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.

  •  All Ears for Arabic

    Fulbright scholar puts listening to the test to research cultural conflict in Jordan

    During her freshman orientation four years ago, political science major Emily Hawley ’13 told her advisor that she’d always been interested in Arabic. Professor Timothy Lukes “helped me get the courage to try it,” she recalled.

    That beginning language class led to a yearlong study abroad program in Jordan and then, this spring, to a prestigious Fulbright fellowship—one of the world’s most competitive awards for international education exchange. “My college years have always driven me toward the Middle East,” explained the honors student.

    Fulbright recipients design their own research projects, and when Emily leaves in mid-August for another year in Jordan, she’ll be equipped with a proficiency in Arabic, a list of Jordanian contacts, and a burning desire to test her theory that the country’s tribes have a leading role in the success or failure of democratic reforms.

    “When I was studying last year at the University of Jordan, I saw how tribal conflicts could so easily shut down the whole school,” she said. “It might just be someone throwing a snowball at the wrong person, but suddenly, havoc would break out.”

    The troublemakers, she explained, would be expelled, but then reinstated by the king, “because they came from powerful families.”

    Such incidents led Emily to wonder what influence Jordan’s strong tribal system has on promoting or impeding the democratic reforms promised by King Abdullah II. “It’s an under-researched topic; the tribes often have an incentive to keep the system at its status quo,” she noted.

    Emily’s academic curiosity puts her in a small circle of students Lukes considers to be his best. “Simply put, she is an intellectual,” he said. “It speaks well of her Jordanian hosts that they are disposed to receive this perceptive and inquisitive scholar.”

    Emily will tackle her research project during the second half of her stay, after spending several months in intensive Arabic classes in the capital city of Amman. She plans to travel throughout the country, talking and listening to the people she meets.

    “It will be important to approach this topic of tribal influence with a lot of awareness,” she explained. “It’s easy for an outsider to offend, but I’m a good listener and the connections I’ve made will help.” One of those connections is Mohammad Momani, a high-level government official recently appointed to the king’s Cabinet, who will help guide her research.

    “Jordan is a nation of storytellers; they are great hosts,” Emily said, “and many will be happy to talk to me.” In addition, she noted that she’ll back up her conversations with statistical evidence in an effort to quantify her findings.

    After spending so much time already in Jordan, Emily isn’t worried about traveling independently. “Jordan is safe as long as you take precautions; you have to know when taking public transportation is okay and when hiring a car is better,” she explained.

    Her focus will be on maintaining the right mental attitude and developing “a higher consciousness of the Middle East,” a goal she believes to be critical for all Americans. Eventually, she hopes her research and experiences in Jordan will lead to work with the U.S. Foreign Service.  

    While Emily will miss not being able to wear shorts when she goes running—in fact, she’ll need to be totally covered, even in the hottest weather—she said there is much to look forward to in Jordan. “I really love the people and I’m eager for the interaction with them; they are truly amazing, so hospitable and generous.” And then, there’s the food.

    “They do wonderful things with the simplest ingredients, like pita and hummus; we don’t have anything like it here.”

    The next fyi will feature Fulbright recipient Aven Satre-Meloy. Find out how he will use the grant to teach English in Turkey.

  •  Silicon Valley Inspiration

    Google’s top legal officer has advice for 2013 SCU Law graduates

    What is difficult and worthwhile “always seems impossible until it’s done,” Google’s chief legal officer David Drummond told the 340 graduating students from Santa Clara University School of Law.

    The law school’s commencement took place at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 25, in the University’s Mission Gardens. Drummond, a 1985 undergraduate alumnus of Santa Clara University, is senior vice president and chief legal officer of Google, where he leads the company’s global teams for legal, communications, government relations, and corporate and new business development. He joined Google in 2002 as vice president of corporate development from a partnership position at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

    Speaking on a sunny breezy morning, Drummond drew his quote from South Africa’s famed Nelson Mandela, telling graduates that in activities from advocating against apartheid on Santa Clara University’s campus in 1981 to helping Google decide in 2010 to pull its search engine out of China over its repressive activities, “it’s always  impossible until it’s done.”

    He added that change doesn’t have to come from outside agitation. “Plenty of change can, and often is, sparked from the inside,” he said.

    He said of Google—which he noted is a giant company despite its casual dress, free food, and pinball machines—“because it’s a big company doesn’t mean I can’t fight to make sure that this big company sticks to its principles, that its continual march toward openness and progress and fairness mirrors the marches I participated in 30 years ago on this campus.”

    Drummond served as Google’s first outside counsel, and worked with founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin to incorporate the company and secure its initial rounds of financing.

    He encouraged the students to speak up if they see justice under attack. “No matter how loud the beliefs roil inside of you, if you don’t speak up, no one will hear you.”

    Outgoing law school Dean Donald Polden acted as master of ceremonies, and University President Michael Engh, S.J., spoke to the graduates, urging them to “make our world better as people of conscience.”

    The graduating class comprised 48 percent women and 52 percent men. Half the graduates identified as Caucasian, with 31.5 percent identifying as Asian; 10 percent Hispanic; 5.5 percent multi-ethnic, and 2 percent African-American.

    Sixty-seven graduates received certificates in various areas of high-tech law; another 33 received certificates in public-interest and social-justice law; and 20 specialized in international law.

    Among the awards for outstanding graduates given earlier in the graduation season, student Taylor Victoria Young received the Inez Mabie Award for the Outstanding Graduate based on academic performance, scholarly activities, leadership, and service roles at the law school and in the community. Sepideh Mousakhani received the ALI-CLE Scholarship and Leadership Award, presented to a student who exemplifies exceptional character, leadership, and professionalism. Benjamin Broadmeadow received the Dean's Outstanding Student Leadership Award for his many contributions to the law school and the greater community.

    Drummond received an honorary doctorate of laws at the event. He earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Santa Clara University in 1985, and his J.D. from Stanford Law School.  He has been named to InsideCounsel’s Power Brokers list of the 50 most influential in-house attorneys in North America, and Ebony magazine’s Power 100.

  •  Smarts and Social Sense

    The Santa Clara University Alumni Association just wrapped up another successful season of its “Life After SCU” events. The series of events teaches graduating Broncos about everything from finances to theology of marriage to entertaining on a budget.

    “We already know Santa Clara University educates some of the brightest minds in Silicon Valley,” says organizer Taylor Thorn, assistant director of Student and Young Alumni Programs. “These events allow them to relax and bond a little as they round out their SCU experience.”

    Check out highlights from one of the most popular events, Life After SCU: Wine Tasting.

  •  Blended Learning

    New School of Education and Counseling Psychology certification brings more tech and personalized learning to Catholic classrooms

    In a move designed to improve strategic outcomes at Catholic schools in the Diocese of San Jose, more than 100 teachers and administrators at seven area Catholic schools will participate in a year of professional development to receive a new Certificate in Blended Learning.

    The yearlong program is being offered starting June 2013 through a new Academy of Blended Learning, a collaboration between the Diocese of San Jose and the School of Education and Counseling Psychology at Santa Clara University. The academy is part of the Saint Katharine Drexel School Initiative, an ongoing project to revitalize Catholic education in the Diocese of San Jose.

    Both the Drexel School Initiative and the academy are being funded by a generous grant from the Sobrato Family Foundation, as part of the foundation's commitment to leadership in "building a strong and vibrant Silicon Valley community." 

    Blended Learning

    “Blended learning” encompasses a set of tools and practices that aim to maximize the use of technology and advanced content to make students’ learning experience more flexible, personalized, and lasting. It has been shown through research and field experiences to be effective, efficient, and of greater relevance to students.

    “I am very excited about the possibility that teachers, students, and parents will all have an opportunity to learn in the most promising ways we have available today,” said Kathy Almazol, superintendent of schools for the Diocese of San Jose. “This really brings us into the 21st century, while still holding on to everything we love about Catholic schools.”

    The benefit of blended learning is to personalize the process so students learn what is important in the ways they can best learn, according to Steve Johnson, the director of the academy at Santa Clara University. It allows learners, and those who support their learning, to select from a very large set of content and tools, he said.

    “Learning and teaching have changed in today's world of ‘anytime, anywhere’ learning,” said Johnson. “Blended learning brings together the best of what teachers, parents, and classrooms have to offer, with the best that technology and the entire world can offer.”

    Educator Experience

    During their year in the academy, teachers and administrators who work with kindergartners through eighth graders will engage in their own personalized, blended learning experience, choosing from a rich menu of intensive summer workshops, ongoing support, and activities available throughout the year. 

    Because teachers in the participating schools have long blended face-to-face, digital, and community-based learning experiences, the academy will focus on more comprehensive and skillful use of technologies, particularly in reading and mathematics.

    “We are very much looking forward to the opportunity of working together with teachers and administrators in the diocese,” said Nicholas Ladany, dean of the School of Education and Counseling Psychology at Santa Clara University. “The Academy of Blended Learning is a wonderful expression of Santa Clara University’s own mission to develop excellent, ethical, and compassionate professionals for our schools.”

    Also, the academy will further support the long-term aims of the Saint Katharine Drexel School Initiative by helping refine the blended-learning curriculum, assessment tools, and teaching methods for future academy training. 

    “Learning programs for education professionals—such as this academy—transform participants’ views of technology from something they have to something they use every day to benefit their students’ learning, now and for their future,” said Pedro Hernández-Ramos, chair of the Department of Education at Santa Clara University.

    More about the Saint Katharine Drexel School Initiative can be found at

  •  Calling All Social Entrepreneurs

    Applications are now being accepted for GSBI Online, the online version of Santa Clara University’s highly regarded, 11-year-old training program for worldwide social-entrepreneur ventures, the Global Social Benefit Incubator or GSBI™.

    Applications are due July 15, and can be found at

    Up to 20 ventures will be selected and given a scholarship for the six-month program. Those selected will be notified in early September.

    GSBI Online helps early-stage social enterprises that have the potential to create significant social impact through financially sustainable operations. The structured curriculum uses a methodology honed at GSBI over the past decade, while also incorporating the best practices of today’s on-demand, online learning.

    Each entrepreneur accepted into GSBI Online will be guided by two mentors: an experienced Silicon Valley corporate-level executive as well as a local in-country executive, each of whom provides hands-on assistance and mentoring throughout the program.

    The rigorous curriculum will last from October 2013 through March 2014. Successful participants will graduate from the GSBI Online program armed with a fundable plan for scaling their organization, which includes a business-plan summary presentation, an “elevator pitch,” a one-year operating plan, and an innovation profile.

    GSBI Online modules will enable participants to: clarify business objectives including mission, opportunity, and strategies; examine the external environment affecting the business; segment the target market; analyze the “value chain” of vendors and partners; properly organize and staff the business; develop a business model; identify appropriate success metrics; produce a one-year operating plan; and explore financing strategies.

    “Having mentors from their home countries as well as Silicon Valley helps GSBI Online entrepreneurs better navigate their local cultures and economies, while taking advantage of Silicon Valley’s unique startup acumen, global perspective, and culture of innovation,” said Cassandra Thomassin, senior program manager for the GSBI program.

    “We are indebted to Applied Materials for their support of this cohort and enabling us to take this next step in bringing our world-class GSBI program to more social enterprises in frontier markets,” continued Thomassin.

    “The GSBI Online program was a wonderful experience. We learned a lot and maintained a fast tempo every day,” said Santosh Ostwal, CEO and founding director of Ossian Agro Automation Pvt. in Pune, India, a recent graduate of GSBI Online’s second cohort. “The GSBI team worked with me throughout the process. It was a lot of hard work, excitement, and fun, as well as tension, fear, and worry—but now I know I will accomplish the dreams GSBI expects from us.”

    For more details about the program, visit the Center for Science, Technology, and Society’s website at For questions regarding the program please send an email to

  •  Million Dollar Bronco

    Santa Clara University alumna Brienne Ghafourifar, ’12, is celebrating her 18th birthday at the end of April in a way not many of her peers can match: Checking off a goal of raising $1 million in venture funding for her mobile-communication startup, Entefy.

    For Ghafourifar this milestone is the latest in what has been a string of outsized achievements for this preternaturally bright Bronco:

    *Attending college at age 14, check.

    *Getting accepted at SCU as a 15-year-old transfer business student, check.

    *Graduating at 17 with an economics degree, check.

    *Co-founding a startup with her equally precocious brother Alston, check.

    *Setting up shop on Page Mill Road, a mecca for tech startups, check.

    A cool million for said company?


    Ghafourifar views her rapid graduations from high school and college not so much as a sign of her brilliance, but rather an expediency—a way to get right to her and her family’s longtime passion for pursuing something that really has an impact on the world. “I’m really into efficiency and optimization,” she says.

    Her father Mehdi, is a veteran capital, management adviser, serial entrepreneur, and author of a book on global progress. Her mother Jillayn has been working in partnership alongside her husband for decades. Her 20-year-old brother Alston—Entefy’s CEO—also sped through high school and college and became president of a nonprofit, Schools for Humanity, before teaming up with his sister.

    Ghafourifar said she came to Santa Clara University after hearing from a counselor at a community college that SCU excelled in things she cared deeply about: social entrepreneurship, innovation, and networking among global leaders trying to effect social justice through business. After being accepted as a transfer student, she started attending networking and entrepreneurship events offered through places like the Center for Science, Technology, and Society’s Global Social Benefit Incubator and the Global Women’s Leadership Network, affiliated with the business school.

    She hung out for fun with professors like management professor Jennifer Woolley, veteran economics professor Mario Belotti, and microeconomics professor William Sundstrom—each of whom she credits with supporting and nurturing her passions and ambitions.

    “That was really important, and now that I’m out of college I’m still keeping those connections close,” she said.
    “Connections” loom large in Ghafourifar’s priorities, and Entefy is her and her brother’s effort to make it easier for others to find connections that can change their lives, she says.

    Entefy’s product—which she sometimes calls an “uber app”—seeks to make each person’s communications life more efficient, integrated, and connected: Instead of having to hopscotch around your computer or smart phone between your phone mail, social media, professional connections, voice mails, or cloud storage—Entefy bundles it all. The key is centering the offerings around the people—not the technology—that are most important in your life.

    “We like to say it’s people, not protocols,” said Ghafourifar.

    The company is housed on the third floor of a building on Page Mill Road that’s straight out of a young startup entrepreneur’s dream: An array of startups populate the ultra-hip, modern space complete with a fish-tank pillar; airy lobby with layered, carpeted pallets for seating; loft-style open plumbing adorning the ceiling; large flat screen TVs flashing colorful signage; and, of course, foosball. Entefy and the other startup tenants provide a 24/7 energy that is highly contagious and invigorating.

    “It is dreamy,” admits Ghafourifar. “Our investors can come here at 10 p.m. and know that we’ll be here.”

    Entefy means “bring to life” she says, and the product—to use Silicon Valley parlance—is still in “stealth mode,” while they meet with investors and advisers to finalize their launch plans. So only a select few get a peek at the prototype. But those who do, she says, often delight her by saying “why isn’t this around yet?” or even better, “I want it!”

    Woolley told the Palo Alto Daily News, which wrote a story about the siblings, that Brienne “is going to achieve a lot. This is just a milestone. She is going to be tremendous."

  •  Warped Reality

    The summer blockbuster season is taking over theaters faster than you can say “air-conditioning” in Vulcan. This weekend brings the opening of Star Trek into Darkness and while many viewers may be dazzled by the special effects or smoldering stares of the attractive cast, they may not think about the science behind the journeys of The Enterprise. Believe it or not, some of the concepts in the film could be a reality. Santa Clara University Professor Phil Kesten explains the concepts that make “warp drive” physically possible.

    click here to watch the video!

  •  What’s the Word?

    The Jesuit School of Theology welcomes America magazine writer for commencement

    A noted professor of Old Testament studies and expert in biblical literature will be the commencement speaker at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University (JST) May 25 at 3 p.m.

    Sister Dianne Bergant, CSA, the Carroll Stuhlmueller, CP Distinguished Professor of Old Testament Studies at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, will address the 2013 class of more than 40 graduating students and their family and friends, at a ceremony taking place at 3 p.m. at Zaytuna College (2401 Leconte Ave., Berkeley, Calif.).

    “We are delighted to welcome Sr. Bergant as our commencement speaker this year,” said Thomas Massaro, S.J., dean of the Jesuit School of Theology. “Her impeccable scholarship on the Old Testament and her wonderful skills at communicating her insights on scripture to wide audiences will be a true gift for our graduating students.”

    Sr. Bergant for three years wrote “The Word” column in America magazine. Also, for more than 15 years, she was the Old Testament book reviewer of The Bible Today magazine, where she was a member of the editorial board for 25 years, five of them as general editor.

    “I am honored to speak to the graduates of the Jesuit School of Theology,” said Bergant. “This opportunity fits perfectly within the ministry I have been privileged to be a part of most of my life, namely, the formation of future ministers of the church.”

    She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Biblical languages and literature from St. Louis University. She also holds a B.S. in elementary education from Marian College, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.

    She is the former president of the Catholic Biblical Association of America and the Society of Biblical Literature.
    For the past 20 years, she has been an active member of the Chicago Catholic/Jewish Scholars Dialogue and serves on the editorial board of Biblical Theology Bulletin, and Chicago Studies. She is currently working in the areas of biblical interpretation and biblical theology, particularly issues of peace, ecology, and feminism.

    She has written numerous articles and chapters in books, as well as more than a dozen volumes on topics including the Old Testament, scripture and liturgy, ecology and worship, and Hebrew narrative and poetry.

    The students graduating from JST will be receiving advanced degrees including Master of Divinity (M.Div.), Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.), Master of Arts (M.A.), Master of Theology (Th.M.), Bachelor of Sacred Theology (S.T.B.), Licentiate in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.), and Doctor of Sacred Theology (S.T.D.).

    During the commencement event, Sr. Bergant will receive an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from JST.

  •  Celebrating Heroes

    Congratulations to our 2013 Alumni Anniversary Award recipients. The Santa Clara University Alumni Association honored the following distinguished alumni for their service to humanity, the University, and the Alumni Association at The President's Dinner on April 27. Watch videos to learn more about the award recipients.

    • Maria Arias Evans '81 and The Honorable Robert J. Higgins '80, J.D. '93 are this year's Ignatian Award recipients. The Ignatian Award was established in 1981 to recognize alumni who live the SCU ideals of competence, conscience, and compassion, and have been a credit to the Alumni Association and the University through outstanding achievement in their service to humanity.
    • Steve '88 and Deanna Erbst received this year's Louis I. Bannan, S.J., Award. Established in 2000 as a way to pay tribute to the heart and spirit of one of Santa Clara’s most dedicated supporters, Louis Ignatius Bannan, S.J., this award recognizes an alumnui couple each year for their service to the Alumni Association and Santa Clara University.
    • Louis '60 and Jane Castruccio are the 2013 Paul L. Locatelli, S.J., Award recipients. This award recognizes a single Santa Clara University employee or affiliate who has given distinguished and outstanding service to the Alumni Association and University.
  •  How Tweet it is

    Many in the SCU community are putting why they love SCU into 140 characters. Here are just a few of our mentions in the Twittersphere.


  •  Frugal Innovation Lab

    Technology for humanity on a shoestring

    A former multipurpose room is now used by SCU students and researchers for a single function: developing solutions to address the world’s critical social problems.

    The Frugal Innovation Lab (FIL), located within the Bannan Engineering Labs building, began operating two years ago, but settled into its permanent home only last April. Since then, the program—fully managed by the School of Engineering—has flourished.

    FIL’s mission is to design “accessible, affordable, and appropriate” products and technologies for people living in underserved communities across the globe. Much of the work centers on clean energy, education, and health care solutions. The lab serves as a collaborative space for students and faculty to work with local corporate partners and SCU’s extensive network of social entrepreneurs.

    Many of those laboring in the FIL are graduate students and seniors fine-tuning their design projects. “All the lab projects are geared to a need that has already been identified,” said Elizabeth Sweeny, the FIL program manager. Students are in close touch with alumni from the University’s Global Social Benefit Incubator (GSBI) project who, in the course of their work in different countries, may pass along problems in need of solutions. “The GSBI folks often need a team of smart people working alongside them, and many of our students have traveled abroad to help implement the ideas they’ve developed.”

    Sweeny said FIL began with one graduate course in 2011. Today, the program encompasses six graduate and 13 undergraduate courses. “We interact with every incoming freshman majoring in engineering,” she said. “They’re required to take Engineering I, in which they go through eight different modules, and FIL is one of them.”

    Early exposure to the concept of frugal innovation has resulted in an enthusiastic response from both students and faculty, according to Sweeny. “We have up to 20 different projects in the works at any given time, and teachers keep coming up with ideas for new classes,” she said.

    Heading up FIL is Radha Basu, a leading corporate executive for more than 30 years and founder of two social enterprises based in India. “The academic environment is new to me,” she said, “but it flows well to combine corporate skills with nonprofit experiences in the frugal lab.”

    Particularly impressive, she continued, is her students’ eagerness to learn how technology applications can benefit humanity. “While we live in Silicon Valley, many of the students are interested in the problems of the developing world and emerging markets both outside and inside the U.S. The nexus of Silicon Valley entrepreneurship, technology innovation, and SCU’s social justice focus make it perfect for the Frugal Innovation Lab.”

    Among projects to come out of the FIL are several mobile applications, including one that offers agricultural data for poor farmers in Kenya. Currently, an interdisciplinary team of engineering students is working on a device that can be dipped into water anywhere in the world, then plugged into a phone and instantly display water quality results.

    “The bioengineers developed a probe that detects pathogens in the water,” said John Seubert, a graduate student who began working on the project two years ago. “The electrical engineers are working with a microcontroller that connects the probe to an Android phone; as the computer engineer, I worked on an Android app that analyzes the data.” Known as Lab-on-a-Chip, the device incorporates FIL’s 10 “core competencies,” including affordability: it costs about $3 to produce the students’ paper sensor with its gold nanoparticles. Traditional plastic or glass sensors are made for hundreds of dollars.

    “The goal is not to design something that sits on a table and looks pretty,” Sweeny said. “It must be scaled for production and implemented in the field.”

    Lab-on-a-Chip is one example of students from different fields working together, and Basu is eager to introduce FIL to more non-engineering students. “The best success of frugal innovation will come from multi-disciplinary teams across engineering, business, public health, communications, law, etc.,” she said. “In fact, we do have a few such projects and these are rich and can be far-reaching. Eventually, I would like to make Intro to Frugal Innovation part of the curriculum for all incoming freshmen.”

    Many of the projects from the Frugal Innovation Lab will be on display for the School of Engineering Senior Design Conference May 9th.

  •  Baja Kayak Expedition

    ** Editor’s Note: The following is a student perspective by Aven Satre-Meloy ’13 about his experience with the SCU Baja Program as part of study abroad.

    I never thought I would spend spring break in college diving with sea lions in the Sea of Cortez or circumnavigating an island by kayak with 18 classmates and two professors. The SCU Baja Program takes students on a 10-day sea kayaking expedition to explore and write about the natural history of Isla Espirítu Santo in Baja California Sur. I was a student first and then a peer educator for the program, and these two trips may be the most memorable experiences of my entire college career.

    The SCU Baja Program, or “Baja” as it is better known by students, is run through the Environmental Studies and Sciences (ESS) Department. The program includes two courses taken simultaneously during the Winter Quarter followed by ten days of camping, kayaking, snorkeling, and hiking on and around a small archipelago off the coast of La Paz in Baja California Sur.

    Students enroll in BIOL 144, Natural History of Baja, and ENVS 142, Writing Natural History. Coursework consists of studying and presenting a report about individual species that become each student’s “amigos” during the expedition. Throughout the quarter students also practice close observation of nature coupled with weekly journal entries that develop a literary voice and engage in self-reflection. During the trip, students tackle daily writing prompts ranging from specific descriptions of a species’ behavior to a natural history of the species’ body.

    My first time through the program, I learned so much about the ecology and natural history of Baja California Sur prior to the trip south, but lectures and PowerPoint presentations could not prepare me or any of my classmates for the true beauty of this place. We kayaked through pods of dolphins and next to sea turtles, we hiked up to osprey nests hanging deftly onto cliff walls, and we snorkeled with King Angelfish in crystal blue water. I remember waking up one morning at dawn on the edge of the beach, hearing ecstatic calls from our group in response to a 40-foot humpback whale that had just breached a mile or so off the coast. On the last day of the trip, a pilot whale accompanied us in the late afternoon sun as we kayaked toward a two-mile long beach at the southern end of the island where we would make camp.

    For a student of natural history who spends 10 weeks learning how to distinguish the color, shape, texture, smell, and (sometimes) taste of natural geography and wildlife, the trip often leads to a sensory awakening, which is chronicled in small, leather Moleskine journals that are coated in sand and damp at the page edges. I felt this awakening most profoundly when I would sit on the beach at sunset and watch the sun plunge into the ocean, sending forth an explosion of reds, blues, and oranges across the sprawling sky. After my first time on the trip, I knew I had to go back—to return to that serene classroom on the island.

    As a peer educator, my role differed slightly in that I was there to help students engage with their “amigos” on the island and also to make sure the logistical aspects of the trip went smoothly. It was during this second trip, though, that I became attuned to a more subtle delight of Baja. I think my attention was focused more on the learning and writing on my first trip, but as a peer educator, I was able to see a close-knit community take shape as we all kayaked long days, helped each other cook, set up tents, and shared amazing views together. This, I think, is the real value of Baja. Not only does it provide students with an educational experience they will surely remember for the rest of their lives, it also allows them to connect with each other and the natural world in a deep, meaningful way.

    In the Environmental Studies and Sciences department, we learn about the relationship between the human and natural world. We confront difficult challenges about how these two worlds are often at odds and we try to think of creative approaches to this problem. In my mind, Baja is the perfect approach. At the very least, students return from the trip with a powerful appreciation for the natural world, and they experience a connection with that world that is hard to find in a classroom or on campus. I felt that connection, and I returned to Baja because of it. I hope to go back again soon, and I am excited that even more students will be able to expand their sense of community to include this strikingly beautiful place.

  •  Nature on Display

    The de Saisset offers a trio of interesting exhibits by northern California artists

    Visitors to the de Saisset Museum this spring can see early experiments in color photography, a wall of portraits that look as real as photographs, and studies of nature.The following exhibits are on display now through June 30:

    Seeking Answers: Photographs by Wynn Bullock

    Wynn Bullock was a Carmel-based photographer who worked around the same time as Ansel Adams and other prominent California photographers. He is known today primarily for his landscape photos, but this exhibition will explore another facet of his work: his love of experimentation.

    The exhibition of about 50 black-and-white photos and half a dozen “color light abstractions” will show Bullock’s very early experimentations with color and light. “He was working with color just as it was coming into vogue and they were developing the processes to be able to produce color imagery,” said Lindsey Kouvaris, curator of exhibits and collections at the de Saisset Museum. “He was always wanting to push the boundaries and thinking about new ways of working.”

    Some of the works come from the museum’s permanent collection, and others are on loan from Bullock’s family. “It is the first time anyone has really looked at this element of abstraction in his work,” Kouvaris said.

    On Thursday, May 15 at 7 p.m. Kouvaris and Barbara Bullock-Wilson, daughter of the artist, will come together to share the stories behind the images. The program is free and open to the public.

    *Wynn Bullock, Cactus, 1958, gelatin silver print, Courtesy of the Bullock-Wilson Trust © Bullock Family Photography, LLA. All rights reserved.

    Face: Portraits by Valentin Popov

    Oakland-based artist Valentin Popov picks up on an idea that originated with Andy Warhol to cover a galley with portraits of exactly the same size. Popov is about halfway to his goal of 100 portraits of people who have “really meant something in his life,” Kouvaris said. The subjects include figures in the local art community, the artist’s friends, and his neighbors.

    “There’s a huge variety in the way he’s experimenting with color and style,” Kouvaris said. “You almost feel like they’re jumping off the canvas, they’re so alive.

    *Valentin Popov, Robert Flynn Johnson, 2011, oil on canvas, Private Collection, San Francisco.

    Henrietta Shore: Understanding Nature

    Henrietta Shore was a contemporary of Georgia O’Keefe who was born in Canada and eventually settled near Carmel.

    “She was really interested in nature, wanting to understand nature’s forms,” Kouvaris said. Her work fell into obscurity after her death but was resurrected in the mid 1980s. The works on exhibit are drawn from the museum’s permanent collection.

  •  Honoring Ethics

    The Markkula Center for applied ethics celebrates a quarter-century of digging deeper

    The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics is celebrating 25 years of helping people in Silicon Valley and beyond make ethical decisions. The Center’s earliest programs focused on aiding faculty in all SCU departments integrate ethical issues into their teaching. By the end of that program, more than 80 courses, in addition to those in philosophy, included explicit discussions of ethics. Today, the Center continues to provide consultation on ethics pedagogy.

    The Center has grown beyond the core SCU community and now offers six focus areas (Bioethics, Business Ethics, Campus Ethics, Character Education, Government Ethics, and Internet Ethics) and helps facilitate discussion in many more.

    The public is invited to an open house celebrating the Center's first 25 May 9, 4 to 6 p.m., in the Arts and Sciences Building on the Santa Clara University campus. Please RSVP here.

  •  New Law Leader

    The former dean of the University of Dayton law school and an expert on mediation, dispute resolution, and reform of law-school education has been chosen to be the next dean of Santa Clara University School of Law.

    Lisa Kloppenberg will be appointed to a five-year term starting July 1, 2013.

    “It is with great enthusiasm that we welcome Lisa Kloppenberg to Santa Clara University, and look forward to working with her to build upon the proven strengths of our law school,” said Michael Engh, S.J., president of Santa Clara University. “Her understanding of current-day challenges to legal education, and her commitment to Jesuit Catholic ideals of educating the ‘whole person’ make her a wonderful fit for SCU.”

    For 10 years, Kloppenberg served as dean of the law school at the University of Dayton, the largest private university in Ohio and one of the 10 largest Catholic universities in the country. As the first female law dean in Ohio, she helped oversee the law school’s evolution to a higher-profile, better-endowed program with a nationally recognized two-year accelerated degree option and a focus on professional preparation.

    During her tenure, UD Law enhanced the diversity of its student body and faculty, improved faculty productivity, increased endowed scholarships by 34 percent, strengthened its program in law and technology, and added an LL.M. degree and a master’s degree for non-lawyers. She also oversaw the school’s renewed emphasis on its Catholic identity through enhanced community service and pro bono legal hours, as well as a “Lawyer as Problem Solver” program, which attracted recognition from the Carnegie Foundation.

    “Lisa Kloppenberg brings a wealth of experience and has a deep affinity to the distinctive values of our law school,” said Santa Clara University Provost Dennis Jacobs. “Having practiced law herself, she forges innovative approaches to legal education, champions the invaluable experience students gain in legal clinics and externships, and promotes rigorous academic scholarship to advance the legal profession.”

    Kloppenberg takes over from SCU’s current dean, Donald Polden, who is stepping down after his second successful five-year term ends this year. Polden will be a visiting legal scholar at the Center for Creative Leadership for a year before returning full-time to the classroom at Santa Clara University.

    At UD, Kloppenberg was known as a champion of curricular reform, implementing an accelerated five-semester law degree, the first in the nation, in 2005. She joined colleagues to successfully pursue co-curricular projects between the engineering, business, arts and sciences, and law schools, including hiring UD’s first jointly appointed faculty member in arts and sciences and law. She also helped develop conflict resolution trainings on campus.

    Programs implemented or strengthened while she was dean have won national acclaim: the legal writing program was ranked in the top 20 by U.S. News & World Report, and a curriculum that included a track in appropriate dispute resolution won an award for excellence from the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution. In 2007, UD Law was among only a handful of schools invited to examine how U.S. law schools prepare students for the profession, and make recommendations for reform to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

    “I am incredibly excited about the opportunities at Santa Clara University School of Law,” said Kloppenberg. “I am impressed by the University’s Jesuit and justice-centered values; its deep connections with Silicon Valley and the world; and the amazing faculty, staff, alumni, and students I am honored to be joining.”

    Kloppenberg has published extensively in her field of dispute resolution, including authoring or co-authoring two books and dozens of articles and essays. Prior to assuming the deanship at Dayton in 2001, Kloppenberg had taught in the law school at the University of Oregon (1992–2001), practiced law at Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hays and Handler in Washington, D.C., (1988–92), and clerked for the Honorable Dorothy Wright Nelson, a federal appellate judge (1987–88).

    Kloppenberg has chaired or served on numerous national committees—many focused on legal curricular or professional-standards reform—of the American Bar Association, the Association of American Law Schools, and the Law School Admissions Council. She is a judge for the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution Annual Award.
    She received her J.D. from the University of Southern California Law Center (now USC Gould School of Law) and her bachelor’s degree in English and journalism from USC, with an undergraduate honors diploma from the University of Kent (Canterbury, England).

    A native of southern California, Kloppenberg will move to the Bay Area with her husband Mark Zunich, a native of the East Bay who practices law. They have three children, Nick, Tim, and Kellen. She looks forward to pursuing her love of the outdoors and being closer to family and friends in California.

  •  Ready for Radiant House

    The fences are up, the steel is on its way, and the bamboo construction beams are taking shape—the 2013 SCU Solar Decathlon team is ready to break ground on the Radiant House. The students will build the solar powered home on campus before hauling the house to Irvine in October for the first Solar Decathlon held in California. The biennial competition attracts teams from some of the top engineering schools in the world, including Stanford University and the California Institute of Technology.

    “This is a really exciting time in the competition,” says Beth Avon, who is in charge of interiors for the team. “We’ve spent more than a year getting this project down on paper and now we’ll spend the next several months making it a reality.”

    The students are working in more than a dozen sub-teams, ranging from plumbing to architecture to furniture. This is one of the first homes in the country to use bamboo as part of the infrastructure and not just for its aesthetic value, according to Project Manager Jake Gallau, ’13. As a grass, bamboo is more sustainable than conventional materials because it grows faster than trees.

    “We want this house to do more than win the competition,” says civil engineering major Meyling Leon ’13. “We want to make a real impact on the world by thinking outside the box. By using bamboo, we’re sending the message that the future of construction will think about sustainability when choosing materials.”

    The team has two ethicists dedicated to ensuring the team considers its impact on the environment. The students weigh the environmental records of their donors, evaluate products for use in the home, and visit elementary schools to teach a new generation about alternative energy.

    “We’re really helping keep the team accountable to the impact this house will have on the environment,” says team ethicist Allie Sibole. “We’re not only exceeding the expectations needed to win this competition; we’re setting new standards.”

    Another point of innovation is the control systems of the house. The team is hoping to adapt control of lighting and room temperature in an app the public can use in their own homes. The average homeowner would need to invest in some of the products the team is using, but it’s one  way the team is making their hard work accessible, and is considering the impact of Radiant House beyond the parameters of the competition. They will release more details on the app in the months ahead.

    Check out a video of some of the students & Faculty Advisor James Reites, S.J. completing forklift training here.

    The SCU community is invited to the Solar Decathlon Groundbreaking on Thursday, April 25, 2013 from noon to 2 p.m. The ceremony will be held at the Radiant House construction site between Market St. and Sobrato Hall. Lunch is provided.



  •  World Pieces

    Santa Clara University music professor and acclaimed pianist Teresa McCollough is working on a project that will take listeners on an emotional and political trek across the world. 

    The musical journey started in 2007 with a gift from Emmy-award-winning composer Steve Heitzeg. He wanted to thank McCollough for bringing his composition “Sandhill Crane (Migration Variations)” to international acclaim 20 years ago, so he created a one-of-a-kind, social-justice-driven composition specifically for McCollough to perform. 

    This composition, “World Piece,” is a representation of each of the 192 countries in the United Nations. The songs make a political or environmental statement for each country, which McCollough improvises in performance, guided by Heitzeg’s artistically drawn scores.

    Over the course of three years McCollough worked with a sound engineer to improvise each piece, starting with the scores that have actual chords and notes and progressing to the ones that are more visual, such as Togo—represented as a drawing of a yellow butterfly. With some scores, Greece for example, Heitzeg gave McCollough music notes to play as well as specific directions to play the notes three times and “think of turquoise seas and lemon trees.”

    The abstract nature of many of the scores challenged McCollough because she admits to not being a strong improviser at the time she was given the project. She looked to

    travel guides for inspiration. Often political issues would affect how she played a piece. At the time McCollough recorded Sierra Leone there were reports about diamond trade and child soldiers. McCollough used a ratchet to make harsh, violent sounds to represent these atrocities.

    “As an improviser you have to be open to everything, you can’t think there’s a right thing or a wrong thing,” said McCollough. “I could try to do something similar now, but that’s the cool thing about improv, I could never do the same thing twice.”

    Each country’s score is no longer than a minute and is presented on the World Piece Music Channel on YouTube. This channel was launched on United Nations Day in October 2010.

    “YouTube is great because you can reach so many more people who can come and go,” said McCollough.

    The scores and drawings evoke the spirit of each country as seen through the eyes of Heitzeg, who makes social or environmental statements within each piece. McCollough explains that this is what makes “World Piece” unable to lend itself to concert performance; Listening to 192 social statements would be overwhelming to an audience. McCollough has only played the pieces in concert as brief interludes between other parts of the compositions and with the scores projected on a screen behind her.

    SCU played an important role in producing “World Piece,” helping fund McCollough’s recording sessions and proving to be very supportive of new music.

    “The social justice platform of this University gives [‘World Piece’] a life of it’s own,” said McCollough. “It really connects well with the mission of the University.”

    Despite the project being three years old, it continues to evolve and lead to new artistic ventures. McCollough’s dream is to put Heitzeg’s scores in a gallery space like the de Saisset and have people listen to the installation using their smart phones while walking between countries. There is also talk about having the project displayed in the U.N. lobby.

    Heitzeg and McCollough have communicated for years and, despite only meeting in-person once, continue to sustain a collaborative artistic relationship. This year Heitzeg sent McCollough another set of solo piano compositions. These 13 scores will honor individuals who have worked for peace, human rights, and nonviolence, and will premiere sometime in the next year.

    Heitzeg lives in Minnesota with his wife and daughter. He is a strong advocate for the “peaceful existence of all species through music.” He has written more than 100 eco-scores that honor nature and promote peace.  have developed a strong artistic relationship.

    “It has been an absolute pleasure and a gift in my life to have,” said McCollough.


  •  Sprinksgiving

    One SCU student takes off on an immersion trip to El Salvador; another heads to the gym to practice for a championship volleyball tournament; a third student travels to Rome for a semester of study. The activities may be unrelated, but each of the students has something in common: a benefactor whose financial assistance makes it possible to participate in enriching, sometimes life-changing, college experiences.

    Katherine Nicholson ’10, assistant director of student and young alumni giving in SCU’s Development Office, said 83 percent of SCU students receive some form of financial aid during their four years at the University. And considering the many extracurricular activities supported by donations, such as immersion trips, club sports, and study abroad programs, “there are even more students touched each year by support from alumni and friends of the University.

    Up until now, she noted, there hasn’t been a way to say thank you. But that will change on Wednesday, April 24, with the launch of “Sprinksgiving,” a day of gratitude planned by the Development Office and the SCU Philanthropy Committee.

    “We have a whole family of Santa Clara University Broncos who support our students in lots of different ways,” explained Nicholson. “We wanted to create a two-fold event that raises awareness about available support, while giving students a chance to show their appreciation.”

    Sprinksgiving, which relates to Thanksgiving in spring, takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in front of the main library. Here, students may write a note and sign a giant thank-you card that will be shared with donors via email and social media. To help set the holiday mood, free turkey sandwiches will be provided.

    Last year, more than 20 percent of SCU alumni donated to the Santa Clara Fund, which funnels all contributions to current undergraduates. Small gifts alone—of $100 or less—added up to nearly $800,000. The fund supports scholarships, academic programs, international study and immersion programs, and student initiatives.

    “We’re interested in educating the student body about the impact that the larger Santa Clara family has on their education and time on campus,” said Nicholson. “Donors support not only academics through scholarships, but they help to make a student’s time on campus well-rounded and great.”

  •  Distinguished Commencement Speakers

    Santa Clara University announced the speakers for the 2013 graduate and undergraduate commencement ceremonies, June 14 and 15.

    Undergraduate Commencement

    Leon Panetta, the former U.S. Secretary of Defense and a 1960 magna cum laude political science major and 1963 graduate of Santa Clara University’s School of Law, will address the University’s graduating seniors and their family and friends, June 15 at 8:30 a.m. at Buck Shaw Stadium. His wife Sylvia Panetta, co-director of the Panetta Institute for Public Policy in Monterey, Calif., will receive an honorary degree as well.

    “Sylvia and I are honored to be recognized by Santa Clara University. Santa Clara has a special place in our hearts. It’s where we first met; it is where I learned many of the core values that have guided me from the earliest days of my career,” said Panetta. Read more here.

    Graduate Commencement

    An award-winning engineering educator and the first woman president of the University of the Pacific will address Santa Clara University’s graduate students at their 2013 commencement ceremony on Friday, June 14.

    The commencement will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the University’s Leavey Events Center.

    Pamela A. Eibeck has been president of University of the Pacific for four years, overseeing its expansion beyond its Stockton, Calif. campus to campuses in Sacramento and San Francisco.

    In attendance at the commencement will be about 600 students receiving advanced degrees from the College of Arts and Sciences’ Pastoral Ministries program, the School of Engineering, the Leavey School of Business, and the School of Education and Counseling Psychology. Read more here.

    Honorary Degrees

    At the undergraduate ceremony, honorary degrees will be awarded to Leon and Sylvia Panetta; Robert Mathewson, S.J.; James Houghton '81; and Steven '60 and Patricia Schott. At the graduate ceremony, Pamela A. Eibeck will receive an honorary degree.


  •  Fashion Sense and Sensibility

    At Santa Clara University, sustainability is always in style. For some visual proof of that, take a look at what’s coming down the runway at the third annual Eco-Fashion Show on Thursday, April 25.

    Hosted by the University’s Office of Sustainability in partnership with the de Saisset Museum, the show features original designs by students and alumni who use only recycled materials for their creations. Highlights of past shows have included clothing made of newspapers, pop tops from aluminum cans, plastic bags and even old VCR film.

    “This year, the focus will be on really making it wearable,” explained Lindsey Cromwell Kalkbrenner, director of the Office of Sustainability. “Students can use elements of ‘trash’ in interesting ways, but we’d like to see designs that re-purpose fabrics for everyday wear.”

    Fashion show participants should not spend any money on their handiwork, she said. “The idea is to demonstrate how to extend the life of clothing by creating outfits from previously used material.” For example, a student designer could take an old piece of clothing and give it an attractive, stylish update. Or, a designer could stitch up something new using fabric scraps from the SCU costume shop at no cost.

    “The costume shop is an amazing resource for us,” noted Michelle Tang, a senior Environmental Science major who launched the fashion show while serving as the SCU Green Club president in her sophomore year. For that first show, Tang enlisted the help of Joanne Martin, lecturer and costume shop supervisor with the Department of Theatre and Dance, who held a one-hour workshop to teach fashion show participants basic sewing and design skills.

    The workshops have continued each year, and Tang has plans to build on the idea. “We will be having an extended designer workshop series, where we will be covering more topics over a three-week period so that our designers are truly learning more about sewing,” she explained. The longer sessions will help them “develop skills that they can take with them after they are done with the show.”

    For the first time, the Eco-Fashion Show will be held at the de Saisset in conjunction with the museum’s College Night. And, this year, planners hope the audience will take away useful pieces of information about how clothes are made and the impacts of the fashion industry on sustainability.

    “We’ll be delivering those messages in different ways during the evening,” said Cromwell Kalkbrenner. “For instance, after the show the models will mingle with guests and explain their designs; it’s a great way to interact with and reach different segments of the campus population.”

    The tone, she stressed, will be in keeping with the fun and entertaining aspects of the event. “We simply want to help people understand that it’s OK to go shopping and buy new clothes, but you don’t have to get sucked into a cycle of consumerism. You can shop for locally made clothing that’s created to last; if you buy things you’re in love with, you can wear them for a long time.”

    Swap for Good
    Along with the fashion show, another April event also promotes the idea of giving new life to old clothes. Swap for Good is a nationwide clothing collection and exchange project that benefits community organizations and provides a fun shopping experience for the SCU community. The Office of Sustainability and Santa Clara Community Action Program are sponsoring the local event.

    During the week of April 15, anyone with unwanted, usable clothing (and other items, such as shoes, children’s books, and toys) can drop donations in bins around campus and in RLC lobbies. “It’s a good opportunity for kids to get a jump on cleaning their closets before they move out in June,” said Cromwell Kalkbrenner. “Also, last year, SCU coaches cleared out their storage lockers and lots of local schools benefited from some nice sports equipment.”

    The items with high community value—like sports equipment, children’s clothing, prom dresses, and socks for the homeless—are sent directly to agencies supporting those in need. Everything else is sorted and put on display in the Swap for Good “store,” located in the Benson Parlors. On Monday, April 22, and Tuesday, April 23, students, staff, faculty, and community members are invited to shop for “new to you” treasures.

    Shopping hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday and from 2 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday. Also featured at the Swap for Good event will be an Eco-Art Show with works using recycled materials and created by SCU students.

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