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.

  •  Law School Commencement

    California Chief Justice Inspires Law Graduates

    Use your values as your compass and safeguard the well-being of others, Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye of the Supreme Court of California urged the 223 graduating students from Santa Clara University School of Law.

    The law school’s commencement took place at 9:30 a.m. May 16 in the University’s Mission Gardens.

    Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye is the 28th chief justice of the State of California, which means she is the leader of the judicial branch of government for the state. Her responsibilities include serving as Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, chair of the Judicial Council, and chair of the Commission on Judicial Appointments.

    She is the first Filipina American and the second woman to serve in this role. At the time of her nomination in July 2010, she had served more than 20 years on California trial and appellate courts, including six years on the Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, in Sacramento.

    During her commencement address,she noted that the graduates are “inheriting three centuries of unfinished challenges, which are morphing into modern-day, contemporary challenges.” Among them: 19th-century slavery, manifested today in human sex trafficking; 20th-century civil rights battles,  manifested today in various issues and a “rapidly deteriorating middle class”; and the 21st century problems of social justice, privacy and equal rights, including the fact that “women are still not receiving equal pay for equal work.”

    “You have approximately 50 privileged years to go hard and bend the arc of justice,” she said.

    She noted the dire need for legal aid for low-income people, including 90 percent of California litigants in housing and family law who are self-represented. Only 1,000 of the state’s 165,000 lawyers are dedicated to legal aid.

    She said her advice for the next 50 years would  be to “bring a compass, and that the north on that compass be the rule of law. And the other points on that compass be your values.”

    Cantil-Sakauye received an honorary Doctor of Law degree at the event. She was honored earlier in the year by Santa Clara University School of Law for her ongoing efforts in advocating for the human and civil rights of minorities throughout California, including overseeing a pilot Domestic Violence Home Court, and as a board member of My Sister’s House, a domestic violence safe house for Asian and Pacific Islander women and children.

    Born in Sacramento, Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Davis, graduating with honors after first attending Sacramento City College. She received her J.D. from UC Davis School of Law in 1984.

    During the ceremony Saturday, University President Michael Engh, S.J., also spoke to the graduates, saying “you are the voices of justice in an increasingly complex and inequitable world,” and urging them to "continue to bring justice to the innocent, to serve those who would otherwise have no legal counsel, and speak truth when it challenges the status quo.”

    Santa Clara Law’s 2015 graduating class comprised 47 percent women and 53 percent men.

    Fifty-three percent of the graduates identified as Caucasian, with 23 percent identifying as Asian; 12 percent Hispanic; 4 percent multi-ethnic, and 2 percent African-American.

    Eighty-one graduates received certificates in various areas of high-tech law; another 24 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 Sarah Mirza received the Inez Mabie Award for Outstanding Graduate based on academic performance, scholarly activities, leadership and service roles at the law school and in the community. Catherine Nguyen received the Dean's Outstanding Student Leadership Award for exemplifying the school’s motto of “lawyers who lead” and serving other students, the school, and the community. Kambrie L. Keith was named the Pro Bono Student of the Year, for the graduate who has volunteered the most hours during the 2014-15 school year.


  •  SCU EMS team volunteers for night shift

    As emergency responders, Santa Clara University students help their own

    Every night from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m., the first responders to medical emergencies at Santa Clara University are student volunteers. Santa Clara University Emergency Medical Services consists of 35 students who all have basic Emergency Medical Technician certification. “At least three of us are on duty every night,” said Kate Rosen, a junior who is the SCU EMS director for 2014-15. “There is always medical attention available on campus.”

    To become certified, students must have 150 hours of classroom training and pass both a written exam and a skills test. The EMTs can perform initial assessments, control bleeding or give oxygen, but they are not allowed to perform medical interventions such as starting IVs or giving medication.

    EMTs on duty carry radios, cell phones and pagers so Campus Safety Services can dispatch them. Calls range from students who have the flu, to those who have been injured playing intramural sports, to intoxicated students.

    “Our biggest job is determining the difference between ‘big sick’ and ‘little sick,’” Rosen said. “We assess the patient and determine whether they need immediate medical care or can wait until morning. Sometimes it’s also just talking with a person and providing them with a little bit of kindness and support.”

    The squad adds 10 to 15 students each year through its interview process and a certification class.

    “Our biggest values are kindness and integrity, so we’re looking for people who are excellent EMTs but who also value treating patients with kindness and compassion,” Rosen said.

    When they aren’t on a call, EMTs can do schoolwork or sleep in the group’s office at Cowell Center. Rosen, from Salem, Ore., took the EMT class her first year at Santa Clara and was chosen for the squad at the end of that year. She remembers being “completely terrified” on one of her first calls, helping a student who had gotten into a fight off campus and then returned covered in blood. She was in awe of the way the veteran EMTs took control. “If I went into that situation now, as a more experienced EMT, I would be able to do the same thing,” Rosen said.

    As director, Rosen oversees a student leadership team that includes training officers, a statistician and an operations officer. She also works with the heads of other student organizations and members of the University’s administration.

    “It’s given me so many skills that are invaluable for the rest of my life: being confident, being able to go into a situation and take control, dealing with a huge range of individuals when they’re at their worst,” Rosen said. “That has been really powerful and has given me a lot of insight into why I want to be in medicine and what kind of medical professional I want to be.”

    “Kate is very focused and has a great drive to accomplish the things that she needs to accomplish,” said Jillandra Rovaris, director of the Cowell Center. “She’s very organized and task-oriented, and I think in this position you need to be those things.”

    Rosen said the experience has confirmed her belief that she would like to go to medical school. She is a double major in biology and public health, with a minor in chemistry.

    The squad has a support team of administrators, including two San Jose fire captains who review calls. EMTs also can consult with the Cowell Center and counseling center staff.

  •  Senior Design Conference Winners

    45th Annual Senior Design Conference features capstone projects

    The School of Engineering held its 45th Annual Senior Design Conference May 14. Seniors presented their yearlong capstone projects to an audience of industry experts, faculty advisors, students, family, and friends of the School of Engineering.

    The day ended with a dinner at the Locatelli Center in celebration of all the hard work and dedication the students put into their projects and an appreciation for the advisors as well. Dean Godfrey Mungal announced the session winners of the Senior Design Conference toward the end of the dinner.

  •  Faculty, Staff Scrimmage With Women’s Soccer Team

    Annual soccer scrimmage game takes place Friday afternoon

    Three years ago, before what was supposed to be the first-ever match between faculty/staff and the nationally ranked SCU women’s soccer team, the faculty/staff side was understandably nervous. But Coach Jerry Smith had a surprise. The sides weren’t going against each other. Instead, each varsity player paired off with a faculty/staff partner for a few drills, then the groups put together an evenly matched game.

    So began an annual tradition. This year’s event takes place from noon to 1:30 p.m. Friday at Stanton Field. Players must wear shin guards, long socks, and cleats. Fortunately for the non-students in the game, they aren’t expected to keep pace with All-Americans who are in prime physical shape.

    “We all share a passion for the sport of soccer, being Broncos, and enjoy an opportunity to strengthen our relationships with different parts of our campus community,” Smith says.

    The game began with the efforts of School of Law faculty members Gary Neustadter and Patricia Rauch-Neustadter. Their daughter, Stephanie, had played for Smith in the early 2000s. They told Matt Smith, the campus ministry’s director of outreach and a participant in the Tuesday/Thursday lunchtime indoor games at the Malley Center, that Coach Smith was looking for “practice players.” The lunch bunch was excited if intimidated.

    “The first year we held it,” Matt Smith said, “I remember looking over at the women's soccer side, after supporting them for years, and saying to myself, although it may have been out loud, ‘All of my years at Santa Clara have culminated in this one moment. I'm so excited!’”

    Now that it has become a regular event, Rauch-Neustadter says, "I don't know if it's a high point for the women on the team, but it is for me and many others who come out to play."

  •  Grants, Awards, and Publications

    SCU faculty and staff receive recognition for their outstanding work

    Francisco Jimenez (Modern Languages and Literatures), who is retiring at the end of this term after a more than 50-year association with Santa Clara as a student and professor, wrote the book Taking Hold: From Migrant Childhood To Columbia University. It was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in April. The book is Jimenez’s sixth.

    Shannon Thomas ’13 and Professor Thomas Plante (Psychology) wrote the paper “Psychological well-being of Roman Catholic and Episcopal clergy applicants,” which was published in the May 2015 issue of Pastoral Psychology.

    Blake de Maria (Art and Art History) received the Gladys Kreible Delmas Prize Foundation Best Book Prize in Renaissance Venetian Studies. The award included an honorarium of $1,000. De Maria’s book Reflections on Renaissance Venice: A Celebration of Patricia Fortini Brown was published in 2013.

    Andrea Pappas (Art and Art History) has received a four-month residential research fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities to study at Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library in Delaware. Pappas will continue research for her book Embroidering The Landscape.

    Tobias Wofford (Art and Art History) has been awarded a one-year residential research fellowship at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., funded by the Terra Foundation. Wofford is researching a book titled Visualizing Diaspora: Africa In African-American Art.

  •  Transformative Gift

    $25 million donation from Jeff and Karen Miller advances social entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University

    Silicon Valley entrepreneur and venture capitalist Jeff Miller, together with his philanthropic partner and wife, Karen, have given Santa Clara University $25 million to fuel its center dedicated to applying innovation and entrepreneurship approaches to address the needs of the global poor.

    The transformative gift will enable the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship -- the new name of the former Center for Science, Technology, and Society -- to continue and expand upon its three main areas of focus: training and mentoring global social entrepreneurs; creating new ways to unlock funding for social entrepreneurs; and engaging faculty and student fellows who provide value-added research to social entrepreneurs worldwide.

    “We are very grateful for the tremendous generosity of the Millers," said Michael Engh, S.J., president of Santa Clara University. "For years they have given their time and resources to help us mentor and serve some of the world’s brightest social entrepreneurs tackling humanity’s most intractable problems. Their guidance and support for the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship are vital to Santa Clara’s commitment to serving the poor.”

    The $25 million gift is one of the largest ever to Santa Clara University. The donation will allow the Center to increase its capacity to support more entrepreneurs, as well as expand SCU's influence in social entrepreneurship and impact investing. This work will help lift millions of people out of poverty while creating opportunities for them to participate in the global marketplace.

    In addition to funding the Center, the gift will help launch fundraising for a state-of-the-art science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) facility. Entrepreneurship, and especially social entrepreneurship in which the primary goal is to create social impact through sustainable ventures, requires cross-disciplinary thinking. Solving the pressing problems of poverty requires analyzing entire ecosystems to understand why the problems exist, and how to make a sustainable impact; solutions rarely result from a siloed approach. Santa Clara University’s STEM complex will house the Miller Center and allow the Center to engage students in systems thinking and advancing innovations that can catalyze real change.

    “Karen and I have been blessed by opportunities and advantages. We’ve enjoyed being raised, educated, and employed in one of the most innovative and enriching places on earth,” said Jeff Miller, ’73 and MBA ’76, who is a University trustee. “At this pivotal time for both Santa Clara University and the Center, with a new strategic vision that includes a STEM complex with the Center at its core, this is the perfect way for us to give back.”

    The couple has long supported the Center. Jeff has been equally generous with his time as he and Karen have been with their financial resources: He has served for more than six years on the Center’s advisory board, which he has chaired since 2011. Jeff has been a mentor to social entrepreneurs participating in the `Global Social Benefit Institute since 2006 and a trustee of the University since 2012; from 2009 to 2010, he acted as a co-managing director for the Center.

    “We are tremendously fortunate to have the Millers as supporters, allies, and generous benefactors,” said Thane Kreiner, Ph.D., executive director of the Center. “They share our mission and embody the Center’s unique combination of Silicon Valley entrepreneurial DNA and the Jesuit tradition of serving the poor. We look forward to many years of collaboration and success in our quest to eradicate poverty and mitigate climate change.”

  •  Madeleine Albright Visit

    Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright visited SCU speaking with students, faculty, and staff

    Drawing on her experiences as secretary of state during the Clinton years, Madeleine Albright offered her thoughts on some of the most controversial topics of our time at the latest President’s Speaker Series event.

    In front of a sold-out crowd Tuesday night at the Louis B. Mayer Theatre, Albright spoke about America’s role amidst rapid globalization and how domestic politics affect foreign policy. 

    Known for her love of pins, Albright received a Bronco pin from SCU President Michael Engh, S.J., and wore it the rest of the evening. She had initially worn a pin of a horse, saying it was the closest thing she had to a bronco.

    Earlier in the day, Albright spoke to a large group of students in Benson Center about her work as secretary of state, and she took the time to thoughtfully answer many questions from the audience.

    During the eight years of the Clinton administration, Albright was a high-level participant in some of the most dramatic events in our generation – from NATO's intervention in the Balkans to America's troubled relations with Iran and Iraq.

  •  Four Broncos Among Fulbright Winners

    Two students, two alumni land prestigious scholarship

    Two Santa Clara University seniors and two alumni have been awarded Fulbright Scholarships to study or teach abroad during the 2015-2016 academic year.

    The SCU student winners are:

    Senior Keyra Galvan, an economics and international business major and LEAD Scholar, who will travel to Mexico City, Mexico, to combine business coursework with an internship at a Mexico-based company.  Galvan, a 21-year-old native of San Jose, Calif., says she discovered during her study-abroad in Spain that “cultural awareness” was something she loved and valued. On campus, she has been active in the Multicultural Center and Alpha Kappa Psi, the professional business fraternity.
    Senior Ty Van Herweg, an economics and theatre double major and English minor from Woodinville, Wash,  who will go to villages in Uganda for a project to help entrepreneurs get their products to rural customers, known as “last mile distribution.”  The project will utilize a phone app, with the aim of increasing incomes of rural entrepreneurs and motorcyclists who deliver products.  While on campus, he has been active in theatre productions on campus and Santa Clara Community Action Program, as well as tutoring for the economics department.  Van Herweg, 22, credits his experience as a Global Social Benefit Fellow through SCU’s Center for Science, Technology, and Society, with helping him win the Fulbright to Uganda, where he traveled for a summer as a Fellow to help social entrepreneurship business Banapads.
    The SCU alumni who won Fulbrights are:
    Jenny Kromm ’13, a history major and music minor, who will be in Vienna, Austria, to study censorship campaigns in WWI and their impact on the arts. Kromm, a 24-year-old whose hometown is Santa Clara, studied in Vienna through an SCU Research Travel Award in 2011 and received many scholarships and opportunities to study German music and language while at SCU. Her Fulbright topic was influenced by the history class War and Democracy: WWI in the UK, which she said “changed my life”; and by her senior thesis, which focused on the collapse of the Austrian monarchy before and during WWI and rising nationalism of former Austro-Hungarian territories.

    Jeff Moran ‘04, a double major in theatre arts and English, who will be an English teaching assistant in Colombia.  While an SCU student, Moran, from Stockton, Calif., performed in nine mainstage productions and was an actor, director or playwright in dozens of student-created pieces. While getting his master’s in teaching English as a second language, the 32-year-old became interested in “the connection between language and culture,” which he hopes to explore during his year as a Fulbright scholar in Colombia. He also plans to work in a service project to help build sustainable social change.
    Two Broncos also were chosen as alternates, meaning they will be able to pursue their scholarships if others cannot accept:

    Joseph Alexander-Short ‘14, majoring in religious studies with minors in international studies, communications and political science, for a project in El Salvador on unaccompanied minors.
    Yasmeen Wanees, a senior political science major and anthropology and Arabic & Mid Eastern studies minor as well as an honors program and LEAD Scholar, for a project in Morocco on the effects of the Argan oil industry on Moroccan women’s livelihoods.
    “We are extremely proud of these Fulbright winners, who have worked hard for this honor and have put us on track to be a ‘Fulbright Top Producer’ university for the third year in a row,” said Leilani Miller, director of the Office of Student Fellowships. “We are also proud of our Fulbright alternates, who have shown the same level of excellence in their college and post-college careers.”

  •  President’s Dinner Report

    Annual ceremony honors four Alumni Award recipients and contributions by the President’s Club

    Santa Clara’s annual President’s Dinner honored four Alumni Award recipients in addition to recognizing the contributions all members of SCU’s President’s Club have made to the University over the past year.

    This year’s honorees were Frank Boitano ’69, MBA ’74, Karrie Grasser ’70, Tim Jeffries ’85, and Bart Lally ’58 M.D. During the ceremony April 25 in the Mission Gardens, the four Broncos received accolades for their service and dedication to the Bronco community. In addition to videos highlighting the lives of the award winners, the night also featured SCU’s star men’s basketball player, sophomore Jared Brownridge, and Rhodes Scholar Aven Satre-Meloy ’13.

    Brownridge spoke about how the unique opportunities available at Santa Clara made it the right school for him.

    Satre-Meloy described how Santa Clara University played a major role in his post-graduation success.

    To watch videos about the lives of this and past year’s award recipients, visit the Alumni Association here:

    Head over to flickr for a gallery of photos from the evening:


  •  Engineering’s Capstone Event

    Senior Design Conference displays seniors’ work May 14

    Partly a culmination of the SCU experience and partly a launching pad into Silicon Valley, the Senior Design Conference showcases ambitious and imaginative work from graduating students in the School of Engineering.

    The 45th annual conference takes place May 14 in Bannan and Sullivan Engineering Buildings, as well as at Benson Center and the Learning Commons. Presentations to judges take place from 2:15 to 5 p.m. Demonstrations to the public begin at 5 p.m. on the Engineering Quad. Both are open to the public.

    The capstone features teams covering all engineering disciplines (bioengineering, civil, mechanical, computer, electrical) as well as an interdisciplinary category. The projects reflect technical knowledge as well as SCU’s commitment to social justice and sustainability.

    For a complete program, visit

  •  5th Annual Swap for Good

    Donate, find something for yourself, help clothe the needy

    It’s that time of year again at the 5th Annual Swap for Good exchange. Donate used clothes, games/toys, and sports equipment (in good condition) and find new-to-you clothes at no cost!

    The event runs May 10-11 from a pop-up store in Benson Center. The hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday.

    Donations can be dropped off this week at the labeled white bins, located in every residence hall as well as Kennedy Commons and to the second floor of the Locatelli Student Activities Center, office of the Santa Clara Community Action Program. Drop your items in the bins and sign your name and the number of items donated. Student volunteers will pick up donations from all of the RLCs on campus on May 8 and will sort and organize the donations in the Swap for Good “store,” separating them into men’s, women’s, children’s, and other miscellaneous categories.

    Participants can bring last-minute items directly to the swap as well.

    All remaining clothes will be donated to Homesafe Santa Clara/San Jose and Hope Services. Last year more than 5,000 pounds of clothes went toward donations, , and the Center for Sustainability hopes this year’s effort surpasses that total.

    Swap for Good will be open and staffed by volunteers from SCCAP, the Retail Studies Student Association, and the Center for Sustainability. There will be music and information about the organizations and the causes supported by Swap For Good

    For more info, please visit


  •  SCU Water Conservation

    Center for Sustainability leads efforts in reducing use on campus

    Santa Clara University, already a leader in water conservation and sustainability, is boosting its efforts in a big way. SCU’s Center for Sustainability has outlined new initiatives on campus to meet California Gov. Jerry Brown’s mandate to reduce the use of potable water by 25 percent.

    The most noticeable change is that fountains have been turned off at the Sobrato Residence Hall, Daly Science Center, and University Villas. On May 1, the fountain at the Benson Center will be turned off as well. Other fountains will be converted to recycled water.

    “Water is the common element responsible for our existence,” said Chris Shay, SCU’s assistant vice president for operation. “I cannot imagine a more important effort than the preservation of this critical resource.”

    For a complete look at the numbers behind the drought and the impact on campus and around the state, visit

    The administration’s steps are only the beginning of a campus-wide effort. The goal is to reduce water use by 5 gallons per person per day, a 25 percent reduction from 2013 levels. How can you help?

    • Report leaks or wasted water (running toilets or dripping faucets, for example) to Facilities at 408-554-4742 or If you live on campus, submit a work request through eCampus.
    • Reduce shower time to five minutes or less. The Center for Sustainability and the Associated Student Government are teaming up on the “60 Seconds Less” campaign to encourage students to use less water. The Earth Day celebration Wednesday on campus included a demonstration of a Navy shower — briefly get wet, turn the water off and lather up, turn it back on to rinse. Try it!
    • Email the Center for Sustainability ( with any ideas to help the effort.
    • Share your strategies and experiences on social media. #BroncosSaveWater #SustainableSCU #CAdrought
    • Calculate your Water Footprint with National Geographic's informative online tool.
    • Get tips for your own home at Save Our Water or from the Santa Clara Valley Water District’s Conservation at Home page.

  •  Tiny House, Big Dreams

    School of Engineering embarks on two-year building competition

    Santa Clara University’s School of Engineering will take part with more than a dozen other California schools in the Tiny House Competition, a challenge from the Sacramento Municipal Utility District to design and build net-zero solar houses. The contest takes place in October 2016.

    “Although engineering is the home of the project and submitted the proposal, I consider it a university project,” said Timothy Hight, associate professor of mechanical engineering and the project’s faculty manager. “There are several types of engineers involved, as well as other majors. All are welcome.”

    The Tiny House project is modeled after the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon. The Solar Decathlon is a biennial competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy in which college students compete to design, construct, and operate the most energy-efficient and attractive solar-powered home. SCU participated in the competition in 2007, 2009, and 2013, taking third place in its first two competitions.

    SCU’s participation in the Tiny House Project is one example of the university’s role in innovating solutions to energy challenges.

    So how tiny does the house need to be? The rules state that the home must be built on a trailer bed and should be 8 feet wide and not more than 30 feet long. It must be between 100 and 400 square feet, with a minimum ceiling height of 75 inches.

    The project must also have a defined use. Among the ideas students are considering is to design a home for millennials who can’t afford traditional Bay Area housing.

    The two-year project started in the fall of 2014. Students will use solar panels to design and build the energy-efficient houses, with stipends from SMUD to get the project started. The next deadline the team needs to meet is to post a two-minute video on YouTube by May 15 introducing the team and the overall cohesive theme of the home.

    During the week of competition, students will exhibit their houses to the public, judges, and the media. The teams will be judged on four categories each counting for 200 points: Architectural Design, Energy Efficiency, Home Life, and Communication. On the last day, teams will be awarded trophies and monetary prizes.

  •  Spring Break in Ghana

    Student Theresa McArdle writes about her alternative spring break

    College spring breaks are known for sunny beaches and tropical drinks. This spring break, two of my Santa Clara University classmates and I shared a different experience when we traveled to Ghana for two weeks to work with the small community of Gambibgo. This experience taught me things I never could have understood in the classroom, and I gained a new understanding of our University’s goals of producing leaders who exhibit competence, conscience, and compassion.

    Our main goal was to complete our civil engineering Senior Design project, which focused on the redesign and reconstruction of a roof of a building in Gambibgo. Since 2008, under the direction of SCU civil engineering chair and professor Mark Aschheim, students have been working with the community to improve the sustainability of local construction materials and methods. This building was designed and constructed by SCU students more than five years ago, and while it lasted longer than the area’s traditionally built structures, the roof was in danger of collapse. Upon arrival, we found that the entire structure was in a state of disrepair and, in light of a long-standing interest in Nubian Vault building methods (a timberless technique used by the ancient Egyptians), we paired with the Nubian Vault Association (AVN) to build a new structure.

    AVN is a non-governmental organization that focuses on affordable, sustainable housing. Together, we oversaw the construction of an entirely new earthen building. This type of housing is essential in this community because many of the homes have thatched or tin roofs that are unable to withstand harsh winters, exposing people to a greater risk of illness or injury. Gambibgo is a subsistence farming community with some income coming from their traditional woven baskets. Their community lacks amenities such as electricity, running water, and proper sanitation. Knowledge of Gambibgo’s conditions motivated our team to help provide an affordable building method. We wanted to work with the community to produce something that they could replicate to create better living conditions.

    When we began our first day of work in the community, we were overwhelmed by the number of community members who showed up and were willing to help us build. The workers had such strong dedication; they expressed their passion for bettering their community and how they dream of advancing Gambibgo. As construction began, it became an obstacle to transport soil within the site without any vehicles or appropriate carts. SCU’s associate professor of religious studies and of engineering by courtesy, James Reites, S.J., who traveled with our student team, recalled that in years past the community had a donkey that had since gone missing. Through a generous donation from Ann and Larry Spieth, parents of SCU alumnus John Spieth ‘06, Father Reites purchased a new donkey for the community. The village elder, Mohammed, named the donkey Azomsolum, which means “we all together,” to symbolize the unity between SCU and Gambibgo. The donkey helped accelerate our construction schedule tremendously and will serve as a great resource in the village’s future farming endeavors.

    One of my favorite parts of being in Gambibgo was the community’s inclusiveness and sense of connectivity. Every day we ate the same food as the workers. We sat alongside the village elder and talked with him and others freely. Community members call each other “brother” and “sister” even if they are not biologically related. This highlights their love and interest in each other’s lives and shows how they all work together as a bigger family unit. When the children returned to Gambibgo from school at the end of the day, some of our favorite activities included reading with them and playing “Donkey, Donkey, Cow.” The boys and girls are raised by the community, highlighting the stake they have in each other’s lives.

    The optimism of the community members was refreshing, and this experience showed me the great excitement and accomplishments that can come from helping others. It is my hope that Gambibgo can continue to be improved by projects like ours, with the help of SCU and organizations like AVN.

  •  Grants, Awards, and Publications

    SCU faculty and staff receive recognition for their outstanding work

    The Northern California Innocence Project, David Onek (School of Law) received a $635,603 award from the Cal OES.  These funds will be used to review California post-conviction cases to identify those in which DNA testing could prove the actual innocence of a person convicted of a violent felony offense.   Grant funds will help defray costs associated with post-conviction DNA testing by providing means for the location and testing of biological evidence in these cases.

    Brett Solomon (Liberal Studies) has received a $1,797 subaward from the University of California, Los Angeles (funds originated from National Institutes of Health).  Brett will serve as the Santa Clara Site Director for the "Successful Pathways to High School Completion:  Opportunities and Risks" project. She will oversee wave 6 data collection.

  •  A View From The Top

    SCU Engineering Student Wins National Award For Photo Of Bay Bridge

    The story of how Jonathan Tadros took an award-winning photo of the eyebars on the upper chord of the old Bay Bridge shows how intertwined Tadros’ study of engineering is with his love of photography.

    Tadros is a senior civil engineering major at Santa Clara University. After graduation, he plans to work for his family’s engineering firm, California Engineering Contractors.

    His interest in photography dates to De La Salle High School in Concord, Calif., where he joined the yearbook staff and started taking photos. “I got myself a camera and realized that I really liked taking photos, and I kind of had a knack for it,” he said.

    When he got to Santa Clara, he applied to be on the staff of The Redwood, Santa Clara’s yearbook. He enjoyed seeing many aspects of the university experience – student life, sports, and academics — and “being able to showcase what goes on here at Santa Clara in an artistic way.” He is now editor-in-chief of The Redwood.

    Tadros sees a connection between his photography and civil engineering.

    “Photography has definitely helped me explore what is aesthetically pleasing,” Tadros said. “Many engineers are very focused on the technical aspect of what needs to be accomplished in the most efficient way. Many times aesthetics are overlooked.”

    It was an internship with CEC that brought him to the top of the Bay Bridge. CEC, which does heavy civil engineering work around the Bay Area, is in charge of the demolition of the cantilever span of the bridge from Yerba Buena Island to Oakland. As an intern in the summer of 2013, Tadros was inspecting eyebars on the upper chord of the bridge’s truss.

    “We had to inspect them for any deterioration or rust because we would be doing this highly intensive demolition process,” Tadros said. “You can’t drop anything in the Bay, so everything needed to be in shape to withstand a certain amount of compression in order to keep the bridge standing.”

    Tadros had taken his camera with him, both because the contractor needed to document the condition of the beams as part of the work and “because I knew I would find a good view and it was a pretty historic moment.”

    It was Labor Day, and the new Bay Bridge had just opened. Tadros started snapping pictures. He thought to himself, “This is probably the last time this is ever going to look like this, because they’re going to start taking it down.”

    He later learned through his membership in the campus chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers that the national organization was having a photo contest for its annual calendar, with “bridges” as the theme.

    “I’m always fascinated by skyscrapers and bridges,” Tadros said. He also enjoys the challenge of “creating something that is efficient, economical and sturdy, but doing it in a way that is aesthetically pleasing.”

    He sent in his photo, which won first place in the student category and is printed in the 2015 ASCE calendar.

    As he works toward graduation and a full-time job at CEC, Tadros is doing a senior project on green construction. He traveled to Mexico in January to work with an NGO called Grupedsac, which works with rural developing communities to teach them how to live sustainably. Tadros and his project partner, Greg O’Neill, are focused on using a long cane plant called arundo donax as a structural building material.

    “We take this material and then embed it inside a cob-earth mixture, using soil, clay, straw and some water. You mix it all together and pack it around the arundo, and that creates a structure that’s pretty stiff,” Tadros said.

    For his senior thesis, he is testing whether it is strong enough to use for construction, since it would be a good solution for countries where arundo grows abundantly. In Mexico, Tadros and his group made a wall using arundo and earth. Their goal is to design a storage structure and garage for the NGO so they can store equipment on site.

    “We went there as a learning experience to get a feel for what this material is like and how they’re currently using it, and to share with them our ideas on how we want to use it,” Tadros said.

  •  “Squaring the Circle”

    de Saisset Museum’s new exhibition toys with the impossible

    Bay Area sculptor Brian Wall toys with the impossible in a new exhibition titled Squaring the Circle at the de Saisset Museum. Showing from April 10 through June 14, Squaring the Circle features six large-scale sculptures installed inside the museum and three monumental works placed on the campus of Santa Clara University. In addition, the show includes 14 large-format Sumi ink drawings also created by Wall.

    “It’s about the process of trying to achieve something that is really impossible, like creating the perfect work of art,” said Lindsey Kouvaris, assistant director for exhibitions and programs at the de Saisset Museum. “But he’s also doing it in a literal way: He’s actually taking a circle and dividing it into parts and reassembling it into a sculpture, so that the composition of the sculpture changes but the basis of all the works in the series is a circle.”

    Guest curated by Dr. Peter Selz and Sue Kubly, Squaring the Circle focuses on Wall’s most recent work, a series by the same title. The pieces bring together stainless steel beams of varying lengths into a variety of upright or lateral compositions. In each sculpture the arcs are formed of squared tubes that, when taken together, create a circle. For the artist, the title of the series is purely descriptive, though its connection to the mathematical impossibility of constructing a square with the same area as a given circle is not lost on him.

    “Sculpture is meant to be seen from every angle,” Kouvaris said. “As you walk around a piece of Wall’s sculpture, it can look like a very different piece from different angles.”

    Squaring the Circle is accompanied by a book of the same title published by the de Saisset Museum in association with Hackett|Mill Gallery of San Francisco. Edited by Dr. Selz, the publication includes contributions by Paul J. Karlstrom, George Neubert, and Lindsey W. Kouvaris.

    A reception for the artist will be held at 6 p.m. today. A book signing and walk-through are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. June 10.

  •  Sprinksgiving Day

    Students give thanks by celebrating donors and their contributions

    April 15 marks the third annual "Sprinksgiving" event, a day designed to raise awareness about the impact of donations on campus and provide a meaningful connection between students and donors.  It’s Thanksgiving in Spring!

    SCU's Student Philanthropy Committee will host the celebration from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in front of the Learning Commons, Technology Center, and Library.  Students can sign a large thank-you card and feast on turkey sandwiches and mini pumpkin pies. Bucky the Bronco will make an appearance, and we’ll listen to the Pep Band perform!  Last year, more than 2,000 students helped to create a lasting gift for our donors.

    Sprinksgiving is about giving thanks for donations from alumni and friends who provide critical support for the SCU student experience, from scholarships and immersion trips to new buildings and operating budgets.

    For additional information, including Sprinksgiving marketing downloads, please contact Katherine Nicholson at 

  •  Engineers Without Borders

    Santa Clara University students help, and learn from, people in faraway places

    SCU’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders recently worked on projects in both Honduras and Rwanda. During their time, students learned about cross-cultural communication, how to overcome obstacles, and how to solve problems in two very different parts of the world.

    During a recent project to bring clean water to a village in Honduras, students learned that engineering alone is not necessarily the solution. The group created a design for a water distribution system but realized the villagers needed education on hygiene to benefit from it.

    “Long-term sustainability is reliant on education, and that will take time,” said Elliott Martin, who was one of the project’s leaders while earning his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

    In response, students built a pila, or sink, at SCU's Forge Garden. They filmed a documentary on hygiene to share with the Honduran village. The women in the video are a mother and daughter originally from Honduras who were recruited from nearby Washington Elementary School. They speak in Spanish about the importance of hygiene while performing everyday tasks at the pila. One of the women said she was very happy to be able to help the women in her country learn how to keep their families healthy.

    The danger of travel to Honduras made it impossible for the students to continue working in that country, so they passed that project to another group and began looking for another project.

    While they were working with Engineers Without Borders to find their next long-term project, they learned from a University faculty member about a short-term side project in Rwanda. They decided to take this on to keep their momentum going.

    Rwanda is moving from a crisis state following the 1994 genocide to one of sustainability. Through an organization called PICO, which brings together people from faith-based organizations to help developing areas, the students connected with a small community in western Rwanda called Nyange, where about 40 women have taken classes to be leaders in the community.

    These women had identified roofing as a major concern and had started making roof tiles by hand, both to use in their own houses and to sell. A tile press would allow them to make more tiles with less effort. The tiles would also be more uniform, which makes the building process easier and makes the roofs less likely to leak.

    The EWB chapter got right to work. Students came up with design criteria and shared them on a Skype call with the village leaders in Nyange.

    Communication with Rwanda is a challenge – for example, Nyange has Internet access only if it’s not raining. And once they showed their initial design to the village leaders, students realized there were other requirements they needed to account for. The students are now refining the design. They are working with students at the University of Kigali in Rwanda, who may be able to help build the tile press in that country once the Santa Clara students come up with a 3-D model and test it.

    Ryan Sidley, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering, said he was interested in “doing real engineering work with people who needed solutions to problems."

  •  Undergrad Commencement Speaker Announced

    Popular Catholic Author, Commentator James Martin, S.J., to Address Class of 2015 at Santa Clara University Commencement June 13

    James Martin, S.J., one of the most influential Catholic authors and speakers in America, will be the featured commencement speaker at Santa Clara University’s 164th undergraduate commencement ceremony.

    The event begins at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, June 13, at Buck Shaw Stadium.

    Graduate schools will hold a separate ceremony at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 12, at the Leavey Events Center. Students will receive advanced degrees from the College of Arts and Sciences’ Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries, the School of Engineering, the Leavey School of Business, and the School of Education and Counseling Psychology.

    Fr. Martin is perhaps best known as the “Chaplain of the Colbert Nation.” He was a recurring guest on the Comedy Central show “The Colbert Report,” which ended its run last year. Martin is editor at large of America Magazine, the national Catholic weekly with 45,000 subscribers. His articles and commentary have also appeared in publications including Commonweal, The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Time magazine, as well as on CNN, NPR, and other broadcast media.

    “For many, Fr. Martin is the face of the Church in mainstream media. He shares the essence of how Catholic values play out across the globe,” said Santa Clara University President Michael Engh, S.J. “As a best-selling author, he has an uncanny ability to make matters of faith clearer, accessible, and relevant in today’s world. I look forward to welcoming Fr. Martin to campus as our commencement speaker this year.”

    Fr. Martin received his bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, and his master’s degree in divinity and in theology from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Mass., now part of the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry.

    Santa Clara University will confer an honorary degree on Fr. Martin, as well as on Michel ’60 and Mary Orradre, friends and benefactors of Santa Clara University’s academic endeavors. Also receiving an honorary degree will be internationally recognized sculptor and SCU supporter Fletcher Benton.

    “I’m deeply honored to be invited to join the graduates this year at Santa Clara,” said Martin. “It’s a superb school where the Jesuit and Catholic mission of educating and informing others to use their gifts for the betterment of humanity, the poor, and the Earth is lived out to the fullest. I look forward to meeting all the great 'men and women for others' who are among this year’s graduating class.”

    Other Santa Clara University commencement 2015 activities:

    Santa Clara University School of Law, May 16

    Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, the chief justice of California and a member of the California Supreme Court, will be the featured speaker for the Santa Clara University School of Law’s 2015 commencement. Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye is the 28th chief justice of the State of California, the first Asian-Filipina American, and the second woman to serve as the state’s chief justice. The ceremony will take place at 9:30 a.m. May 16 in the University’s Mission Gardens.

    Jesuit School of Theology, May 23

    Sister Bernice Gotelli, PBVM, who for 26 years has provided hands-on pastoral care for critically ill children and their families as the sole chaplain of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, will be the commencement speaker at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University (JST) on May 23. The ceremony will take place at 3 p.m. at Pacific School of Religion’s Chapel of the Great Commission at 1798 Scenic Ave. in Berkeley.

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