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 New Class

    Sixteen global social entrepreneurs selected for the GSBI® Accelerator

    Sankara Eye Care Institutions aims to eradicate preventable and curable blindness in India by providing free high quality eye care to millions of rural poor. Eco-fuel Africa converts locally sourced farm and municipal waste into clean cooking fuel and organic fertilizers. Medical Technology Transfer and Services (MTTS) develops, manufactures, and distributes durable devices for intensive newborn care for poor communities in Vietnam.

    These three well-established “social enterprises”—nonprofit organizations or for-profit businesses that seek to address social and environmental problems—are among the 16 chosen for the 12th annual Global Social Benefit Institute (GSBI®) Accelerator program at Santa Clara University.

    Starting next month, the acclaimed 10-month program pairs one leader from each social enterprise with experienced, startup savvy Silicon Valley executives and advisers. The aim is to help the entrepreneurs focus on and solve the largest obstacles keeping their businesses from “scaling,” or reaching more beneficiaries.

    “This year we received the strongest applicant pool of leading social entrepreneurs to date,” said Cassandra Staff, GSBI’s program director. “This speaks to the value of the GSBI Accelerator program and the impact the program has on preparing mature entrepreneurs for additional investment capital and growth.”

    Sponsors of the GSBI Accelerator program include: eBay Inc. Foundation, Applied Materials, Skoll Foundation, the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, and the GSBI Endowment Fund supported by Jeff and Karen Miller and Howard and Alida Charney.

    After six months of online work with GSBI staff and two Silicon Valley mentors apiece, the cohort will come to Santa Clara University’s campus Aug. 14 for nine days of intensive training that culminates in an “Investor Showcase” Aug. 21. The showcase has become an inspiring event attended by hundreds of impact investors and others interested in accelerating the work of social entrepreneurs.

    The 16 organizations in this year’s GSBI class operate in countries across the world including Mexico, South Africa, Jordan, and Vietnam. Among the other members of the GSBI Class of 2014 are: a company that makes biodigesters for small scale farmers in Mexico; a Peruvian employer of unskilled labor, whose workers are delivering data services to international clients; a South African company that teaches disadvantaged youth to be self-directed learners and chart careers; and a Chinese provider of renewable solar energy.

    Visit for a list of current entrepreneurs.

    The list of GSBI mentors can be found at

  •  Recycling in Style

    Eco Fashion Show gets creative with materials destined for the landfill

    The Office of Sustainability and the de Saisset museum are teaming up for the Fourth Annual Eco-Fashion and Art Show tonight. During a runway show, designers from the SCU community will show off outfits they created out of recyclable materials. A current exhibit at the de Saisset called “Reduce, Reuse, Reimagine” is also comprised of art made by students out of materials headed to the landfill. 

    "This event is always a lot of fun and brings in a great crowd. We're very excited that the de Saisset's current exhibit contributes to the setting," says Sustainability Coordinator Cara K. Uy. “We have many creative and unique designs to show off—and all of them by SCU students and employees."

    The event will also discuss fashion’s impact on the economy, society, and the environment including focus on the lives of factory workers and how clothing dyes can harm the environment.

    “You make more than a visual statement when you put on your clothes everyday,” says Uy. “You’re also making a decision that affects the environment and a lot of lives.”

    The show is Jan. 30. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the runway show starts at 7:30. 

    Visit for more information. 

  •  Ways to Watch the Dalai Lama Visit

    Tickets to the Dalai Lama’s first visit to Santa Clara University sold out in just minutes Tuesday morning. While one thousand complimentary tickets were distributed to SCU students, faculty, and staff days before the public sale of tickets, many more members of the SCU community are looking for other ways to participate in the historic event on Feb. 24. 

    The event entitled “Business, Ethics and Compassion: a Dialogue with the Dalai Lama” will be livestreamed at beginning at 10 a.m. on the day of the event. The Dalai Lama’s talk will also be displayed on several large screens setup in the Benson Student Center. 

    The community can also participate with social media. Santa Clara University and the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics will share updates on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with the hashtag #DalaiLamaSCU. The community is encouraged to also share their experiences on their personal social media accounts.

    #DalaiLamaSCU Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Pinterest

  •  Compassion, Business & Ethics

    His Holiness the Dalai Lama makes first Santa Clara visit

    His Holiness the Dalai Lama will visit Santa Clara University Feb. 24 for a day of discussion entitled “Compassion, Business, and Ethics: A Dialogue with the Dalai Lama.”  The event is co-sponsored by the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University and Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education.

    "As the Jesuit University of Silicon Valley, the faith-inspired values of ethics and justice fuel what we do everyday. The Dalai Lama's commitment to compassion and humanity are a perfect fit on our campus, " says SCU President Michael Engh, S.J. “We are eager to welcome him.”

    The Tibetan spiritual leader will explore the world of commerce, ethics, and compassion in a conversation also featuring Lloyd Dean, the 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.

    "We expect a productive, enlightening, and inspirational examination of these issues," says Kirk O. Hanson, executive director of SCU’s ethics center. “It will be an opportunity to advance our understanding whether there is room for ethics and compassion in business."

    His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, has visited the United States regularly over the last 30 years, but this will be his first stop at Santa Clara University. The 78-year-old peace advocate focuses on three major commitments: promoting ethics and basic human values, the fostering of interreligious harmony, and the welfare of the Tibetan people.

    “All human beings are the same. We all want happiness and we do not want suffering. Even people who do not believe in religion recognize the importance of these human values in making their lives happier, “ the Dalai Lama says on his website. “It is therefore important for all religious traditions to respect one another and recognize the value of each other’s respective traditions.”

    Ticket Information:

    The morning session entitled “Business, Ethics, and Compassion: A Public Dialogue” will take place at SCU’s Leavey Event Center Feb. 24 at 10 a.m. One thousand tickets will be set aside free of charge for SCU staff, faculty, and students. Tickets go on sale to the public Jan. 28 at 9 a.m. and will be available at for $80 and $130. Details on the sale and distribution process will be announced in the next few weeks. The event is expected to sell out, but livestreaming will be available at

  •  Appetite for Art

    Drink in two fun new exhibits at the de Saisset

    The de Saisset Museum is taking a bite out of some major food issues in two new exhibits and the community is invited to pull up a chair.

    “A Serving of Shapes” by artist Corrine Takara starts with a series of workshops that will give the public hands-on experience with 3-D printing. In workshops at the museum, people are encouraged to design an object that reflects the history of food in the Santa Clara region or their personal relationship, experiences, and associations with food. 

    “I really wanted to play with the contrast in the region’s agricultural past with our technology-infused present in this exhibit,” says Takara. “We’re hoping to grab people’s attention with the exciting new process of 3-D printing, but also get them to reflect on how we think about food daily.”

    The next workshop will be held Jan. 18 from 1 to 4 p.m. Two additional workshops are being held in East San Jose in communities that are unlikely to have access to the technology involved or transportation to the de Saisset workshops. Admission is free and open to the public. Takara will pick a selection of the designs created to display in the exhibit Jan. 31 through March 16. All of the designs will also be highlighted on a tablecloth in the exhibit.

    “Sip. Do Not Gulp.” is a site-specific installation exploring the importance of water to Santa Clara Valley’s agriculture. Artist Michele Guieu calls attention to shifting patterns of water usage through the history of the valley  increase in water use and how it’s changed agriculture and and how the introduction of agriculture and later modern technology and infrastructure have affected water availability. Curator Lindsey Kouvaris says the exhibit is more than just an increase in how much water is used.

    “Visitors have the opportunity to engage in a serious conversation about one of our most precious resources. Over the years, the climate in Santa Clara Valley has changed naturally from one that was very wet to one that is arid and plagued by drought, but we haven't adjusted our water usage accordingly. We act as if water is an unlimited resource when it's not," says de Saisset Curator Lindsey Kouvaris.

    A mural designed specifically for the de Saisset spans the walls with bold color and text outlining the valley’s rich history and relationship with water and some potentially uncomfortable truths about how human behavior wastes the supply. A documentary featuring SCU engineering professor Ed Maurer, U.C Irvine scientist Jay Famiglietti, chef Andrea Bloom and Ohlone descendant Anne Marie Sayers examines the history and current water issues. The exhibit runs Jan. 17 to March 16. The mural will also become a forum as visitors are encouraged to post their thoughts and concerns on the surface of the mural.

    A reception for both exhibits will be held the night of Feb. 13. For more information visit:


  •  New Office Opens Door to Greater Diversity

    What the Office for Diversity and Inclusion has in store

    As the recently appointed associate provost of SCU’s new Office for Diversity and Inclusion (ODI), Aldo Billingslea—a professor in the Theatre and Dance Department—finds himself cast in a familiar role.

    “What we do in theater is collaborate,” he explained. “And that’s what this new office is all about.”

    The ODI, which officially opened last fall, aims to promote and cultivate a campus-wide climate of diversity and inclusion. “Working with different departments, we’ll provide guidance for faculty search committees and recruiters, ensuring that they feel culturally competent to bring the most diverse workforce and student population to the school,” said Billingslea. “The idea is to increase the yield of candidate pools—and once here, our goal is to ensure that everyone feels he or she is a valued and contributing member of our community.”

    Under the auspices of the Provost’s Office, the ODI is located in the Walsh Administration Building and has just expanded. Jesse Bernal, who served as the university-wide Diversity Coordinator at the University of California President’s Office, was just hired as program director and will help design strategies for the recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups among other duties. A welcome reception will be held in the Walsh Administration building lobby Jan. 24 at 4 p.m.

    Billingslea began laying the groundwork for collaboration as soon as the office was formed by embarking on a “listening tour” to gain insights about diversity and inclusion from various SCU department members. “There were questions and some challenges,” he noted, “but, the good news is that there are so many really good people on this campus who are willing to put their shoulders to the wheel and contribute to a more diverse climate.”

    The office will sponsor programs and events to advance that goal. The ODI collaborated with other campus units on two special activities this week: a tribute to Nelson Mandela on Monday, including dramatic readings by Billingslea, and a performance—“Color Struck”—on Tuesday by comedian Donald Lacy on institutionalized racism.

    In addition to lending support for related inter-departmental events, the ODI will initiate programs of its own. Plans include a “toolkit” to be used in hiring faculty and a series of workshops for deans, department chairs, and search committees.

    “We value the fact that people from all different kinds of groups bring different abilities with them,” said Billingslea. “Those are all things that make our campus richer ... When a teacher knows that a student has a different ability, he or she often makes an accommodation for that student; when that happens, it improves the learning environment for the entire class.”

    The ODI leader acknowledged that increasing awareness about diversity and inclusion takes time. “In all the training I’ve done, one important point is that this type of work requires patience and long-term commitment,” he explained. “And, it most often succeeds when there is support from the top.” Finding that critical, high-level support, said Billingslea, is not an issue at SCU. “President Engh and Provost Dennis Jacobs believe in our mission and have been extremely helpful from the very start.”

  •  Grants, Awards, and Publications

    Shoba Krishnan (electrical engineering) was chosen by Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski as Woman of the Year for the 25th Assembly District. Krishnan was chosen for her dedication to students both inside and outside the classroom as well as her work on community projects and STEM.

    Justin Boren (communication) had his paper, “The Relationships Between Co-Rumination, Social Support, Stress, and Burnout Among Working Adults,” published in Management Communication Quarterly. It is expected to be in print during the February issue, but the paper is available as an "online first" paper

    Matthew Duncan (Office of Student Life), Barbara Fraser (theatre), Michael Whalen (communication) have received a grant of $150,000 from the Avon Foundation will be used to create a sexual violence prevention and education video production and interactive website for implementation at Santa Clara University and universities across the United States.

    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." Additionally he has received $104,859 from NASA Ames Research Center to support "Microsatellite-Nanosatellite Technology Research & Development Support.”

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

    Angelo Ancheta (law) has received $50,000 from Santa Clara County to support "Worker's Rights Project." Funding will enable the Law Center to provide information, advice, and legal representation for problems involving unpaid wages, conditions of employment, and illegal discrimination on the job to low-wage workers. He has received $6,750 from Catholic Charities to support "South Bay Legal Immigration Services Network.

  •  Spreading Sustainability

    New program keeps faculty and staff thinking green

    Link by link, the Center for Sustainability at SCU has been building up a valuable network that stretches from residence halls to classrooms, from students to faculty, from peer groups on campus to beyond. The most recent link in this chain is a group known as Workplace Sustainability Liaisons (WSL).

    “It’s a program for University employees,” explained Lindsey Kalkbrenner, director of the Center. “The goal is to help employees understand that anyone who has a job at SCU can contribute to developing a culture of sustainability at the University.”

    WSL began last year as a pilot project with 10 participating employees. Unveiled this academic year as an official program, it quickly drew two dozen employees coming from some 20 different University schools and departments. “Word has spread,” said Kalkbrenner. “There’s now more awareness and people like the idea of being change agents—of helping to lift up their departments for the cause of sustainability.”

    According to Kalkbrenner, the WSL project is one of four programs in the sustainability network. The first, SCOOPS (Students Collaborating and Organizing Opportunities and Projects for Sustainability), began several years ago with leaders of student organizations, then branched out with CF liaisons (Community Facilitators). A new SCOOPS offshoot is LOCALS (Living Off Campus and Living Sustainably), which helps off-campus students lessen their environmental impact with such ideas as do-it-yourself gifts, buying budget-friendly local products, and eco-conscious party planning. Another new program, Community Facilitator Sustainability Liaisons, is for leaders in SCU’s residential learning communities who share ideas with their residents and engage them in on-site conservation practices.

    Not surprisingly, Kalkbrenner and her team relied on available resources in constructing the sustainability network. “Once we figured out we could work within existing University structures instead of trying to create something new, everything fell into place,” she explained.

    With the outreach programs gathered under one network umbrella, Kalkbrenner said all participants are able to “dive deeper” into prescribed topics. Each month, network groups are given a particular theme on which to focus. Members share ideas, engage their peers in workshops and discussions, and bring suggestions to the Center for Sustainability.

    In designing the WSL program, Kalkbrenner said busy employee schedules were a key factor. “We didn’t want to add a lot of extra work,” she noted. With supervisor approval, participating employees are asked to attend an hour-long meeting each month at lunchtime and spend one hour a month on sustainability efforts within their departments. Each term spans an academic year.

    Even with those minimum time requirements, WSL members have accomplished much in a short period. Gayle Catterlin, resident director of the Communitas RLC, took part in the pilot project and signed up again for this year’s program. During her first year, she communicated “sustainability tips of the week” for department staff meetings, worked with students to help with the annual Residence Energy Challenge to help residents examine their energy use, and installed smart strips in department offices.

    “I was making changes in my work and personal life and trying to make sustainable practices more convenient,” says Catterlin. “These small changes add up to a big impact and I feel like I'm part of an important movement.”

    This year, spurred by the success of another WSL employee—Director of Campus Recreation Janice DeMonsi—Catterlin activated a pilot project to compost paper towels in all her RLC restrooms.

    Other achievements in the WSL program include recycling collection for the single-use coffee pods found in many University departments and collaborative work on a purchasing guide for sustainable products and services.

    In addition to being able to make tangible improvements toward sustainability, SCU employees say membership in the WSL program offers other benefits as well. Bill Mains was a lecturer for Undergraduate Business Programs and was recently named Director of Sustainability and Leadership Development for the Leavey School of Business. Involved in WSL since its beginnings, he said, “What I find most beneficial is having a resource and support group of like-minded colleagues across campus with whom I can learn, brainstorm, plan, organize and, occasionally, vent.”


  •  Be Careful What You Click

    Top 5 information privacy risks for 2014 and what to do about them.

    By Robert Henry, Santa Clara University’s Chief Information Security Officer

    This is the hit parade of threats to your personal information in the coming year. Most can be avoided by setting a long password, keeping your computer (that includes your phone!) up-to-date, and not opening SPAM or browsing to suspicious web sites.

    1. Smartphones

    Many people have sensitive information on their smartphone or have used their smartphones to access sensitive information like their bank accounts. A lost or stolen smartphone can give the bad guys the keys to your information.

    What to do about it:

    Set a password on your smartphone. Set a maximum number of failed attempts to access the phone after which the phone deletes all the data.

    2. Third Party Apps

    Some third party applications ask for access to your email, contacts, even Google Drive. The application presents the offer as an easy way to expand your social network or share your information. The third party app, in return, has access to details about you that you might not want to share.

    What to do about it:

    Consider carefully what you allow third party applications to know about you before you share your information.

    3. Unpatched Software

    Unpatched software can open up opportunities for bad guys to install malware on your computer and steal your information.

    What to do about it:

    Update your software. Turn on automatic updates if that option is available.

    4. Ransomware

    An especially nasty form of malware, ransomware modifies your computer and then offer you a way to pay the bad guy to remove it. One type encrypts the data on your computer so it is inaccessible unless you pay. Another type takes over your computer’s operating system and makes the computer unusable.

    What to do about it:

    Install antivirus software and keep it up to date. Update your operating system and software. Keep your firewall turned on.

    5. Phishing

    Email that asks you for your user name, password, credit card number, or other sensitive information is designed to steal your identity. Sometimes phishing email looks very legitimate and carries the name and branding of known organizations. Bad spelling, bad grammar, and threats within the message can tip you off to phishing.

    What to do about it:

    When in doubt, don’t click! If the email looks suspicious, it probably is. Legitimate organizations will never ask for your user name, password, credit card, of social security number in an email.

  •  Getting Down to Business

    ACE gives SCU students Silicon Valley work experience

    Eric Fialho ʾ12 was a sophomore at SCU in 2009 when he co-founded LeftLane, a flash-sale site for outdoor and sports enthusiasts. Two years later, his enterprise posted gains of 850 percent and raised its first round of investment capital. Fialho and his team then went on to acquire two other companies. Today, the former Bronco heads a multi-million dollar business and is well established as a successful entrepreneur. For that, he gives significant credit to ACE, a leadership and professional development program operated by SCU’s Leavey School of Business. 

    “I cannot know what successes and challenges lie ahead,” he wrote just before graduating, “but I am sure that the foundation that ACE has helped me build will guide me in the journey.”

    ACE stands for Accelerated Cooperative Education. It debuted in 1998, the brainchild of Tyzoon Tyebjee, a marketing faculty member at the business school who is now deceased. His idea was to offer a program that would help launch students into the business world while preparing them to become capable and ethical leaders for the future. Fialho is one of 315 students who have gone through the program since it began.

    According to Jo-Anne Shibles, assistant dean for undergraduate business programs, admission in ACE is competitive for those who are invited to apply. “The students are extremely motivated,” she said, “and once they become involved, there is very little attrition.”

    ACE annually accepts only 25 to 30 students who are academically exceptional and interested in pursuing leadership roles. All are incoming sophomores who become immersed in a defined course of study over the next three years. The curriculum includes leadership workshops, paid summer internships with local companies, special lectures, reflective seminars, and programs to build job skills. A critical component of ACE is its ability to link students with some half-dozen partner companies, such as Applied Materials, Lockheed, Target, and Yahoo.

    “Our corporate partners provide internships and work experiences that meet the needs of all our students,” explained Shibles. “And from their perspective, it’s nice to connect with the top academic students in our business school; the companies have an early look at these potential employees and an inside track for recruiting.”
     Shibles noted that ACE administrators also work with many other local companies in matching students with in-the-field work opportunities.

    Amy Carlton, a senior ACE student, is continuing a summer internship at Cisco Systems in San Jose, where she’s working on the integration of a new support system. Eventually, she hopes to use her present work experience as a Business Analyst Intern to forge a career in operations or supply chain management, she said. For now, though, she’s happy to be learning the ropes of a high-profile Silicon Valley company.

    “The most surprising thing is that communication between employees is done most of the time via WebEx, email, or phone calls, instead of in person,” she said. And the most challenging aspect of the job? “Learning about Cisco culture and all the acronyms.”

    Amy said she finds the job exciting and is grateful to be working with an “amazing team.” She’s also happy to be part of ACE, where she’s met some of her closest friends. “Everyone brings something different to the table,” she explained. “Not only is everyone a top student and extremely hard-working, but we look out for each other, too.”

    That feeling of camaraderie may be an ongoing theme for ACE students even after they leave the program. Shibles said it’s not uncommon for alumni, many of whom are now employed in Silicon Valley, to call with job prospects or to offer shadowing and mentoring services for current ACE students. “We’re building a really nice network of alums who want to continue their connection with the school,” she said.

  •  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.”

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