fyi - News for the Campus Community
fyi is the official faculty-staff newsletter for the Santa Clara University community. It is designed to keep faculty and staff informed about campus news and information. It is compiled, written and published by the Office of Marketing and Communications.
A joint Catholic Mass focused on the need for immigration-law reform, sponsored by Santa Clara University and several other Jesuit institutions, was featured on KTVU, Univision, KIQI radio station and in the San Jose Mercury News.
Farid Senzai (Political Science) was interviewed on NBC11 at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. about the political crisis in Egypt and its relations with the U.S.
SCU student Brianne Jones’s blog post about an East Coaster going to college on the West Coast was featured in The Washington Post’s blog Campus Overload.
Bradley Joondeph (Law) was quoted in Congressional Quarterly and Congress.com about the White House’s response to legal challenges to last year’s massive health-care law. Joondeph’s blog posting on the next big challenge to the health-care law was cited in the website Politico.com.
The San Jose Mercury News wrote a feature story about Aldo Billingslea (Theatre and Dance) calling him “one of the MVPs of the Bay Area theater scene.” The lengthy story ran in numerous other papers including the Contra Costa Times, Tri-Valley Herald and the Santa Cruz Sentinel.
Mario Belotti’s (Economics) forecast for the economy in 2011 was featured on KLIV, KCBS and KGO radio stations, as well as the website AllVoices.com
Dozens of stories explored the news and implications of Catherine Sandoval’s (Law) appointment to the California Public Utilities Commission, including stories in Morningstar.com, Capitol Weekly, Monterey Herald, Business Review, San Francisco Chronicle, Hispanic Business, Campbell Express, and the Hartford Courant and on ABC7.
James Lai (Political Science) was interviewed on ABC7 about a new report claiming that Silicon Valley companies aren't hiring enough minorities.
Paul Crowley (Religious Studies) wrote an essay for America magazine detailing the many dimensions of today’s Catholic theology students, whom he describes as “idealistic realists.”
SCU student Hoda Magid was interviewed by NBC Bay Area, ABC7, CBS5, KTVU, KGO Radio, and San Jose Mercury News about her cousin Wael Ghonim, a Google executive, who was captured and released in Egypt.
Kirk Hanson (Markkula) was quoted in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune and Los Angeles Daily Breeze about a school district board member who may be using government employees to help arrange private trips to China.
Engineering student Anne Mahacek gained wide publicity as the winner of a contest sponsored by the TV sitcom Big Bang Theory. Mahacek built a robot (out of Legos and items she had lying around the house) which moved along with the show’s featured song “Soft Kitty.” The story appeared in numerous papers including Merced’s Sun Star, the Modesto Bee, and the Sacramento Bee.
Steve Diamond (Law) spoke to the San Jose Mercury News on the likelihood (since confirmed) that Facebook would hold a stock offering in the near future. Numerous papers countrywide picked up the story.
Jerry Uelmen (Law) was quoted in the San Jose Mercury News about an unusual case of a 1999 attack being the cause of a 2011 death, now ruled a homicide. Numerous papers and sites including the Korea Times picked up the story.
The crime-prediction model developed by George Mohler (Mathematics) continued to be featured in news stories including some from Myrtle Beach, SC , Ogden, Utah, and Bend, Oregon, as well as Canada’s Leader Post, Star Phoenix and The Province, and the website Officer.com.
Eric Goldman (Law) discussed Google’s complaint that Microsoft was copying its results in its Bing search engine with a reporter for IDG, for a story that appeared in Macworld, CIO India, PC Advisor, Information Week, TechWorld, Computerworld (running in Hungary, UK, Australia, New Zealand and other countries) and the website for the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.
News that Angelo Ancheta (Law) was chosen for the California Citizens Redistricting Commission was covered in numerous area papers including the Merced Sun Star, the Sacramento Bee and the Fresno Bee.
Deep Gulasekaram (Law) spoke to KTVU television about the line between moral and legal outrage over pornography, as hundreds of churches organized an anti-smut “Porn Sunday” on Super Bowl Sunday. Examiner.com picked up the story.
Meir Statman (Finance) was quoted in Financial Planning magazine about the psychology of savers vs. spenders.
Prachet K. Shrestha, an alumnus of the Global Social Benefit Incubator (CSTS) was quoted in the site GlobalGiving, including a mention of the benefit of GSBI to his work.
Here’s a sampling
of the hundreds of mentions of SCU in the media in the past two weeks. The first part of the link is a list; the full text is below the list.
***NOTE: Use EXTREME CAUTION before printing the linked information, as it will be dozens of pages!! ***
Angelo Ancheta (Law) has received a one-year renewal of $32,343 from the State Bar of California Legal Services Trust Fund Program - Equal Access Fund.
Katerina Bezrukova (Psychology) and her co-authors wrote a paper, titled "Faultlines, Fairness, and Fighting: A Justice Perspective on Conflict in Diverse Groups." This paper has been accepted for publication by the journal Small Group Research.
The Career Center recently hosted a program for 38 employers presented by Intern Bridge, the leading college recruiting consulting and research firm responsible for the largest internship-specific surveys in the country. The program was titled "Total Internship Management and Networking Event" and provided participants with the tools to provide effective and meaningful internship programs.
Silvia Figueira (Computer Engineering) received a gift of $30,000 from Datacare Corporation for her research on the analysis of medical data.
Chris Kitts (Mechanical Engineering) has received $33,000 from the University of Alaska Fairbanks/NASA to support "RETINA: Robotic Exploration Technologies in Astrobiology." Additionally, Kitts and Ruth Davis (Computer Engineering) have received $1,142,000 from the Kern Family Foundation to support "An Undergraduate Education Program in Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship."
Laurie Laird (Ignatian Center) received the California Campus Compact's 2011 Richard E. Cone Award for Excellence & Leadership in Cultivating Community Partnerships in Higher Education. Laird was recognized for her vision and imagination in building, deepening, and sustaining authentic community-campus partnerships, particularly at a time of economic instability.
Amy Shachter (Chemistry) has received $250,000 from the W.M. Keck Foundation to support "Advanced Bioscience Initiative."
Yuling Yan (Bioengineering) has received an additional $53,505 from UC Berkeley to support "High-Contrast Imaging of Single Molecules in Live Cells." This amendment funds Year 3 of an anticipated four year grant totaling $220,842.
More grants, awards, and publications will appear in the next edition of fyi.
Santa Clara University’s library is launching Broncos Read, a new annual campaign that honors faculty, staff, students, or student organizations that enrich the campus and epitomize competence, conscience and compassion. Finalists will be honored in posters depicting them with their favorite reading material for National Library Week April 10–16, along with a special reception.
The library is accepting nominations for any Bronco to be featured on one of the four posters for 2011. The nomination deadline is Feb. 11, and information can be found on the library’s website.
The Broncos Read committee has chosen SCU President Michael Engh, S.J., as the program’s inaugural honoree.
Engh calls himself an avid reader and chose some old favorites that he has re-read every few years. They are Fr. Greg Boyle’s Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion, Taylor Branch’s Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, and a biography of Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel founder Robert Noyce. Additionally, Francisco Jimenez’s autobiographical trilogy, The Circuit, Breaking Through, and Reaching Out, was spotlighted on his shelf.
Considering Santa Clara’s place in the Silicon Valley and the constantly evolving tech-centric world in which we live, literature can seem like a shrinking, aging hobby. But when asked if reading is still important in the 21st century and why, Engh commented that there is a certain “immediacy…a history to holding a book in your hands.” However, he embraces advancements, admitting that he hopes to get a Kindle. He said that “in one sense, technology doesn’t matter…the Kindle is just old content accessible in a new form— you’re still reading. And if it gets people to read, then that’s a good thing.”
Ultimately though, the program’s founders have one main goal in mind: to get people to read.
Do the United Nations and its International Court of Justice have a sufficient judicial system to protect human rights? Do they have the power to intervene in affairs of sovereign national for humanitarian reasons? Hear Rosalyn Higgins, former judge of the International Court of Justice, discuss these issues as a part of the President's Speaker Series on Thursday, February 24, at 7:30 PM in the Mission Church. Tickets and more information are available at www.scu.edu/speakerseries.
Debra Newton was boarding a flight back home to Florida at JFK International Airport in December of 2009, when she noticed a thumb drive jetting across the floor in front of her. She had unwittingly kicked it. Newton didn’t think much of it at the time, but she picked it up and put it in her bag.
When she arrived in Florida, she asked someone at the gate what she should do. The attendant thought the thumb drive was broken because it had been mashed. Rather than tossing it out, Newton put it back in her bag and forgot about it until last month. When she popped the thumb drive into her computer, it was working perfectly well and was full of family photos that appeared to have been taken at a family reunion.
“Something came over me, and I thought what a novel idea it would be to try to find its actual owner,” says Newton.
She didn’t know how she would track down anyone in the photos or the person who lost the thumb drive. Newton’s cousin, though, recognized the Santa Clara logo on someone’s shirt and suggested she contact the University, prompting Newton to post a message on SCU’s website.
Communications Director Deepa Arora read Newton’s note and turned to social media for help. Arora posted the photo on SCU’s official Facebook page the following morning and also forwarded it to Carey Deangelis with the Alumni Association so she could do the same on Alumni’s Facebook page.
Not too far from SCU’s campus in San Jose, Dan Hunter had just returned to his office from lunch. When he logged into his Facebook account, he saw the posting:
“Do you know the man wearing the SCU t-shirt? A good Samaritan found a thumb drive with family reunion pictures at an airport in New York, and she wants to get it back to the owner. Is he an alum, a professor, a parent? Help us solve this mystery!’”
“I clicked on the photo and almost fell out of my chair laughing! It was Marty De Ruyter, who lived next door to me at Swig Hall!” says Hunter ’81. “I hit the comment button to identify him and then I tried looking for Marty on Facebook. I couldn’t find him so I sent him an e-mail.”
De Ruyter and Hunter have always kept in touch throughout the years at reunions, sent each other Christmas cards, and e-mailed each other from time to time.
De Ruyter, who now lives in Kansas, couldn’t believe the e-mail.
“The only time I’ve been at JFK was on February 10, 2010 when I was returning from a medical mission in Haiti following the earthquake disaster,” says De Ruyter, ’81. He said that he didn't know how a thumb drive could have ended up at the airport before his trip.
As if finding the person in the photo weren’t enough, Newton also discovered that up until six years ago she and De Ruyter both lived in the same county in Florida and that both work in the medical field—she as a nurse and he as an anesthesiologist.
“I don’t know if we ever ran into each other, but I wouldn’t be surprised if our paths crossed at one point or another,” says Newton. The discovery of De Ruyter drove Newton to joyous tears, happy she could help return the photos and thumb drive to their rightful owner.
As it turned out, the thumb drive actually belongs to another family member: Marty's sister, Marie De Ruyter '84, who was standing in the photo that Newton used to identify Marty as an SCU grad. Also, amazingly enough, Marie also lives in Jacksonville, FL, a few minutes away from Newton.
De Ruyter says the photos are from a family reunion that took place in the summer of 2008 during his parents’ 50th wedding anniversary celebration at Lake Tahoe.
Nevertheless, he was fortunate enough to have been wearing his SCU shirt at the time; otherwise, tracking anyone down would have been impossible.
“I have a lot of Santa Clara t-shirts and wear them pretty frequently. In fact, I wore it to a hardware store in Kansas just six months ago, and someone stopped me because he, too, was an SCU grad,” laughed De Ruyter.
As for Hunter, he was hoping to see De Ruyter at their 30th reunion in October, but De Ruyter will be in the Dominican Republic for another medical mission that’s scheduled for the same weekend as the Grand Reunion.
The flash mob is a phenomenon of the YouTube age, an amusing moment in which people decide to do something very much random for no particular reason other than the fun of it; often the acts of these “mobs” are videotaped and end up online. The number of people involved can be anywhere from 50 to thousands, and the mob does anything from pillow fighting to freezing in place.
One of Swig Hall’s Resident Ministers, Sean Gross, began a program entitled Random Acts for this school year which encourages random acts of kindness (the next one planned involves delivering Valentine’s Day cards to people in a nursing home or hospital), but also simply random, fun acts in general. He holds weekly Hospitality Hours in Swig which have mostly involved watching the hit FOX musical-comedy Glee. One episode of the high school show revolved around the students planning and participating in a flash mob, and multiple people there collectively asked, “Wouldn’t it be fun to be a part of a flash mob?” But as many ideas go on a college campus, nothing more was made of it for a while.
As Gross developed the Random Acts program further, the idea of a flash mob popped back up. He had met senior Diana Bustos at a choreographer’s gallery and asked her over the winter break if she would be interested in choreographing a flash mob. She had already developed and taught one to students in SCCAP to the tune of Shakira’s “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa),” the theme song of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
Amazingly, the whole routine only took about 45 minutes to teach and learn. The plan was for the mob to dance to “Waka Waka” during peak lunch hours at the Benson Memorial Center. After clearing things with various groups to make sure the performance wouldn’t be interrupted, the group dispersed themselves in Benson at 12:10 p.m. on Friday, Jan, 14.
At 12:15, the siren call that opens “Waka Waka” went off, and the participants ran toward Mission Bakery. The choreography, which Gross called “Diana’s genius,” went off without a hitch and, after two-and-a-half minutes of rousing dancing, the flash mob bowed and went back to their normal routine. Though some dancers were nervous, they were reminded that this was all for fun, and the video, which is now posted on the Santa Clara Facebook page, shows proof of the fun they all clearly had.
Meanwhile, the captive Benson audience had a mixture of different reactions, as seen on the periphery of the video. Some students barely looked up from their lunch, others were clearly entertained and enraptured, while a large group was just rather confused. Regardless of the reaction, though, the dance was generally well received by the crowd.
Swig 9th floor Community Facilitator Alexandria LeeNatali said that she “really loved doing the flash mob,” pointing out that it “brought some much needed excitement to the otherwise dull winter quarter.”
Both LeeNatali and Gross say they’d love to do it again, and Gross admitted that though nothing is officially planned, “it would be a lot of fun,” and the third Random Act has yet to be planned.
Gross believes “events like this help people to see that resident ministry is about a lot of things, like creating community and helping to make some great memories, along with helping out during the hard times.”
So if you’re walking across campus and see a large group of people doing something completely inexplicable, it may very well be another flash mob in action.
Watch a slideshow of the flash mob.
The NCAA requires a decennial review of all Division 1 intercollegiate athletic programs, at the conclusion of which the NCAA will certify a school’s program, certify it with conditions, or deny certification. The process for review of Santa Clara’s programs is underway and will culminate in an NCAA decision in winter or spring of 2012. In two previous cycles of the review, the NCAA certified the University’s athletic programs without conditions.
The critical part of this review is the University’s preparation of a self-study, using a self-study instrument prescribed by the NCAA. The instrument articulates Operating Principles with which the athletic program must comply in the areas of governance, commitment to rules compliance, academic integrity, gender and racial diversity, and student-athlete welfare. With respect to each of those areas, the University must respond to a series of questions designed to elicit information about whether its athletic programs comply with those Operating Principles.
A University committee charged with preparing the self-study welcomes your comments about or contributions to the self-study as to any of the questions contained in the self-study instrument, which you may view at www.santaclarabroncos.com/information/Self-study_instrument.pdf.
Your comments or contributions should be submitted by using the form provided at www.scu.edu/athletics/NCAA_Self-Study. Comments should be submitted no later than the first week in March if they are to be meaningfully considered by the committee preparing the self-study.
Thomas Plante (Psychology) was interviewed on CBS5 about Amy Chua’s controversial parenting approaches, about which he also blogged forPsychology Today. The CBS show was rebroadcast on numerous other stations nationwide including in Minneapolis, Utah, Michigan, Las Vegas and San Diego.
Elspeth Rossetti (Career Center) was interviewed on ABC7 and KGO Radio
about the job outlook for college graduates and the hiring trends for
Radha Basu (CSTS) was featured on NBC Bay Area discussing the many ways
technology, especially for smart phones, is solving problems in ways
unimaginable only a short time ago. The story ran at various times on
more than a dozen affiliate stations such as Paducah, Ky., Madison,
Wis., New Orleans, Omaha, Grand Junction, Colo., and Jackson, Miss.
News that Catherine Sandoval (Law) was appointed to the California
Public Utilities Commission by Gov. Jerry Brown made headlines
nationwide, including stories in Capitol Weekly, San Francisco
Chronicle, Los Angeles Daily Times, Bellingham Herald, and the San Jose
Mercury News and numerous MediaNews, Dow Jones and AP stories.
News of an upcoming Feb. 5 mass and reception focused on immigration
law reform, sponsored by Santa Clara University and other Bay Area
Jesuit groups, received coverage in two stories in the San
Francisco-based Spanish language station KIQI 1010 AM, and was mentioned
in a San Jose Mercury News column.
Don Polden (Law) was quoted by the National Law Journal, American
Lawyer, Texas Lawyer, U.S. News & World Report’s Morse Code blog,
Inside Higher Ed, Environmental Law Professors and others about ABA’s
discussions about whether the LSAT should be mandatory for law-school
Anna Han (Law) was quoted in the San Jose Mercury News about some of
the problems in the background during the visit of China’s President Hu
Jintao. The story ran in numerous other publications.
Steve Diamond (Law) was quoted in MarketWatch, the San Jose Mercury
News and more than a dozen affiliate papers discussing HP’s
controversial choices for new board members.
Lorenzo Gamboa (Undergraduate Admissions) was quoted in the Salinas
Californian about college options.
Blog comments by Patricia Cain (Law) about the complexities of tax
filing by married same-sex couples were quoted in a story in the New
Meir Statman (Finance) continued to be quoted on topics related to his
book, in publications like The Oregonian, the New York Times, The Korea
Times, the Wall Street Journal, Business News Network, and a San Jose
Mercury News column on how Facebook shares are like “bling” for some
George Mohler (Mathematics) continued to receive coverage for his work
on predicting crime mathematically, with stories in Security Magazine
and more than a dozen papers owned by MediaNews in California.
An event hosted by Gerald Uelmen (Law) and featuring California Supreme
Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye and Ninth Circuit Court of
Appeals Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, was carried on KTVU.
A speech on welcoming immigrants, by William O’Neill (JST) was covered
by the Charlotte Observer.
Bradley Joondeph (Law) was quoted on ABC’s website about challenges to
Obama’s health-care laws.
Here’s a sampling of the hundreds of mentions of SCU in the media in the past two weeks. The first part of the link is a list; the full text is below the list.
***NOTE: Use EXTREME CAUTION before printing the linked information, as it will be dozens of pages!! ***
Chris Kitts (Mechanical Engineering) and two graduate students have had a new book chapter published on their work in multi-robot system control: Model-Based Nonlinear Cluster Space Control of Mobile Robot Formations, Multi-Robot Systems, Trends and Development, Toshiyuki Yasuda (Ed.), ISBN: 978-953-307-425-2, InTech.
Nam Ling (Computer Engineering) received a $12,304 TSC grant for "High-Performance Video Codec System."
The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics made the following awards of Hackworth Grants for Faculty Research in Applied Ethics. Another round of grant funding will be held late in the Spring Quarter:
· Thomas Plante, SCU Psychology, $5,000 for a project called, "Ten Years of Crisis: What the Catholic Church Has Learned and Done to Prevent Clergy Sex Abuse Since Dallas."
· Laura Robinson, SCU Sociology, $5,000 for a project called, "The Ethical Implications of Politicized Victimhood: Moral Accounting and Spheres of Moral Concern." Professor Robinson will be using the grant to complete her book manuscript, "Negotiating 9/11."
Tokunbo Ogunfunmi (Electrical Engineering) and a Ph.D. student published a conference paper presented at the IEEE International Conference on Consumer Electronics (ICCE) in Las Vegas Jan. 9-12. The paper is titled "A VLSI Architecture of SVC Encoder for a Mobile System." At the same conference, Ogunfunmi and another Ph.D. student published a conference paper titled "Efficient Fast Algorithm and FPSoC for Integer and Fractional Motion Estimation." Additionally, Ogunfunmi and a Ph.D. student Thomas Paul had a paper accepted for publication in the IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems, Part I. The paper is titled "On the Convergence Behavior of Affine Projection Algorithm for Adaptive Filters."
Shauna L. Shapiro (Counseling Psychology) recently had three peer-reviewed papers accepted and one peer-reviewed article published.
· Shapiro J, Astin J, Shapiro SL, Robitshek D, Shapiro DH. (in press). Coping with loss of control in the practice of medicine. Families, Systems, & Health.
· Shapiro, S. L., Brown, K., Thoresen, C., & Plante, T. (in press). Moderation Effects: A 1 year follow up. Journal of Clinical Psychology.
· Shapiro, SL, Brown, K., Astin, J. (in press). Toward the integration of meditation into education: A Review of the research. Teachers College Record.
· Bruce, N., Shapiro, S. L., Constanza, M., Manber, R. (2010). Psychotherapist mindfulness and the psychotherapy process. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Vol. 47, No. 1, 83–97
Sally Wood (Electrical Engineering) and a Ph.D. student presented a paper entitled “Improved Post-Demodulator Adaptive Filter for FSK Signals in a Multipath Environment," at the 14th IEEE Digital Signal Processing Workshop in Sedona, Ariz. on Jan. 5. At the same conference, Wood and another Ph.D. student presented a paper entitled “Measurement Geometry Strategies for Super-Resolution Image Reconstruction with Multiple Steerable Sub-Imagers."
More grants, awards, and publications will appear in the next edition of fyi.
At a quick glance, many people may think that Santa Clara University recently installed a giant fan atop of the Facilities building, but guess again. It’s not a new cooling system of any kind, but instead a wind turbine that generates clean energy. It’s one of the many ways Santa Clara University is reaching climate neutrality by the end of 2015, as promised by President Michael Engh, S.J.
Weighing 185 pounds and measuring 7 feet high and 6.5 feet wide, the unit is capable of producing 1,500 kilowatt hours per year, which is enough to power an average American household for about 49 days.
Joe Sugg, assistant vice president of university operations, and his team of engineers and technicians have been turning the Santa Clara campus into a more sustainable institution by using such innovations.
“We’re converting the University from an energy-consuming campus to a power-generating source,” he says.
The wind turbine can begin generating power at a low speed of .5 miles per hour (mph), instead of the 7.5 mph that’s traditionally required by other wind turbines. The unit also has an auto shut-off mechanism that kicks in at 38 mph, protecting it from any damage that could be caused during a wind storm.
Since the turbine’s energy output is dependent only on the wind, SCU is testing the unit—which is now in its third month of operation—in order to determine how much energy it can realistically produce. Sugg hopes the results will show a significant level of production that will ultimately call for more wind turbines.
“It’s possible that we could see more of them on this building, as well as others on campus, but we don’t have any immediate plans to purchase additional units in the near future.”
SCU is often recognized nationally for its efforts and commitment to green power purchases. The University recently purchased 22,512 megawatt hours of green power, which is enough to power 2,529 average American homes and equivalent to taking nearly 3,000 cars off the road for one year.
This winter quarter, both on- and off-campus residents will compete in Santa Clara University’s 2nd Annual Residence Hall Energy Challenge. This year’s slogan is “Kill-a-watt, $ave-a-lot!”
Rather than rivaling against one another, houses and residence halls will attempt to reduce their buildings’ electricity consumption in comparison to data from previous years.
Students who live on campus will be able to keep track of their residence hall’s electricity use by visiting this site and seeing their buildings’ consumption in real-time through SCU’s Electricity Graphing System. In the spirit of the game and competition, the 10-week challenge will also include other activities to unify both the Residential Learning Communities (RLCs) on campus and off-campus residents under the message of the importance of energy conservation. Activities include:
- Low-Carbon Diet Dinner
- “Hoe Down” dance party + eco-fashion show
A new website sponsored by Santa Clara University and California Catholic Lawyers Against the Death Penalty (CCLADP) seeks to inform Catholic opinion regarding the death penalty in California, and to actively promote the repeal of California’s death-penalty law.
CCLADP is a newly formed organization headed by Santa Clara University School of Law professor Gerald F. Uelmen, who teaches criminal law at SCU and previously directed a state-wide commission on California’s justice system.
Uelmen received a grant from the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education at Santa Clara University to organize and launch the website. CCLADP will be directed by an advisory board, which includes many leading Catholic lawyers in California, such as former Attorney General John Van de Kamp, former state public defender and Sacramento federal defender Quin Denvir, Newcastle attorney Paul Comiskey and San Jose attorney Thomas Hogan. Read more.
When Mayra Salvador, a student at Evergreen Valley College, was considering changing her major from civil engineering to sociology, she found good, supportive advice from members of her book group—a group started by Jill Goodman Gould, senior lecturer in English at Santa Clara University.
When Gould pioneered the group, called The Chelsea Literary Society, in 2006, she hoped it would provide this sort of mentoring in addition to literary discussions. The group grew out of a class Gould taught at Downtown College Preparatory High School, the first charter school in San Jose. A number of Santa Clara students who helped with the class wanted to stay in touch with the students.
The high school students they worked with “didn’t read a lot in English and hadn’t had a lot of experience with books,” Gould said. So she formed a book club and started by reading The Kite Runner by author Khaled Hosseini, an SCU alumnus.
“The Kite Runner was such a big hit in the mainstream, it was nice for the girls and for us to be able to be part of that,” said Claudia Vásquez, who graduated from Santa Clara in 2000 and is now finance controller for Bill Gould Design, an architecture firm.
Salvador, who graduated from Downtown College Prep in 2007, was one of the original book club members—and remains a member today.
Today the group includes current and former students from both Santa Clara and Downtown College Prep. In addition to monthly book discussions—for which they take turns choosing books, bringing food and preparing background reports on the books—the group occasionally goes to author lectures (they heard Hosseini speak), plays and movies.
“We’re really trying to expose them to as much as possible, letting them know that there’s this world out there,” Vásquez said.
Gould has seen the participants grow—and not only in their ability to read and analyze books. “I think the students who have been coming are more aware of literature,” she said.
Vásquez, who is a first-generation college graduate, said she hopes being part of the book discussions will help the high school students learn to be comfortable in new situations. “You always think you’re the only outsider,” she said, but books open up a world of other experiences, including those of other people who have felt like outsiders in other situations.
Salvador said being part of the group has changed her reading habits: “Now I read on my own time, instead of watching TV.”
But she also likes the social support she gets from the group: “Most of the ladies that are in it either already graduated from college or are in college,” she said. “If I need help I know that they’re able to help me."
It is entirely fitting that Victor Vari, Ph.D., is the distinguished figure who regularly leads the University’s most august ceremonial processions, as the carrier of the historic mace of Santa Clara University. Not only is he the University’s longest serving professor—as the tradition of the mace bearer requires—he is also an undisputed jewel in the crown of Santa Clara University.
Dr. Vari, who is approaching his 91st birthday, has been teaching at Santa Clara for 64 years, almost his entire professional career. He is also the walking epitome of many of SCU’s most-treasured values.
As a person, he is well-rounded, having traveled extensively around the world, and was educated in London, Paris, Mexico, Switzerland, and the U.S. In addition to his seven decades of teaching at SCU, at various times he has been an Olympic-caliber competitive fencer, fencing coach, a journalist, actor, radio announcer, military intelligence agent, and elementary school teacher.
As a professor, he is devoted to the advancement of students.
“Dr. Vari’s dedication to his students, his work on behalf of SCU, and his zest for life are precious gifts to the community he loves,” said interim Provost Don Dodson. “He is one of Santa Clara’s great teachers.”
A man who thrives on interpersonal relationships, he shares his gifts generously and often, sometimes for free, especially when he sees a need. For years throughout the 1950s he gave private language lessons, for free, to disadvantaged students of the San Jose Unified School district. During his military training, he taught English to soldiers with limited education and taught fencing to the officers.
He is also a Knight Commander of the historic Knights of Malta, a Catholic group with origins in the 12th century. From 1947 to 1952, Dr. Vari coached the Santa Clara fencing team, which won the Pacific Coast Championship for Novices.
Vari was born on Feb. 22, 1920 (George Washington’s birthday, he notes with pride) in San Francisco. His father was a waiter and avid stock-market investor, and his mother was a homemaker. In 1929 the family figured they were well-off enough that they could move to Italy and live a cushy expat life. But then came the stock market crash, wiping out much of his father’s wealth. Vari, his mother, and his grandparents stayed in Italy because it was a better life than the Depression-plagued U.S. But all along, Vari said, “I felt very, very American.” Sure enough, his family moved back to the U.S. in 1936, when he was 16.
After a few months of catch-up high school, he graduated Galileo High and started tutoring sons of Italian immigrants at Dopo Scuola. That lasted until World War II, when suspicion of Italians caused the school to be shuttered. It also caused Italian-born disc jockeys to be shipped to internment camps, leaving an opening for American-born Vari to spend a year as a night-time DJ, translating news into Italian and playing opera.
In 1942, Vari received his undergraduate degree from San Francisco State University. When World War II began, he joined the Army, and after basic training was sent “of all places, to Arkansas,” recalls Vari with a laugh. “I couldn’t relate to that culture at all,” imitating—with a heavily Italian-tinged southern accent—a banjo-like ditty that his fellow soldiers used to play.
He considered his fellow soldiers uncouth at first. But then a colonel asked him to teach the soldiers to read, and Vari quickly learned that it was a lack of schooling, not a lack of intelligence, at work. “It gave me tremendous pleasure to help them,” he said.
Vari’s trilingual skills also earned him a spot in intelligence school, where one of his classmates was Henry Kissinger. He spent a year in England and France, attending the Sorbonne too, before the war ended in 1945.
He did his graduate work at the Sorbonne University in Paris and Lausanne University in Switzerland, then started attending and student teaching at Stanford. While there, he met his future wife Julia. They didn’t marry until seven years later when Vari was finally ready to settle down. “She was the right woman for me, but I wasn’t ready at first.”
He received the call to teach at SCU while he was at Stanford, and he could hardly resist the $1,600 a year salary he was being offered. In 1946, Vari began teaching elementary French, and in the ensuing decades has taught all levels of Spanish and Italian language and culture as well as literature, including Dante’s Divine Comedy.
He received his master’s degree from Stanford University in 1952. He completed his Ph.D. (summa cum laude) at the University of Madrid in Spain in 1961.
After marrying Julia, the couple became fully immersed in SCU life, chaperoning dances and other activities including modeling for the Catala Club. He brought Italian opera to SCU radio and campus, led tours of Europe, and assisted the Army in launching the first military intelligence unit at SCU in 1949, which later became part of ROTC. He initiated and taught at the successful summer program in Assisi that lasted from 1982 to 2004.
“It was the most beautiful thing that has ever happened to us,” he says of his long tenure at SCU. “We’ve done so much for the University, and the University has done so much for us.”
Never having had children himself, his legions of students and alumni are his extended family. He keeps multiple scrapbooks of letters, mementos, and important correspondence from and to students. Typical letters express boundless gratitude for how Vari introduced a student to the abundance and richness of Italian culture and language. One young man wrote how Vari “influenced some of my life’s greatest moments,” adding, “you have become like a member of the family to me, and the thought of ever letting you down stings, with the same bitterness as does the thought of failing the rest of my family.”
He loves to tell stories about his students, even better if the story involves a student poking a bit of fun at him—like the young woman who looked at her watch one too many times during Vari’s reading of Italian poetry. “I asked her, ‘Lauren, am I boring you?’” The student replied, “No, Professor Vari, you are scintillating, and I just want to know how many more minutes of enjoyment I have left.”
He is thrilled to see his students succeed, including Francisco Jimenez, noted author and Fay Boyle, Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures, who have both become highly respected peers alongside him on the faculty.
Despite his age, Vari has a vivid memory and adapts well to change, calling himself “a realist.” So while he dislikes technologies, such as e-mail, and the discourteousness they can engender, he doesn’t begrudge other evolutions on campus, including the erosion of student interest in his beloved Italian opera, or the diluted Italian focus of the Casa Italiana residence hall he helped create.
“The important thing is to be happy,” he says, his Italian accent turning even more poetic. “To love and be loved.”
The de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University will explore the topic of the veil through a provocative exhibition of contemporary women artists. The Veil: Visible and Invisible Spaces will open to the public Jan. 15 and will be on view through March 11.
The veiling of women, men, and sacred places has existed in countless cultures and religions throughout history. Veiling expands far beyond Islam and the Middle East, yet is vastly misunderstood. This traveling exhibition features more than 30 works of art that examine the veil from myriad perspectives. Divided loosely into three thematic sections—the sacred veil, the sensuous veil, and the sociopolitical veil—the show aims to transcend popular clichés and stereotypes about the practice of veiling and to present the subject in a broader and more universal context.
Composed of works by 29 national and international artists, The Veil addresses issues such as modesty, oppression, liberation, freedom of expression, spirituality, nature, and magic. The artists represent diverse backgrounds, spiritual practices, and points of view. Through their work, they challenge, condemn, embrace, and praise the veil. Read more.
The West Coast Conference and Zappos.com have announced it will be kicking off the third annual Zappos.com WCC Shoe Drive to collect shoes for Soles4Souls, a non-profit organization that donates footwear to those in need around the country and the world.
This season Santa Clara University is setting its sights high, with the goal of collecting more than 3,500 shoes—slightly more than last year’s winner, Loyola Marymount University, collected in 2010. To accomplish this goal, Santa Clara’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) has come up with several innovative strategies and incentives to mobilize the SCU student body and the greater Santa Clara community to donate.
“SAAC just didn’t really see the point in setting a goal that wasn’t going to win this competition,” said Bronco Associate Athletic Director Staci Gustafson. “They really believe that with greater SAAC involvement, and campus and community presence this goal could easily be achieved.”
SAAC, which is made up of representatives from SCU’s 19 sports, collected 240 shoes the first year it participated in the shoe drive. Last year, students collected 623. Thus, in order to collect 3,500 shoes this year, they’ll have to reach out to hundreds of more people across campus and beyond.
Donation boxes are located at every RLC, as well as at Leavey and Malley Centers. Read more.
Santa Clara University’s recruitment efforts in China were featured in the San Jose Mercury News, NBC Bay Area, and CBS5. Mike Sexton (Undergraduate Admissions) and students Qian Jhou Wou and Minao Wang were featured.
Drew Starbird (Leavey) had an oped in BusinessWeek online about how a top priority of business schools these days should be job creation.
Steve Johnson (Markkula) wrote an oped for the San Francisco Chronicle about the need to focus on scientifically proven solutions to bullying.
James Lai (Political Science) was interviewed on KQED public radio about the rise of Asian Americans in San Francisco and Oakland politics.
Nancy Unger (History) was featured on Wisconsin Public Radio, talking about Belle La Follette's campaign against the segregation of Washington, D.C. that had been ordered into place by Woodrow Wilson in 1913.
Brad Joondeph (Law) was quoted in the New York Times about the pro-business focus of the Roberts Supreme Court and spoke to the Wall Street Journal, New York Post and National Public Radio station 89.2 KPCC about a legal setback to the Obama health-care law.
Kirk Hanson (Markkula) spoke with USA Today about the violent rhetoric that was the backdrop for the Tucson shooting and the Kansas City Star about a conflict between a Port Authority lawyer and a contracting deal benefiting his company.
Meir Statman (Finance) was quoted in a CNNMoney story about gold’s resurgent popularity. He was also an expert for WWD's Mensweek on the role of men’s fashion after a recession. His book What Investors Really Want was also reviewed or featured in numerous publications including American Chronicle and AP and Reuters stories carried by many papers around the country.
Judy Nadler (Markkula) was interviewed by KCBS radio about the Berkeley city council agenda item to declare that the alleged Wikileaks leaker, soldier Bradley Manning, should be "freed and declared a hero."
The Scranton Times Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, AP and several other outlets ran stories about the selection of Kevin Quinn (Ignatian Center) to be new President of the University of Scranton.
The San Francisco Chronicle told the tale of the release of wrongfully convicted man Maurice Caldwell, freed with help from the Northern California Innocence Project at SCU.
Eric Goldman (Law) was quoted in ABA Journal about an Apple anti-sexting technology.
The role of the Center for Science, Technology, and Society in creating a directory of market-solutions for poverty was highlighted in the blog nextbillion.net.
George Mohler’s (Mathematics) work to help Santa Cruz Police Department predict crime based on a model similar to earthquake-aftershock predictors was covered by the Central coast TV station KSBW
Comments by Don Polden (Law) to the Association of American Law Schools on the topics of tenure and ABA accreditation standards were the subject of stories by the Chronicle of Higher Education and the National Law Journal.
A new website dedicated to explaining the Catholic Church’s views on the death penalty, created by Jerry Uelmen (Law) was highlighted in Catholic Voice of Oakland and the website of the California Province of Jesuits. Uelmen was also quoted in the San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle and in a widely reprinted AP story about the retirement of Calif. Supreme Court justice Carlos Moreno.
Steve Diamond (Law) was quoted in a widely reprinted San Jose Mercury News story about the potential investment frenzy that might ensue from a Facebook IPO.
Thomas Plante (Psychology) was quoted in Spero News about common misinformation about the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church.
Katerina Bezrukova’s (Psychology) research on the psychological effect of injustice in the workplace was featured in Business News Daily, Medical News Today and other publications or sites.
Edward Steinman (Law) was interviewed on KCBS radio about the decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to ask the California Supreme Court to decide whether the ballot measure's sponsors can defend the proposition in a federal court. He also spoke to KGO radio about the proposed Arizona legislation to prevent children of undocumented immigrants to be citizens and about a legal setback to the Obama health care law.
Dale Achabal (Marketing) talked to CBS about how retailers struck the right tone for the recent Christmas shopping season.
Kirthi Kalyanam (Marketing) was interviewed on NBC Bay Area about positive trends for Super Saturday, the last shopping day before Christmas.
Lisa Fullam (JST) was cited in the Arizona Republic and USA Today for her views on a Catholic hospital’s dispute with a bishop over a pregnancy termination conducted to save the mother’s life.
Here’s a sampling of the hundreds of mentions of SCU in the media in the past two weeks. The first part of the link is a list; the full text is below the list.
Mark Aschheim (Civil Engineering) had a paper published online: Aschheim, M., Gil-Martin, L.M., and Hernández-Montes, E. “Proportioning of Reinforced Concrete Column Sections,” Engineering Structures. He also had a peer-reviewed book chapter published: Dhillon, Carla, and Aschheim, M. (2010). “Natural Building Systems and Materials,” in Sustainability Guidelines for the Structural Engineer, Structural Engineering Institute, American Society of Civil Engineers. Furthermore, Aschheim had a paper accepted for publication: Gil-Martin, L.M., Aschheim, M., Hernández-Montes, E., and Pasadas-Fernández, M., “Recent developments in optimal reinforcing of RC beam and column sections,” Engineering Structures.
Rose Marie Beebe (Modern Languages) and Robert Senkewicz (History) have written the lead-off essay for a new volume, “Alta California: Peoples in Motion, Identities in Formation,” published by the University of California Press. Their essay is entitled, “What They Brought: the Alta California Franciscans Before 1769.”
Katerina Bezrukova (Psychology) was awarded a Roelandts Fellow grant from the Center for Science, Technology, and Society for her work (with students Shama Arakeri and Shivani Sharma) to explore how creativity emerges in virtual teams.
Rance DeLong (Computer Engineering) presented "Polymorphic Protection Profiles" at the 11th International Common Criteria Conference in Antalya, Turkey on Sept. 21.
Dennis Gordon (Political Science) was selected chair of the Academic Advisory Board for the Foundation for International Education based in London.
Unyoung (Ashley) Kim (Bioengineering) is one of the six investigators in a multi-investigator proposal, "Advanced Bioscience Initiative," awarded by K.M. Keck Foundation totaling $250,000.
Nam Ling (Computer Engineering) delivered a seminar, "Next Generation Video Compressionand Our Research," invited by IEEE Circuits and Systems Society Singapore Chapter and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, on Dec. 13.
Godfrey Mungal (Engineering) presented a talk on Nov. 16 (“The Profile of an Engineer of a Jesuit University: Competencies and Abilities”) in Cordoba, Argentina,at a meeting of Latin American deans of Jesuit universities. At the APS/DFD Annual Meeting in Long Beach, Calif, he presented “Ignition, Flame Structure and Near-Wall Burning in Transverse Hydrogen Jets in Supersonic Crossflow,” which he co-wrote. He also presented a poster, “Visualizing Supersonic Inlet Duct Unstart Using Planar Laser Rayleigh Scattering.” Additionally, Mungal presented five papers at the AIAA-ASM 49th Aerospace Sciences Meeting Jan. 4-7 in Orlando, Fla. They are: “The Role of Local Base Cavities in an Augmentor Bluffbody Flameholder,” “Supersonic Inlet Duct Unstart Induced by Fuel Jet Injection,” “Ignition and Near-Wall Burning in Transverse Hydrogen Jets in Supersonic Crossflow,” “Development of an Optically Accessible Model Scramjet Combustor for Laser-Based Diagnostics,” “CFD Aided Development of an Experimental Setup to Investigate Internal Supersonic Combustion.”
Tokunbo Ogunfunmi (Electrical Engineering) had an invited paper for presentation at the 2010 IEEE Asia-Pacific Signal and Information Processing Association (APSIPA) Annual Summit and Conference (ASC) which took place Dec. 12-17 in Singapore. The paper is titled, "On the performance of Affine Projection Algorithm and Normalized LMS Algorithm."
Elspeth Rossetti and Elizabeth Thompson (Career Center) gave a presentation at the annual conference of the Mountain Pacific Association of Colleges and Employers in Newport Beach in December. It was entitled "The Courage to Be Creative: Revitalizing Career Center Work.”
Amy Shachter (Chemistry) has received a $75,000 subcontract from the University of California, Santa Cruz to support "The Bio-Info-Nano Research and Development Initiative at NASA Ames."
Sukhmander Singh (Civil Engineering) gave a keynote presentation, “Investigation of a Complex Slide in an Earthdam Embankment,” at An International Symposium on Forensic Approach to Analysis of GeoHazard Problems in December in Mumbai, India.
Katie Wilson (Electrical Engineering) co-wrote a paper, “SCFDE with Space-Time Coding for IM/DD Optical Wireless Communication,” which was accepted to the IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference 2011 for March 28-31 in Cancun, Mexico.
Mu Xia (OMIS) co-authored a paper, "Content Popularity in a Peer-to-peer Music Sharing Community: A Network Perspective," which won the Best Paper Award at Workshop on e-Business in St. Louis on Dec. 11.
Cary Yang (Electrical Engineering, Center for Nanostructures) was the banquet speaker at the IEEE International Conference on Electron Devices and Solid-State Circuits held in Hong Kong Dec. 15-17.
More grants, awards, and publications will appear in the next edition of fyi.
From academics to community service and social functions, Santa Clara University (SCU) received exceptionally high marks and praise from their own students in the 2010 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), the most comprehensive assessment of effective practice in higher education.
Since 2000, the NSSE has measured student involvement in key practices related to learning, persistence, and graduation. Each of the 603 four-year colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada that participated in the survey received scores from some 400,000 randomly selected first-year and senior students in five benchmark categories.
SCU scored significantly higher than the national average in all five areas:
|Level of Academic Challenge
|Active and Collaborative Learning
|Student Interaction with Faculty
|Enriching Educational Experiences
|Supportive Campus Environment
An overwhelming number of SCU students were satisfied with their overall educational experience, with 90 percent of freshman students reporting a favorable image of the University and 88 percent of seniors saying they would choose SCU again if they could start their college career over. When asked to what degree studying and spending time on academic work were emphasized, 83 percent of first year students cited substantial emphasis. Read more.
Santa Clara University students are running mission operations for two NASA satellites that have launched into space. The satellites that were aboard a Minotaur IV rocket blasted off from Kodiak Island, Alaska, on Nov. 19.
The students will operate Organism/Organic Exposure to Orbital Stresses nanosatellite, known as O/OREOS, for NASA for a year and then for several more years for educational and engineering experiments at SCU. The goal of the O/OREOS mission is to be able to conduct low-cost astrobiology science experiments on autonomous nanosatellites in space. Scientists will apply the knowledge they gain from O/OREOS to plan future experiments in the space environment to study how exposure to space changes organic molecules and biology. These experiments will help answer questions about the origin, evolution, and distribution of life in the universe.
O/OREOS includes a novel de-orbit device that was designed by an SCU graduate student. The device accelerates its de-orbit, which has been an issue in trying reduce the amount of junk in space.
The SCU team will also operate NanoSail-D2, which is a solar sail that could potentially change spacecraft travel and the way NASA brings down old satellites, thereby cleaning up space junk. The NanoSail-D2 will eject from the Fast, Affordable, Science and Technology Satellite, or FASTSAT. This will test the ability to deploy an enormous but fragile spacecraft from extremely small and compact structures. When fully deployed, the NanoSail-D2 has a surface area of more than 100 square feet and is made of a material that’s no thicker than single-ply tissue paper. Read more