a globalized world.

    God and Grief. On May 7, SCU counseling psychology professor David Feldman and Cal State Northridge philosophy professor Robert Gressis will share their research to date about how faith and religious belief impacts one’s anxiety about death. Their talk will be based on their SCU Bannan Institute-funded study of Jesuit priests, philosophy professors, and college students. 

    A full list of speakers and the exact dates and times of their talks can be found at

  •  Ammunition for Peace

    World renowned artist and advocate for peace Lin Evola will discuss her work with university students for the first time Nov. 5 at the de Saisset museum at Santa Clara University. Evola has carved out a strong presence in the art and social justice world for melting down confiscated weapons and turning them into peace angel monuments around the world. 

    Evola founded the Peace Angels Project in 1992. Each Peace Angel sculpture is created from stainless steel from decommissioned nuclear missiles, street weapons, and other weapons confiscated by government and law enforcement. One of her sculptures, the 13-foot Renaissance Peace Angel, is now a part of the permanent collection of the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York City. In the aftermath of 9/11, the monument was placed outside Nino’s Restaurant, which had served rescue workers, police officers, and firemen, many of whom signed the cement base.

    “The breadth of Lin’s work is incredible,” says Santa Clara University Senior Lecturer Kristin Kusanovich. “At the core of every collection she’s created is a collaborative social justice mission that is truly remarkable. We’re proud to have her as an SCU alum and love that she inspires and provokes our students.“

    Her latest collection “Peace Signs” is comprised of multi-media 2-D peace symbols using stainless steel from nuclear missile casings. The Rêverie Arts gallery in partnership with Amazon Art is now offering the largest collection of her work to the public. The San Francisco gallery will host her first major exhibition in 2014.

    Evola’s first in-depth lecture about her work will happen Nov. 5 from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the de Saisset museum at Santa Clara University. The event is free and open to the public. 

  •  Radiant Return

    Santa Clara University welcomes home Solar Decathlon team

    The Santa Clara University community is invited to welcome home the 2013 Solar Decathlon team at a party this Friday. After the international competition to build a solar home wrapped up Oct. 13, the team was tasked with taking Radiant House apart before coming home to catch up on school work. The School of Engineering leaders say Friday’s event will be the culmination of countless hours of blood, sweat, and tears for the team.

    "The experience the students have garnered over the past two years—the sense of pride and strength—is one they will carry for a lifetime and we are so proud of them," said School of Engineering Dean Godfrey Mungal. "At this gathering, we wish to now thank them personally and celebrate their efforts.”

    The team finished fifth in engineering and 11th overall in the competition. This year was the closest the scores have ever been in all six Solar Decathlon competitions. 

    “We want to thank everyone for their support. We’re very proud of Radiant House and are bittersweet about the end of this journey,” says team communications manager Brian Grau.

    The team did extremely well in the measured contest based on data, placing first in the categories of Comfort Zone, Home Entertainment, and Energy Balance; second in Hot Water, and fourth in Appliances. No official word on where Radiant House will make its final home.

    Solar Decathlon Celebration

    Friday, Oct. 25

    12:30 pm 

    Engineering Quad

    Pizza provided

  •  SCU on the Go

    New mobile app connects SCU community

    Santa Clara University has unveiled a new app that puts reserving rooms, looking up courses, finding campus buildings, and many more vital functions in the palm of your hand. Webmaster Brian Washburn designed the straight forward user interface that makes everything you would normally find on easy to navigate on any smartphone.

    Among many features that may come in handy:

    • Conference room and study hall reservations for Lucas Hall and the Library
    • Google Maps for directions on campus
    • Links to SCU’s social media channels
    • Staff directory
    • Customization of the homescreen so you can easily access what’s important to you 

    Download for iOS 

    Download for Android 

    Or search “Santa Clara University” in the Apple App Store or Google Play store.



  •  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

  •  Walking on Sunshine

    The 2013 Solar Decathlon team gets ready for results

    After two years of blood, sweat, and tears, it all comes down to this weekend for the 2013 Santa Clara University Solar Decathlon team. Team Santa Clara unveiled Radiant House to the public and judges on Oct. 3 at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine and the contest ends on Sunday.

    “We’ve had overwhelming support from the SCU community and are not surprised to find visitors really love Radiant House,” says team member Brittnie Swartchik ’14, one of the many team members cramming in schoolwork between giving tours and presentations.

    The home is loaded with Santa Clara and Bay Area touches: White roses are a fragrant nod to the mission gardens; a wine barrel from Testarossa Winery (located on the historic Novitiate Winery still owned by Jesuits) holds a phase change material that keeps water hot even at night; a copy of Santa Clara Magazine graces the bamboo furniture, which was donated by Santa Cruz designer Maria Yee; a wall full of pictures shows the construction process on the SCU campus; and the excellent engineering involved in the bamboo floor joists and dryer heat exchanger are student senior design projects.

    “Everyone will feel comfortable in our home, but we really wanted to reflect the pride we feel as Broncos and students from the Jesuit University in Silicon Valley,” says Interiors Team Lead Beth Avon ’14.

    This is the third time Santa Clara has entered the contest. The 2007 home is now used as an office and program headquarters for Forge Garden. The 2009 home, just outside the main parking structure, is used by the School of Engineering for outreach and is a highlight for campus tours. The team and University are still deciding the fate of the 2013 home.

    The students will find out if all of their attention to detail pays off during the final ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 12. The event will be live streamed on the Solar Decathlon website.

  •  De Saisset Rethinks Art

    Exhibits explore artists’ methods and materials

    Inside the Sculptor's Studio

    How are large works of public art created? The public is invited to find out by visiting “Fletcher Benton: The Artist’s Studio” at Santa Clara University’s de Saisset Museum from now through Dec. 6.

    The exhibition uses mural-size photographs of the artist’s studio to bring visitors inside the process of creating his signature monumental sculptures. It also incorporates the sounds, textures, and even smells of the artist’s studio, as well as a video of Benton discussing his studio practice. 

    The focus is “Fletcher Benton’s practice—how he executes these large-scale works and what that process is for him,” said Lindsey Kouvaris, curator of exhibits and collections at the de Saisset Museum.

    The exhibition includes several finished pieces of varying size as well as a number of the three-dimensional models that Benton uses to create his sculptures. 

    One of the sculptures is too large to fit inside the museum, so it will be installed outdoors. 

    Benton, a San Francisco-based metal sculptor who is known for his public artwork, tends to use geometric forms rather than figures in his sculptures, Kouvaris said. 

    Benton’s best known sculpture in the South Bay is a good illustration of this: the large geometric shapes in Palo Alto on the corner of El Camino Real and Page Mill Road.

    The traveling exhibition was organized by the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art. “People who do not make sculpture don’t have a sense of how it comes to be, how it goes from raw material to a work of art,” Kouvaris said. “This is sort of a behind-the-scenes experience.”

    A companion exhibition, “Fletcher Benton: In Motion,” will showcase Benton’s kinetic work: sculpture that moves. This was a focus of Benton’s early career in the 1960s and 70s. 

    The sculptures depict motion in a variety of ways. In some it’s clear how the motion works, in others the pattern is so complex that the action appears random, and in still others the movement is so slow that it’s difficult to perceive. The exhibition is built from the de Saisset Museum’s private collection as well as Benton’s own collection and will include several pieces that have not often been seen in public. 

    Turning Garbage into Art

    Artists have a role to play in building sustainable communities. This fall, an exhibition at the de Saisset Museum called “Reduce, Reuse, Reimagine” will explore what art can teach us about what we throw away. The exhibition is co-curated by Kouvaris and Ryan Reynolds, assistant professor of art and art history at Santa Clara University. It includes works by artists that use exclusively recycled materials.

    Using repurposed materials to create works of art is an old tradition, Kouvaris said. What makes these works different is that the artists are “not just buying something from a thrift store—they’re diverting things from the landfill. They’re using what we might consider trash to make new works of art.”

    Kouvaris said that while putting together the exhibition they were pleasantly surprised at the number of artists who are working with repurposed materials. 

    They were also happy with “the sheer variety of mediums they’re able to work in using reclaimed materials.” The show will include works on paper, sewn objects, and a sound installation. The art will be made from materials that range from reclaimed wood to discarded books.

    “They’re really beautiful—you’re not going to look at it and say, ‘Oh wow, that's trash,’” Kouvaris said. The exhibition is made possible by a grant from Santa Clara University’s Sustainable Resource Initiative. It will run from now to Dec. 6 and Jan. 10 to Feb. 2, 2014.

  •  New Law Dean

    Lisa Kloppenberg took over as dean of Santa Clara University School of Law on July 1, after more than a decade at the University of Dayton law school, where she served as dean. She sat down with FYI to talk about what brought her here, her role models, and Zumba. The Q&A has been edited for length and clarity. 

    Q: What drew you to the job of dean at Santa Clara University School of Law? 

    A: The Jesuit mission was really important to me. I was raised Catholic, an active Catholic, the values of the Jesuits really resonate with how I see what God wants us to be about—about other people, being compassionate, thinking hard about how we make this world better, realizing it's never going to be perfect, but how do we contribute to the common good for all people? I'm also very attracted to the spirit of innovation, not just at the law school, but throughout the Valley, and Santa Clara. There seems to be a real emphasis on thinking about the future, and that's always been kind of important to me. It's something I think I bring some skills to.

    Q: You’re known as a pioneer in legal education, the first female law dean at Dayton—and in Ohio—and overseer of a pioneering two-year accelerated degree program. To what do you attribute your success as a pioneer? 

    A: Really supportive parents. I was adopted by a wonderful family, and they really believed in education. I also had some great role models along the way, women who had been pioneers, who were leaders in their field, but were also mothers and very nurturing women who would bring along other women. I had an aunt who lived overseas and really acquainted us with the broader world. And my mother, who never had a chance to finish high school, was the biggest advocate of education in our family. And Judge Nelson for whom I clerked and am writing a book about. She was one of the first female law professors nationally, first female deans, and first female appellate judges, really a pioneer in the 1950s. She started in law school when there were maybe two or three women in the class, where the women wore white gloves, and some of the teachers only called on you on Ladies Day. Luckily, the world has changed.

    Q: Some of the innovations you oversaw at UD included: increasing diversity, strengthening the law and technology program, LLM and the master's program for non-lawyers, expanding the Catholic identity there, co-curricular projects, and the accelerated two-year degree program. Do you think Santa Clara Law would or should benefit from considering these kinds of innovations? And if so, which ones?

    A: I think Santa Clara Law is in a very strong position. There’s a lot behind what's written on paper, on the website. There's real gravity to it. I also think it's an important time for everybody in legal education to be thinking hard about the future. I'm still in my first hundred days. So I'm listening in the Jesuit tradition. But I am thinking hard and asking other people to think about, “What do we want to be in the future? What are the right programs for us? What's the right size for us? How do we continue to be strong?”

    Q: We've all heard the criticisms of legal education, that it’s a costly avenue to shrinking job prospects. How do you reassure people about the value of a legal education?

    A: I think it is costly, but all higher ed is, and it's still, compared to other fields,  such an advancement in life. Having a J.D. degree is often a credential that helps you advance, even within a university system, within a government job, within the private sector. If you look at  any community, at who is in public service, who are the people running the nonprofits, who is serving on the boards, who is helping to fund some of this stuff—lawyers play a critical role.

    Q: Is there anything you'd especially like to convey to Santa Clara University faculty and staff? 

    A: First and foremost, I just want to say thanks for welcoming me and my family. We do feel very warmly welcomed, and we appreciate that very much. And I'm very interested in exploring opportunities. With business, with engineering, with the school of education, there's a lot of opportunities to think about [joint programming] because, like it or not, law impacts people's lives. I'm very excited to begin those conversations with the deans and the other leaders here at Santa Clara.  

    Q: What's something that people are surprised to learn about you?

    A: Well, I never met a lawyer until I was in my third year of college, and a lawyer who was an adjunct professor at USC taught my First Amendment course. He said, “You should think about law school.” Before that, I was in journalism and English. Another surprising thing, I love to go to Zumba classes or any kind of high cardio dance classes. My family laughs at me, but I do love that music and good exercise.

Printer-friendly format