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.

  •  New Website Aims to Educate Catholics on the Death Penalty

    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.


  •  Book Club Helps Readers Explore Beyond the Pages

    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."


  •  Victor Vari Shares His Love for Teaching and His Extended SCU Family

    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 Explores the Practice of Veiling Through a Thought-provoking Exhibition

    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.


  •  Donate Your Gently Used Shoes to Those in Need Around the World

    The West Coast Conference and have announced it will be kicking off the third annual 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.


  •  SCU in the News

    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

    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.


  •  Grants, Awards, and Publications

    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.


  •  Santa Clara University Scores Above National Average in 2010 National Survey of Student Engagement

    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:
    Categories SCU Freshmen National Freshmen SCU Seniors National Seniors
    Level of Academic Challenge 62.2 54.1 65.2 57.5
    Active and Collaborative Learning 48.2 43.7 58.2 51.4
    Student Interaction with Faculty 37.7 35.2 48.5 42.4
    Enriching Educational Experiences 33.9 27.9 57.6 40.5
    Supportive Campus Environment 67.9 62.5 65.1 59.6

    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.


  •  SCU Students Operate NASA Satellite Missions After Liftoff

    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.



  •  Twenty-seven Santa Clara University Alumni Serving as Jesuit Volunteers

    Twenty-seven recent graduates of Santa Clara University are spending the next year serving as volunteers in schools, health and legal clinics, and nonprofit organizations through two U.S. Jesuit Volunteer Corps organizations.
    During their time as Jesuit Volunteers, they will be dedicated to living simply and working for social justice in a spiritually supportive community of other volunteers.
    “The very fact that so many of our alumni choose this less-traveled path reflects well on their SCU experience,” said Fr. Jack Treacy, director of Campus Ministry at SCU. “Their commitment to dedicate this time to live in solidarity with those who struggle and live on the margins of society speaks to the core of SCU’s Jesuit values.”
    SCU’s JVC volunteers are among nearly 500 young adults who started their year of volunteer work in late summer, living in dozens of communities in the U.S. and six other countries across the globe. Their work saves the communities an estimate of well over $6 million each year, in comparison to the cost of a salaried employee. Read more.



  •  Meeting the Congressman: A Rare and Important Opportunity for SCU Political Science Students

    U.S. Representative Mike Honda stopped by Santa Clara University last month to help students gain a better understanding of Congress, especially for Professor James Cottrill’s class whose students play the roles of members of Congress and respond to hypothetical bills throughout the quarter.
    “My main motivation was to allow students to speak to an actual member of Congress about the day-to-day responsibilities and pressures faced by members of Congress as they try to represent their constituencies,” says Cottrill.
    Honda discussed how he became involved in politics, the importance of integrity, and working across party lines. He also fielded questions from students who asked about everything from national security to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s future.
    Sach Egan, who is a junior studying economics and political science, asked Honda to share his thoughts on minority candidates, such as Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and South Carolina Governor-elect Nikki Haley, who change their name and religious beliefs for the sake of running for political office.
    Honda responded that all American citizens need to be more accepting of individuals from diverse backgrounds and work together to create the kind of change this nation wants. Although those words were inspiring enough, Egan was moved when Honda later approached him.
    “Congressman Honda put his arm on my shoulder, and said, ‘Hey, don’t change, and just do the right thing.’ Simple as these words may have been, I didn’t take them lightly. They reminded me that, although we could sit for hours discussing the challenges presented against progress and change, ultimately it would be up to us to make things happen,” says Egan.
    Although scheduling Honda took several tries and a few years, Cottrill hopes to invite more members of Congress from the Bay Area. Students agree that having more opportunities to meet government leaders can have a greater and lasting impression than reading about them in their books or learning about them from their professors.
    “I absolutely think more politicians should come speak to students, especially as young voters who are still in many ways developing beliefs and opinions. This is an environment where people are interested in learning and asking questions, and I think every politician could benefit from that,” says Kurt Wagner, a communication junior.
    “Active, hands-on learning is often thought of as being important, but I believe that hearing the insights and inspirations of leaders who are out there ‘in the trenches’ is also paramount,” says Egan.


  •  The Discovery to Faster, Easier Research at the Library

    The power of search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing has more college students turning to the Internet for research rather than their campus libraries. That’s no surprise, considering the ease of typing keywords into a single search box versus navigating through hundreds of article databases, indexes, and the complicated library catalog.

    Librarians like Elizabeth McKeigue at Santa Clara University recognize the growing problem and hope to change that trend through the use of discovery systems that allow students to easily search for everything at once, including books, magazine and journal articles, DVDs, and archives.

    “Librarians are competing against Google for attention. We have better content than Google, but students don’t always realize that,” says McKeigue.

     Following the paths of Penn State, Columbia, and University of Michigan, SCU is looking at various software systems that can simultaneously search across all article database content and local library collections. Using the library’s extensive resources can be daunting and requires training. With discovery systems, librarians wouldn’t need to devote as much time teaching the basics of how to search. They simply type the keywords into one simple search field, much like you would with Google or Yahoo.

    SCU students, faculty, and staff are testing a number of discovery systems, including EBSCO Discovery System, Summon, Encore Synergy, and Primo Central. The library will gather feedback at the end of the quarter and weigh the pros and cons that will determine the next phase of the project.

    McKeigue wants the University to invest in a discovery system, because she believes it will ultimately increase usage of the library’s databases and indexes, which has been relatively flat in the past few years.


  •  Illuminating the Bible

    Deborah Whiteman, head of Archives and Special Collections in the University Library, is anxiously awaiting the publication of the latest volume of a new edition of the most popular book ever written. No, not a remake of Harry Potter, but rather, the handwritten, lavishly hand-illuminated New Revised Standard Version translation of the Bible, known as The Saint John’s Bible. “It’s written in calligraphic script, but it’s also illuminated in the same way that a 12th century medieval manuscript would have been illuminated; the initial letters are large, brilliantly colored and frequently decorated in gold,” Whiteman explains. “There are also full-page colored illuminations of key points in the text—such as Creation, the Fall, and the Ten Commandments. That was typical of large 12th century bibles as well.”

    Though she has not yet seen the original manuscript (which is at St. John’s University, in Minnesota), Whiteman is able to view SCU’s fine art reproduction of The Saint John’s Bible, known as the “Heritage Edition,” every day at work since it is on public display in her department in the southeast corner of the Learning Commons. Santa Clara’s set of The Saint John’s Bible is one of only 299 such copies. Thanks to a generous donor, the University currently has four of the seven volumes of the massive tomes. The University will acquire the remaining three as they become available. The open book measures a sizable two feet by three feet. “The Heritage Edition has been produced with the same care and attention that goes into a fine press book and it’s absolutely gorgeous,” says Whiteman.

    The Saint John’s Bible was commissioned by the Benedictine monastery at Saint John’s Abbey and University in 1998. The calligraphy and illuminations have been executed by a team of scribes, headed by world-renowned calligrapher Donald Jackson. The Bible is set for completion in May 2011 with the publication of the final volume, Letters and Revelation. The one-of-a-kind original is the work of a dozen scribes writing with turkey, goose, and swan quills on calfskin vellum using natural handmade inks, hand-ground pigments, and gold and silver leaf. SCU’s copy, an exact replica, was reproduced digitally using a special high-tech Heidelberg press. The gold and silver foil were laid on afterwards using a technique that closely matches the hand-embossing used by Jackson on the original leaves. “The pages literally sparkle,” Whiteman says.

    Though this version of the Word of God may be modeled on medieval works, it is truly a Bible for the 21st century. Whiteman says: “A very contemporary view has been taken in the illuminations. For example, Adam and Eve are presented as Ethiopian. The imagery is taken from Navajo weaving basket designs, Persian rugs, Turkish architecture, Christian symbolism, Buddhism, modern science—everything.”

    Whiteman urges faculty, staff, students, and the general public to come see the Bible for themselves. The Saint John’s Bible, Heritage Edition, is currently the centerpiece of the exhibition, Scribes, Saints & Scholars: The Bible, 1150–2010, on display through January 2011, in the Third Floor Gallery of the Learning Commons. The Prophets volume is featured in this show. And if visitors walk next door to the Department of Archives & Special Collections (adjacent to the Gallery), they will see yet another volume of the Bible. The Saint John’s Bible will be on permanent display here, housed in a specially made case. One volume will always be open, resting on a large glass-protected lectern. A Special Collections staff member turns the page every day. The other volumes rest in drawers underneath. “We frequently take them out for people to look at,” Whiteman says. “The illustrations are incredibly powerful. People react to them. We’d really like people to feel that they can come here and use these special acquisitions. They’re here for them.”

    Visit the website for more information about The Saint John’s Bible.

    Visit SCU’s website for more information about the Archives & Special Collections.


  •  Student Ambassadors Play Important Role at SCU

    Sophomore Ryan Clark is one of the three leaders of Santa Clara Student Ambassadors for the 2010–11 school year. The program is here to give people the students’ point of view concerning what SCU really is.
    “It’s a chance for them to hear the honest truth from people who genuinely live and study here.” The 24 ambassadors have three duties that they generally perform: they greet people at various events and locations, sit on student question and answer panels, and, most frequently, guide campus tours. They also play a prominent role during both Preview Days and Open House.
    As a leader of the program, Clark, along with sophomore Nicky Nienow-Birch and senior Makensy Smith, does the behind-the-scenes work like scheduling and event planning, along with personally working on the ambassadors’ Web presence. On that front, his current project: revamping their Facebook page.
    The panel allows students and parents to ask specific, often pointed questions and hear the ambassadors “infuse the factual data with personal experiences” after the tour covers the basics of SCU. He also mentioned that the ambassadors sometimes have to field some strange questions from parents during tours and panels. They try their best to answer truthfully while also representing the University in the best light.
    They are currently conducting interviews for their winter quarter crop and looking for well-rounded, confident students involved in a variety of activities that will be able to hold in reserve a wide variety of knowledge about the University, and can direct parents and students to the right people if they don’t have the answer themselves.
    According to Clark, the ambassadors are an interesting group. “We’re a very fun-loving bunch of outgoing students. What makes this unique is that we’re looking to fill in all niches when hiring since we have to represent the whole school. That makes this group as diverse as you can imagine and as an ambassador you meet all these people you wouldn’t normally.”


  •  SCU Events

    Festival of Lights: Holiday Choral Concert in Mission Santa Clara
    Friday, December 3 and Saturday, December 4 at 7:30 p.m.
    Mission Church
    Learn more

    2010 Santa Clara Historic Home Tour
    Friday, December 3, 6-9 p.m. and Saturday, December 4, 12-5 p.m.
    Historic Homes in the SCU Quad Neighborhood
    To learn more, please email Mary Hanel.

    La Virgen del Tepeyac: The Apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe
    Sunday, December 5at 2 p.m.
    Mission Church
    Learn more

    Remembrance of the Salvadoran Martyrs (During Sunday Mass)
    Sunday, December 5at 9 p.m.
    Mission Church
    Learn more


  •  SCU in the News

    Joe Sugg (University Operations) and SCU alumnus and engineer Brian Drocco were interviewed about SCU’s smart microgrid project on CBS5. Agustin Fonts, also an alumnus and engineer, talked about the smart microgrid in an ABC7 story about promising signs of recovery in Silicon Valley.
    Meir Statman (Finance) was quoted in numerous stories and blogs, including CBS MoneyWatch, BBC and Yahoo! Finance, on the various topics covered by his new book What Investors Really Want. Also, a lengthy San Francisco Chronicle review and Q&A was widely reprinted in papers nationwide.
    Ed McQuarrie (Marketing) spoke to the Associated Press about the difficulty of assessing the true value of marketing ploys like “free shipping” or “deep discounts” at this time of year. The story ran in numerous publications including the Worcester (Mass.) Telegram & Gazette, the Wichita Eagle and the (Memphis) Commercial Appeal.
    A lengthy story on KQED about NASA’s newest nanosatellite project included reference to SCU Engineering’s role as “mission control” center for the project. The story quoted Chris Kitts (Mechanical Engineering) and student Laura Bica. SCU Engineering’s role in the nanosatellite was also noted in stories in many online publications including, Hindustan Times,,, and SpaceDaily.
    Sandra Hayes (Admissions) was interviewed by CBS5 about how students are finding that private universities can be cheaper than public California schools, after factoring in financial aid and the length of time it takes to graduate from crowded public universities.
    A Salinas Californian newspaper story about impending application deadlines quoted Lorenzo Gamboa (Admissions) noting that private universities can be affordable. Similarly, a story in the Sacramento Bee and Modesto Bee, among other papers, also noted that private universities can be cheaper than state schools, and quoted a student who was applying to SCU.
    William Dohar (JST) was quoted in a story in Catholic San Francisco about JST’s new graduate theology offering “Theology After Hours,” which has been welcomed by students seeking an alternative after USF ended its evening master’s program in theology. 
    Eric Goldman’s (Law) comments on Oracle’s $1.3 million verdict against SAP were quoted in nearly 200 publications across the world, after he spoke to a variety of media outlets including Associated Press, Reuters, and the Wall Street Journal. He was also quoted in numerous other publications including the New York Times and NPR’s Marketplace about various tech-law topics including Amazon’s removal of a book for pedophiles.
    Phil Kesten (Physics) talked to WAMC’s Academic Minute about his class “The Physics of Star Trek.” He was also featured in an article on about his inspiration for the class and how it fulfills the university’s new core curriculum requirements.
    Beth Van Schaack (Law) wrote an article assessing the applicability of International Humanitarian Law to maritime piracy, in the Opino Juris blog.
    Jerry Burger (Psychology) was quoted in the Canadian publications Windsor Star, Edmonton Journal  and Times Colonist debunking the notion that wearing black or red jerseys increases aggression in athletes, especially hockey players.
    Judy Nadler (Markkula) weighed in on a Kentucky case involving public officials’ failure to document their disclosures about conflicts of interest. The story ran in numerous Kentucky and Ohio publications.
    Jerry Uelmen (Law) was quoted in a Sacramento Bee story that ran in numerous other publications about medical marijuana proponent’s views of the Attorney General race in California.
    Angelo Ancheta (KGACLC) was quoted in a widely reprinted AP story about the new California redistricting commission.
    The Los Altos Town Crier and the blogs Women Living Under Muslim Lawsand ran stories about the awarding of the Katharine and George Alexander Law Prize to Iranian women’s rights lawyer Shadi Sadr.
    Mark Ravizza, S.J. (Philosophy) was quoted in the National Catholic Reporter discussing issues that came up during the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice at Georgetown.
    TV stories on George Mohler’s (Mathematics) study on predictive patterns in crime continued to be picked up by CBS and NBC affiliate stations, including in Boston, Cincinnati, Charleston and Des Moines.
 ran a lengthy story about the Carry the Vision nonviolence conference that was held on campus and co-sponsored by Santa Clara University.
    SCU students made live appearances on ABC7’s 7 Live, where they discussed controversial issues such as the social host ordinance in San Jose and racial profiling on college campuses.
    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!! ***
  •  Grants, Awards, and Publications

    Mohammad Ayoubi (Mechanical Engineering) and graduate student Li-Chou Tai presented a paper entitled "Adaptive Neuro-Fuzzy Control of a Wind Turbine Operating in Region 3" at the International Mechanical Engineer Congress & Exhibition in November in Vancouver, Canada. Ayoubi was also co-organizer of one of the sessions in Dynamic Systems and Control.
    Monem Beitelmal and Drazen Fabris (Mechanical Engineering) co-authored a research article entitled "Introducing A Novel Reactor Concept: Indirectly Fired Integrated Gasification and Steam Generation System" that was presented at the ASME/IMECE international mechanical engineering conference in November in Vancouver, Canada. Beitelmal also co-authored a research article entitled "A steady-state model for the design and optimization of a centralized cooling system,” which was published in the November issue of the International Journal of Energy Research.
    The second edition of Jane Curry’s (Political Science) text Central and East European Politics was released. Curry had an article in the Harvard International Review on the role of journalists in transitions like the Orange Revolution in Ukraine and Rose Revolution in Georgia. This was based on research done interviewing participants as part of a U.S. Institute of Peace grant.
    Les Goodchild(Education) presented "Teaching the History of Education: A National Report on Its Decline and How We Can Revive It," at the 50th anniversary conference of the History of Education Society (HES) meeting in November in Boston. It was presented during HES President Jonathan Zimmerman's presidential address.
    Tokunbo Ogunfunmi and Talal Al-Attar (Electrical Engineering) and Ph.D. student Ifiok Umoh had a paper presented at the 2010 Asilomar Conference on Circuits, Systems and Computers in November in Asilomar, Calif. The paper is titled "A 0.18um CMOS Narrow-band LNA Linearization Using Digital Baseband Post-Distortion." At the same conference, Ogunfunmi and Ph.D. student Wally Kozacky had another paper presented. It’s titled "An Adaptive IIR Filter with Constraints on the Output Power Level."
    Maria Pantoja and Nam Ling (Computer Engineering) will present their paper, "Acceleration of Reconfigurable Video Coding Using New Parallel Architectures," at the APSIPA Annual Summit and Conference Dec. 14-17 in Singapore.
    Terry Shoup (Mechanical Engineering) has been selected to the Silicon Valley Engineering Hall of Fame for his outstanding professional achievement and significant contributions to the Silicon Valley community and will be inducted during the Engineers' Week Banquet on Feb. 24.
    Sukhmander Singh (Civil Engineering) presented a paper, "Characterization of the Sheer Strength of Municipal Solid Waste for Landfill Design," at the 6th International Congress on Enviromental Geotechnics last month.
    Dan Strickland (Mechanical Engineering) was awarded a Roelandts Fellow grant from the Center for Science, Technology, and Society for his work to develop a portable solar/hydrogen fuel cell generator for off-grid electrification to meet basic necessities such as lighting, cooling, and refrigeration.
    Katie Wilson (Electrical Engineering) was an interviewee for an article that was pubished in the November issue of IEEE Communications Magazine.


  •  The Power of a Smart Microgrid at Santa Clara University

    Imagine a campus, a neighborhood, or a town where all of the electricity is generated, controlled, and measured onsite from one computer screen. It’s one of the many things a smart microgrid can do to help communities like Santa Clara University manage energy consumption, production, and become a more sustainable and climate-neutral campus. 

    SCU is one the first universities in the Bay Area and the first Jesuit university in the U.S. to install a smart microgrid, which ties its power source, transmission, distribution, and even consumption data to weather reports, thereby maximizing energy savings. The power source can be solar, wind, geothermal, essentially any kind of electricity generator. The smart microgrid can also deliver data in real time and measure carbon emissions. In the event of a major power outage, SCU would be able to remain operational, even during prolonged periods of time, and generate enough electricity to power nearby homes and businesses.

    “This technology is going to dramatically decrease energy use and costs and simplify the way we manage our buildings,” says Joe Sugg, assistant vice president of University Operations. “The University’s current system allows us to only control HVAC systems and temperatures. With a smart microgrid, we can instantly turn off lights and equipment in any building, ration electricity during prolonged power outages, and all from your desk.”

    In the first phase of the project, SCU installed sub-meters into 14 buildings and integrated the smart microgrid’s onsite alternative energy sources, such as solar, fuel cells, and mico-turbines. The next phase will connect the entire campus to the campus microgrid. Once the launch of the smart microgrid is complete in December 2011, it’s estimated to reduce energy consumption by 50 percent and save the University about 20 percent in energy costs.

    SCU is collaborating with Sustainable Silicon Valley, Cisco, and Serious Energy (formerly Valence Energy), which was founded by SCU alumni who competed in the 2007 Solar Decathlon in Washington, D.C.

    As outlined in his inaugural address in 2009, President Michael Engh’s vision for the University is a commitment to sustainability and environmental justice. The integration of the smart microgrid is one of the many ways SCU is becoming more sustainable and climate neutral. SCU also recently installed solar panels, instituted Zipcars, and purchased 22,512 megawatt hours of green power, which is equivalent to taking nearly 3,000 cars off the road for one year.

    With stewardship and education an important part of Engh’s plan, SCU also launched a graduate certificate in renewable energy that includes a course called Introduction to the Smart Grid. SCU Board of Trustees unanimously approved a new curriculum for a master’s degree in Sustainable Energy within the School of Engineering starting in the 2011–12 academic year. The Office of Sustainability will use the smart microgrid’s real-time data to raise awareness and change the way students, faculty, and staff live and work.

  •  Ten Years of Turning Out Ace Students

    Ten years ago, leaders at the Leavey School of Business, including then-dean Barry Posner, decided that the school needed a new competitive edge to attract and retain top business students to SCU. Soon after, the ACE program was born.

    Short for Accelerated Cooperative Education, ACE is an invitation-only program of mentoring, leadership, and internship preparation for students in the top 10 percent of their class. Qualifying students are invited to join in their freshman year, and then spend their sophomore, junior, and senior years as ACE students involved with special workshops, community service work, and prepping for internships and jobs.

    "ACE was right on target with the Jesuit mission of leadership and service to others,” said Posner, who retired as dean in 2009 and is now a professor of leadership at Leavey. “It doubled and almost tripled the number of students of distinction who were admitted and joined us.”

    The program, which just celebrated its 10-year anniversary, has graduated more than 250 students. Alumni have founded their own charitable nonprofits; interned for micro-lender Kiva in Sierra Leone; attended graduate school at the London School of Economics; spent a year at Teach for America; and landed jobs in accounting at Ernst & Young, Internet advertising at Google, and risk analysis at Marsh.

    “ACE is a fast-track program for students to learn advanced business skills,” explained Brenda Versteeg, assistant director of undergraduate programs at Leavey, and ACE’s staff director. “But it’s also an intensified immersion into SCU’s Jesuit values—educating the whole person, recognizing one’s responsibility, discerning one’s vocation.”

    Business students in the top decile of their class in their freshman year at SCU are invited to join ACE. While they don’t have dedicated academic classes to complete for ACE, they attend about 20 to 30 workshops over three years—tackling everything from leadership development, community engagement, resume polishing, interview skills, and risk-taking exercises. One such exercise: jumping for a ball while suspended 30 feet in the air—protected only by a rope secured by one’s ACE peers.

    True to Santa Clara’s “educating the whole person” approach to learning, ACE students also spend their sophomore year in community engagement, such as leading Junior Achievement business-education classes for elementary school students.

    One year, for instance, athletes and ACE students Ross Smith and Alex Bon—both well over 6 feet tall—spent a quarter teaching third graders about the economics of cities.

    “When you get in there, you realize there’s a lot of pressure on you as a teacher, with twenty to twenty-five kids just listening and hanging on your every word,” said Smith, a 2010 graduate who now works for Ernst & Young and who called his ACE training “awesome.” 

    “It makes you realize how much work, effort, and preparation teachers put into every day,” he added.

    Other students immerse themselves in Arrupe Partnership placements, such as the student who spent a quarter in the Mountain View day-worker program, speaking Spanish and learning what life is like when one’s work prospects are dependent on the whim of a revolving door of employers.

    Junior year in ACE is spent preparing for internships, often at one of the business partners that have formally worked with ACE over the years: Lockheed Martin, Hitachi Data Systems, Marsh, Target, and Yahoo. The partners come to campus in February to recruit interns for the summer, occasionally leading to full-time job offers at the end of the internship. In other cases students learn what sorts of jobs they are or are not suited to do.

    During their internships, the students also spend several sessions reflecting on the internship experience. They describe the culture of the companies; discuss whether it was a good fit for them; and write “case studies” of incidents or projects that went well or poorly, and what they learned from them.

    “They use this reflection, these case studies, as tools for their interviews when they are looking for full-time work,” said Versteeg.

    Senior year in ACE is about the hunt for full-time employment. In addition to hardcore resume polishing and interview honing, students get mentoring from volunteers from Leavey’s advisory board. Mentors take the students to lunch, share their career stories, and introduce them to key contacts.

    At the end, there’s usually a job, and a senior dinner attended by the dean and the University president. But there’s also a bond between classmates that lasts well beyond graduation. ACE alums stay connected through a newsletter, share their stories and tips when they come back for visits, and often stay friends for years.

    While it is demanding, the ACE program is rewarding for the faculty and staff as well, said Leavey School of Business Dean Drew Starbird.

    “Teaching ACE students is a real pleasure for business school faculty,” said Starbird. “Their thought-provoking questions and passionate perspectives transform an ordinary classroom exchange into a dynamic discussion.”


  •  Santa Clara University Freshman Wants Everyone to 'Be a Part'

    While most teenagers are looking forward to college, hanging out with their friends, and planning their weekends, two young women are focused on helping millions of young girls who are forced into marriages.

    Santa Clara University freshman Cami Winding and her friend Isabella Chartouni launched a nonprofit organization last month called Be-a-Part. They were shocked and devastated after watching a PBS documentary, “Child Brides: Stolen Lives,” that detailed how girls were sold and bought into marriages with older men. According to the film, many child brides are abused and face high risks of pregnancy-related deaths.

    “Our goals are twofold: first, to fund educational programs and health services for victims of child marriages,” explained Winding. “Second, we want to raise awareness and inspire other young girls to ‘be a part’ of the solution.”

    To raise awareness and funds, Winding and Chartouni designed hip and fashionable t-shirts that carry the message of hope. The “Got Your Back” shirt is heather gray, featuring a gold feather and the phrase, “Got Your Back.” The “Heart Mind Body” style is white and repeats inspirational words including “heart, soul, diverse, motive, love…” in a pattern to form the outline of India, a country where child marriages are prevalent. Each shirt sells for $30, and 50 percent of the money collected will be donated to children’s humanitarian organizations.

    The shirts were unveiled at the Be-A-Part launch party at Bloomingdales SOHO in New York City on Oct. 28. Actress Tea Leoni, NBC Today Show’s Ann Curry, and film producer Dina De Luca hosted the event.

    Visit the Be-A-Part website to learn more about their cause.

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