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.

  •  Grants, Awards, and Publications

    SCU faculty and staff receive recognition for their outstanding work

    Rose Marie Beebe (Modern Languages) and Robert Senkewicz (History) have been named recipients of the 2014 Hubert Howe Bancroft Award, given once a year by The Bancroft Library. The award is for "for significant achievement in support of historical research and scholarship on California and the American West, in the preservation of primary and secondary source materials about the region, and in the interpretation and imaginative creation of its history.” Previous winners have included Isabel Allende, Joan Didion, and Kevin Starr.

    Tim Myers' (English) children's book Basho and the River Stones is being reprinted in the Junior Great Books Series 3 Book Two Anthology, which includes Diane Wolkstein and Patricia Polacco, and also reprinted as part of K-12 Assessments in English from Pearson Education in association with the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, with six million anticipated users.

    John Hawley (English) will be at Humboldt University, Berlin's first university for their Spring semester in 2015.  This is one of Germany's eleven "excellence" universities.  I'll be in the Department of English and American Studies offering a course on the literature of immigration and doing a comparative study of the diasporic experience in ethnic literatures.

    Silvia Figueira (Engineering) has received $15,567 from Dew Software, Inc.
    The University and Dew will collaborate in the content creation and delivery of a training program for local Silicon Valley professionals associated with the Frugal Innovation Lab to learn about various mobile platforms that can be tasked for social benefit.  Participants will take part in twenty (20) workshops, lasting average two hours a piece occurring twice weekly, for the duration of the University’s Spring Quarter.

    Prashanth Asuri (Engineering) has received a $19,200 award from ThermoFischer.  Prashanth will study the effect of nanoparticle fillers on various epoxy resin properties, including viscosity, dwell time, and stiffness.  The test methods for all the procedures will be developed in consultation with ThermoFischer.

    Rick Scott (Mathematics and Computer Science) has received a $35,000 grant from the Simons Foundation to fund the "Rationality and L^2-topology of CAT(0) groups" project.  The project concerns properties of infinite geometric cell complexes.  A primary focus will be on computing analytical quantities called L2-Betti numbers, which are conjectured to be zero or rational under suitable hypotheses.

  •  Justice, Dignity, and Human Rights

    Law commencement speaker inspires class of 2014

    Bringing a message that optimism, strong professional role models, and a “profound need to fix people’s problems” can forge a meaningful career, human-rights lawyer Almudena Bernabeu spoke to the 300 graduating students from Santa Clara University School of Law.

    The law school’s commencement took place at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 24, in the University’s Mission Gardens.
    Bernabeu is the lead attorney with San Francisco-based Center for Justice and Accountability’s (CJA) Latin America and Transitional Justice Programs. She is the lead private prosecutor on the high-profile case, underway before the Spanish National Court, against the Salvadoran officials alleged to be behind the massacre of six Jesuit priests, as well as their housekeeper and her daughter in 1989. She also represented survivors of the Guatemalan genocide (including Nobel laureate Rigoberto Menchú Tum).

    She said she got inspired in 2008 to use “universal jurisdiction” to prosecute in Spain the alleged Salvadoran killers of the Jesuits, after she worked alongside prosecutors of Chile’s Augusto Pinochet, who also was indicted in Spain for alleged human rights violations. “Spanish professionals had changed the landscape of international criminal law with the Pinochet case, and I had been by their side, learning, until my opportunity arrived,” she said.

    She thanked Santa Clara University for helping shelter the only witnesses to the 1989 crime, and for helping her locate them to help prosecute the case. The witnesses, Jorge and Lucia Cerna, were in attendance at Saturday’s ceremony. “Santa Clara University makes of justice, not only a key piece of the syllabus, but a way of academic and personal life,” Bernabeu said.

    Bernabeu is vice president of the Spanish Association for Human Rights, and serves as an adviser at the International Human Rights Clinic at Santa Clara University School of Law. She is a member of the board of the Peruvian Institute of Forensic Anthropology and the Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation. She was awarded SCU’s 2012 Katharine and George Alexander Law Prize for her dogged pursuit of justice for the victims of human rights abuses across the world.

    During the ceremony Saturday, University President Michael Engh, S.J., spoke to the graduates, challenging them with the questions "Who will bring justice to the innocent? Who will serve people who would not otherwise have legal counsel? Who will reinforce ethical decision-making across all industries?"

    The 2014 graduating class comprised 48 percent women and 52 percent men. Forty-seven percent of the graduates identified as Caucasian, with 27 percent identifying as Asian; 12 percent Hispanic; 4 percent multi-ethnic, and 2 percent African-American.

    Forty-six graduates received certificates in various areas of high-tech law; another 24 received certificates in public-interest and social-justice law; and 21 specialized in international law.

    Among the awards for outstanding graduates given earlier in the graduation season, student Michael Branson received the Inez Mabie Award for the Outstanding Graduate based on academic performance, scholarly activities, and leadership and service roles at the law school and in the community. Sean Bothamley, Alexandra Logue, and Fritz van der Hoek each received ALI-CLE Scholarship and Leadership Awards, presented to students who exemplify exceptional character, leadership, and professionalism. Rebecca Slutzky received the Dean's Outstanding Student Leadership Award for exemplifying the school’s motto of “lawyers who lead” and serving other students, the school, and community. Dylan Crosby was named the Pro Bono Student of the Year, for the graduate who has volunteered the most hours during the 2013–14 school year.

    Bernabeu received an honorary Doctor of Law degree at the event. She studied at the University of Virginia, received her law degree from the University of Valencia School of Law, and is a Ph.D. candidate in public international law at UNED University in Spain.

  •  Tips from an Uber-Bronco

    One student’s advice on milking the SCU experience for all it’s worth

    Recently, senior Garrett Jensen, an accounting major/political science minor, attended one of the scores of on-campus events that he has been cramming into his final year at SCU. He saw a senior whose face he didn’t recognize. “I said to myself, ‘I’ve never seen you, how could that be?’” said Jensen.

    It says something that Jensen is a student who could reasonably aspire to recognize just about every one of the 1,300 faces with whom he will be graduating this year. That’s because he takes justifiable pride in attending as many University events as he can, and has taken advantage of so many of SCU’s travel and program offerings that if there were an uber-Bronco award, he’d certainly have to be in the running.

    In his four years at SCU, Jensen has taken advantage of three opportunities to travel abroad (to Turkey on a Global Fellows fellowship, Myanmar with the Food and Agribusiness Institute, and Ecuador as an immersion with the Ignatian Center); has gone to New Orleans on a second immersion; is a business-school Leavey scholar and member of the ACE program for top students; served as a student ambassador and business school peer advisor; helped create the Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative at the business school (a class he’s taken for three consecutive years and plans to stick with after graduating); volunteers three nights a month as an EMT; was a senior class senator in ASG and chaired the Student Affairs Committee; was selected as a member of two honor societies, the Jesuit Alpha Sigma Nu and business Beta Gamma Sigma; won (with his teammates) the Ernst and Young 2012 case competition; is on the Senior Gift Committee; and was a regular attendee at virtually every high-profile event of the Solar Decathlon—just to show his support for a friend who was on the team. All while maintaining a 3.79 grade point average and being this close to landing his first job at an accounting firm.

    FYI sat down with Jensen to find out his secret to milking the SCU experience for all its worth. He had some valuable tips:

    *Be creative in finding financing for the things you want to do, and believe it can be done. Jensen’s family isn’t the Rockefellers, so he’s found a way to fund all of his travels with assistance. He says the Ignatian Center, Campus Ministry, and the Food and Agribusiness Institute each chipped in something to help him pay for his travels, and he learned that he could make $10 for every letter he wrote to donors through the Santa Clara Fund. (It helps that he inherited a fond tolerance for filling out paperwork and applications from his mom.) Connections from his work-study job at the High Tech Law Institute led to a nice-paying gig helping to proctor LSAT exams, too.

    *Show up in support of University and peer events, and opportunities for yourself will arise. Business school dean Drew Starbird got used to seeing Jensen around at various events, so when opportunities to meet the local United Way CEO and an Ernst & Young partner came up, Starbird referred Jensen and another student. “I like being supportive of other people’s efforts and things they’ve spent a lot of time building,” he said.

    *Don’t junk those campus flyers and emails. Jensen said he knows of a lot of students who mindlessly delete emails from campus officials, but he said he opens each one with a curious mind. That’s how he learned that the Food and Agribusiness Institute—with which he’d had no previous exposure—was taking students to Myanmar, which turned out to be one of the most interesting travels of his life. And he learned about the New Orleans spring-break immersion from a flyer in Sobrato.

    *Embrace different experiences. Jensen learned about being an EMT from one of his fellow SCU ambassadors, and relishes not only the variety of medical issues it enables him to deal with, but also the friendships with fellow EMTs who are studying biology, chemistry, and engineering. “I love it because I don’t get to be around those people all the time otherwise,” he said. “I learn so much from them.”

    *Appreciate where you are and what you have.
    Before he came to Santa Clara, Jensen didn’t really know much about Silicon Valley. Now, he says, “When I’m on the campus, I can really feel the ideas, the energy, and innovation of Silicon Valley.” He likes the written and group reflection exercises that are part of the Jesuit education because it forces him to remember not to rush through experiences like Ecuador, which he said was an amazing, fulfilling experience. He learned the value of such positivity from his dad, a sales executive who used to put affirming quotes in his lunch box each day, and now sends them via email.
    “I love teams, I love collaboration and shared work,” said Jensen. But even in those rare cases when his family or others aren’t there to cheer him on, “If I want to do something, I’m doing it.”










  •  We're Gold!

    Santa Clara University earns gold seal for its sustainability efforts across campus

    Santa Clara University is earning high praise and a jump in ratings for its commitment to sustainability. SCU just received a gold rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS).

    “Sustainability is becoming ingrained in our culture at Santa Clara and we’re honored our efforts are being recognized,” says Lindsey Kalkbrenner, director of SCU’s Center for Sustainability. “From the reclaimed water we use to take care of our beautiful campus to fruits and veggies harvested from our organic Forge Garden to courses integrated with sustainable lessons, folks across the University make an impact every day.”

    Universities self-report data on more than a dozen different categories including curriculum, research, campus engagement, dining services, waste, water, and innovation. SCU was rated silver in 2011, but has made big strides since then by incorporating more sustainability themes into curriculum as well as influencing the community on and off campus. One program called Living Off Campus And Living Sustainably or LOCALS, encourages students to change their behavior at home and for a lifetime.

    “Students in LOCALS learn everything from how to compost with worms to how to throw sustainable dinner parties. It’s incredible to watch these liaisons not only learn important behaviors that will last a lifetime, but get really excited to teach their roommates, family, friends—anyone who will listen!” says Sustainability Coordinator Cara Uy.

    Santa Clara University’s faculty has incorporated sustainability into more than 700 courses and encourages every student to think about sustainability and social justice. A few examples include Sustainability Marketing, Climate Change Law, a philosophy course called Ethical Issues and the Environment, and numerous engineering courses including Design and Fabrication of PV (photovoltaic) Cells.

    Santa Clara also scored points in the innovation category for several programs including the Global Social Benefit Institute, which encourages innovation-based entrepreneurs for humanity, the Frugal Innovation Lab dedicated to bringing affordable technology to emerging markets, and the Contemplative Leadership and Sustainability Program (CLASP) to encourage future business leaders to guide sustainable development.

    SCU was also recently awarded the Acterra Award for Sustainability and is holding its first ever bottled water-free undergraduate commencement June 14.

  •  Campus Changes

    Next phase of construction on Alviso Street pedestrian mall to begin this summer

    The transformation of Santa Clara University into a pedestrian-friendly campus with the Mission Church as its centerpiece continues. Last summer, Palm Drive was closed and turned into a pedestrian mall that allows visitors to walk to the Mission Church. The mall was donated by alumni John A. and John M. Sobrato in memory of alumna Abby Sobrato, class of 1983.

    After commencement this June, the next phase will begin: Alviso Street will close. It will reopen as a pedestrian mall after Labor Day 2014. The goal is to make the campus safer for pedestrians and allow visitors to focus on the beauty of the Mission Church instead of on traffic and parked cars.

    The parking spaces that were lost in the street closures have been replaced—and added to—by a parking structure that opened in November 2013 near the planned site of the Edward M. Dowd Art and Art History Building. Handicapped parking is being expanded throughout the campus as well. All the pedestrian malls are accessible to emergency vehicles, and Palm Drive is still available for some ceremonial events.

  •  New Fathers’ Guide

    Study and new book by Jerrold Shapiro finds expectant fathers’ fears need attention

    A new study out of Santa Clara University finds the latest generation of new fathers are more engaged with their children, but have the same fears as new dads from decades ago. Santa Clara University Counseling Psychology Professor and clinical psychologist Jerrold Shapiro just re-conducted his famous study on expectant fathers from 1982–86 with new fathers of today and found many ways new dads could address their concerns.

    The study found across generations, expectant dads have fears about their partner’s health, losing out to the babies in the competition for a partner’s attention, and not being able to provide for the family, financially and otherwise. However, parents are having children later in life. Modern couples are conceiving closer to 30 years old as opposed to new parents decades ago conceiving in their early 20s.

    “Despite the fact that new parents of today have had more time to establish their careers and set themselves up financially, the same fears occur regardless of age,” says Shapiro. “With all of the advancements in medicine and endless amount of information at our fingertips, the idea of being responsible for another living thing still makes new dads question their abilities. Unfortunately, we’re still not doing enough to address their concerns.”

    Shapiro interviewed 99 new dads nationwide representing a cross-cultural sample that mirrors the 2010 U.S. Census. He outlines his findings in his new book “When She's Pregnant: An Essential Guide for Expectant Fathers” (2014, XLibris).

    “More than half of new dads are so overwhelmed they had fleeting doubts whether the baby was even theirs,” says Shapiro. “I saw a dad holding his infant son who shares the exact same shade of hair, skin color, and shape of nose, who still was uncertain with the idea that he could have been part of creating new life.”

    Shapiro suggests many ways new dads can ease their anxiety including letting their pregnant partners know about their fears, talking to other dads for advice and shared experience, attending couple-oriented childbirth classes, connecting to the baby still in utero by singing and talking, and avoiding books and movies that trivialize fathers’ concerns.

    “Probably the most important thing for new dads to do is to remind themselves that the love you will discover for your new infant will quiet most concerns,” says Shapiro.

    Among the findings:
    ● 80 percent of first-time fathers described being concerned about queasiness, nausea, or fainting during the birth. This number dropped to under 20 percet of second-time fathers.
    ● Two-thirds of expectant fathers were uncomfortable with OB/GYN exams, procedures,
    and tests.
    ● Nearly all had concerns over finances, security, and being the family provider and
    protector. (Some fathers even reported buying a gun.)
    ● Over 50 percent had a fleeting thought about paternity. Most of these men also believed that their wives/partners had been faithful—this was more a reflection of the magnitude of helping to create life.

    Shapiro will be signing copies of the his new book in the Loyola Hall North Lobby, June 10 from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. Counseling Psychology Professor Shauna Shapiro will also be signing her new book “Mindful Discipline: A Loving Approach to Setting Limits and Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child.” Please join them for light refreshments. Both books will be available for purchase.

  •  Advancing Education

    National Hispanic University Foundation and Santa Clara University Announce Innovative Collaboration to Create Educational Opportunities for Hispanic Communities

    The NHU Foundation and Santa Clara University are pleased to announce new plans for the use of the former National Hispanic University (NHU) campus in East San Jose. The Foundation is moving forward with plans to establish the Institute for Hispanic Educational Advancement at the campus beginning June 16, 2014. The Institute will be the first collaboration of its kind to integrate research, policy, and practice to provide a national focus on advancing Hispanic students with a concentration on educational achievement, attainment, and advancement.

    The first member of the collaboration is the Santa Clara University School of Education and Counseling Psychology. The Foundation and SCU have agreed to offer a premier graduate studies program for the development of culturally responsive educational leaders. The East San Jose satellite campus will allow graduate students the opportunity to earn an SCU master of arts in teaching and California single or multiple subject teaching credential.

    “This collaboration is just one of many ways Santa Clara University demonstrates our values of social justice and education,” said SCU President Michael Engh, S.J. “We are pleased to provide important resources that will assist students in their professional studies and strengthen communities with opportunities for a better education and brighter future for their children.”

    SCU has established a scholarship program to help students currently enrolled in the NHU teaching credential program complete their single or multiple subject teaching credential and earn their master of arts in teaching. Additional scholarships will be available to attract aspiring teachers who commit to teach in schools with predominantly underserved Hispanic populations and to ensure that the number of culturally-responsive teachers in Santa Clara County is increased to meet the needs of the student population.

    “Our goal is to offer innovative and transformative programs for teachers, who in turn make the greatest impact on the children whom they teach,” said Nicholas Ladany, dean of the School of Education and Counseling Psychology. “It is critical that schools of education learn about what works best for engaging Hispanic students, and we are humbled by this opportunity.”

    Pew research predicts Hispanic children will make up 25 percent of the nation’s youth (ages 0 to 8) by 2030. Today, Hispanic students lag behind Non-Hispanic Whites and Asian Americans on most measures of academic achievement including test scores and high school and college graduation rates.

    The second component of the Institute will be the relocation of the Foundation’s two charter high schools, Latino College Preparatory Academy and the Roberto Cruz Leadership Academy, to the former NHU campus. The relocation is scheduled for July 1, 2014. Latino College Prep and Roberto Cruz Leadership Academy will collaborate in a unique apprenticeship clinical model that includes its campus partners, and the SCU School of Education and Counseling Psychology graduate program. Future plans include additional K-8 partners.

    The Latino College Preparatory Academy and SCU’s satellite campus will be located in a section of Sobrato Hall, the building housing the former NHU campus. The space has been made available thanks to a generous donation from SCU trustee John A. Sobrato.

    “Educating the growing Hispanic community has been a passion of mine for the past 15 years since I first joined the Board of NHU and LCPA,” says Sobrato. “I am delighted that Santa Clara University is enhancing the teacher credential program commenced by NHU and I expect the program will grow over time.”

    The third component of the Institute is the Hispanic Education Research & Policy Center. Also scheduled to open this summer on the campus, the Center will be a data-driven source of advice on the design, testing, and evaluation of new or modified education strategies for raising Hispanic educational attainment and academic achievement. The Center will work closely with public and education policymakers to develop policies and practices that provide educational equity in school systems with large Hispanic populations.

    “The Board of our Foundation is both proud and excited that a University as prestigious as Santa Clara has chosen to participate in this project,” says President of the NHU Foundation and SCU trustee emeritus Ed Alvarez. “Their investment in the youth that are most in need of an improved education will have a significant and long lasting impact in the classrooms that serve our Hispanic community.”

    The Foundation is also pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. David Lopez as Executive Director of the Institute. Dr. Lopez will direct the efforts of the collaboration partners as a comprehensive source of research and information on educational attainment and academic achievement for the underserved Hispanic population of the county, state, and nation.

    About the NHU Foundation

    The NHU Foundation was founded in 1982 as a public benefit, nonprofit corporation and has operated the Latino College Preparatory Academy (LCPA) charter high school since 2002. LCPA has successfully prepared its students for college with 50 percent admitted to UC and CSU schools and the other 50 percent to local community colleges.

    Its curriculum is structured around the highly successful Reading and Writing Initiative developed by Stanford professor Dr. Guadalupe Valdes who serves as an advisor to the school. This summer the Foundation will open two new charter high schools, Luis Valdez Leadership Academy to be located in the Franklin McKinley School District and Roberto Cruz Leadership Academy to be located on the campus of NHU. All three of its schools will focus on preparing English learners for college.

    In addition, Roberto Cruz Academy will also focus on preparing students to pursue the teaching profession as a college major. Luis Valdez, a nationally known playwright, will serve the school in his name on the incorporation of art and drama into the academic curriculum. All three schools will participate in a unique clinical model to be developed by the Institute in collaboration with SCU School of Education and Counseling Psychology.

    About Santa Clara University

    Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, theology, and engineering, plus master’s and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see

    About the School of Education and Counseling Psychology

    Guided by strong dedication to academic excellence and service to society, the School of Education and Counseling Psychology at Santa Clara University educates compassionate, competent, and ethical professionals committed to meaningful and supportive engagement with people, schools, and communities. The School offers master’s degree, certificate, and professional credential programs in teacher preparation and advanced studies, educational leadership and administration, and counseling psychology. Its core values include academic excellence through engaged teaching and learning, educating the whole person, multiculturalism and social justice, and innovative education for conscience and compassion. For more information, see

  •  Inspiring Bronco

    Engineering student Claire Kunkle wins National Science Foundation Fellowship

    Her application for America’s most prestigious fellowship in science and engineering was months in the making, but Claire Kunkle ’14 (mechanical engineering) said she never pictured herself winning the award. “Even getting an honorable mention is something you put on your resume,” she explained.

    Yet when the National Science Foundation announced the results of its Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) competition in April, Claire’s name was one of 2,000 recipients in a pool of 14,000 applicants. Godfrey Mungal, dean of the School of Engineering, said he knows of no other SCU engineering student to ever receive an NSF fellowship.

    “We are very proud of her and of her accomplishments,” said Mungal.

    Claire’s triumph is especially significant because very few undergraduate seniors compete and win the fellowship, which offers three years of financial support and professional development opportunities to graduate students.

    “Most applicants are already in grad school and working on their research projects,” she said. “In my case, I had to create a proposed project on paper.” She credits her professors and Leilani Miller, director of the Office of Fellowships and Undergraduate Studies, in helping her put together the multipage document.

    The young engineer will have an opportunity to see her project come to fruition at UC Berkeley, where she’ll enter a combined master’s and Ph.D. degree program in the fall. Her research will involve creating a solar-powered air-conditioning system to be used in developing countries, where “increased demand for air-conditioning is resulting in a huge problem for electrical grids.”

    Her work on a senior design project this year sparked the idea.

    “I really think SCU did a fantastic job in preparing me for the fellowship,” she said. “My proposal included an obvious component of social justice, and I think the NSF readers saw that and considered the global and broader goals of the research.”

    Claire said the emphasis on social justice was a big reason for coming to SCU from her home in Washington. Just as important was the University’s encouragement to expand her interests beyond her major.

    “At so many other schools I visited, I heard that engineering was too demanding to allow any outside interests,” she explained. “But SCU has a completely different approach.” Once on campus, Claire dove into her lifelong passion for music, devoting several hours a week to the Mission Church Choir and singing nearly every quarter for the next four years.

    A two-year internship with Campus Ministry introduced her to another special interest, and Claire seamlessly merged her love of music with the spiritual center of SCU. And, when she joined a local chapter of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Claire found yet another passion: teaching girls in high school about engineering through a program called One Step Ahead.

    “In the four years I’ve been involved, I’ve seen enrollment grow from 10 girls to 45 girls,” said Claire, who is now vice president of the SWE chapter. “I’ve watched the program explode and it’s so exciting. I’ve seen girls become first generation college students; it’s really, really rewarding.”

    Claire, SWE Outreach Officer Jessica VanderGeissen, '14 and other club members recently helped local high school girls build prosthetic hands from kits the associated student government provided SWE $2,500 to buy. The hands were sent to those in need overseas, and the teenagers gained confidence and new STEM skills.

    Claire readily admits that life away from the lab is as important to her as the remarkable achievement of winning an NSF Fellowship. And those who know her agree. “She is a great example of Jesuit education,” according to Dean Mungal. “She excels in the left brain skills through engineering and the right brain skills through her work in music, campus ministry, engineering leadership, and choir.”

    While in high school, Claire found a teacher who showed her there is a career tailor-made for both sides of her exceptional brain. “I love it because engineering requires creativity and an inquisitive mind; it’s about looking at the world’s problems and figuring out creative ways to fix them.”

    When her doctorate is complete, Claire plans to return to higher education as a university professor. “I have a natural inclination toward teaching, and I’m eager to be a female mentor in an area that’s dominated by males,” she explained. She also knows exactly what kind of teacher she’ll be. “I’m not going to be that boring professor who makes students wish they were anywhere else,” she vowed. “I’m exciting and I will motivate people!”

    Claire shared her mission with NBC Bay Area. Watch the Interview Here.

    Slideshow of SWE's One Step Ahead Helping Hands event May 17, 2014:

  •  Hard Drives in Harmony

    SCU’s Laptop Orchestra reimagines the way we use computers to create music

    Santa Clara University’s Laptop Orchestra, affectionately known as SCLOrk, will perform on Wednesday, June 4, at 7:30 p.m. in the Music Recital Hall. The orchestra started about a year ago under the direction of Bruno Ruviaro, assistant professor of music. Each laptop has its own speaker to replicate the orchestral model, in which each instrument’s sound comes from a different place.

    The musicians do more than “just hit ‘Play’ and ‘Enter,’ ” Ruviaro said. “If I have 16 people playing, I give each of them a meaningful part of their own.”

    Ruviaro said laptop orchestras are “reinventing chamber music,” moving from lone individuals creating music on a computer to having groups of people play together using their computers as live instruments.

    “The connection between musicians and technology has always existed,” Ruviaro said. “There was a moment in society when laptops became really cheap. Musicians were jumping on it and saying, ‘How can I make music for this machine?’ When the  piano was invented, Beethoven was one of the first people to jump on it and say, ‘I want to create music on this new machine.’”

    For tickets, go to or call 408-554-4015.


  •  Hacking Injustice

    May 24 Hackathon Challenges Students to Benefit Others with Social Justice App Contest

    At the end of many Silicon Valley hackathons, winning programmers might produce a cool smart-phone app to find the best Thai restaurant, or use QR code for information on potential love connections.

    At Santa Clara University’s BroncoHack, organizers hope at least one winner will change the world for the better.

    “Best Social Justice App” is one of three categories of prizes that will be available to the winning team during BroncoHack, a 24-hour hackathon being held at Santa Clara University's Leavey School of Business, which is expected to be attended by 150 Bay Area high-school and college students.

    While the precise parameters of the project won’t be revealed until the day of the event – in keeping with the spontaneous rules of hackathons --  sponsors hope to harness the unmistakable energy and community spirit of hackathons to help communities that are otherwise marginalized or discriminated against.

    “We are really looking forward to seeing what these high school and college students come up with, not just in the way of cool tech or business apps, but also to use technology to help the community,” said Paul Intrevado, adjunct instructor in Santa Clara University’s Department of Operations Management and Information Systems, and the faculty adviser for the OMIS Student Network (OSN), the main organizer of the day’s events.

    Hackathons are 24-hour, marathon computer coding sessions at which attendees must come up with an app or other product whose specifications are not revealed until the day of the event.  After the May 24 event (2 p.m. May 24 to 2 p.m. May 25)  BroncoHack will award three $1,000 prizes in each of the following categories:

    *Best Social Justice App
    *Best Tech App
    *Best Business Technology Case

    Other sponsors of prizes at BroncoHack include the San Jose Earthquakes, who will announce the winner of their Stadium App prize at the Quakes game the evening of Sunday May 25, and the OMIS Student Network of Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business. The Associated Student Government of Santa Clara University is also a sponsor of the event.

    The school’s OMIS Student Network hopes to shed light on the inextricable link between business and information technology fields like computer science and computer engineering.

    “Business and information technology are inseparable nowadays,” said Andy Tsay, chair of the OMIS department at SCU. “ With their understanding of both, our department's majors and minors are ready to step right into some of the best career paths, whether as entrepreneurs or as staffers at leading organizations in just about every industry."

    “At SCU we expect our graduates to do good for society along the way, and this hackathon is right in line with that theme," Tsay added.

    More information on the day’s events can be found at

  •  New Chief Information Officer

    Santa Clara University appoints Robert C. Owen to university’s executive team

    Robert C. Owen has been named chief information officer (CIO) and vice provost for technology and information services for Santa Clara University.

    As CIO, Owen will be the principal member of the University’s executive team responsible for strategizing and implementing innovative uses of technology to strengthen the University’s position as a leading institution of higher education.

    Working in collaboration with faculty, key administrators and staff, the CIO will develop a vision for leveraging technology to support student learning, enhance faculty teaching and research, and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the University’s operations.

    The CIO and vice provost reports to the Provost, serves as a member of the University Planning Action Council, and actively works with the Trustee Technology Committee.

    “I am delighted to bring Dr. Owen to the Santa Clara campus,” said University Provost Dennis Jacobs. “Bob’s extensive experience with technology spans many fields, and his strong background in strategic planning will be a great asset moving forward. His understanding of the various ways in which technology can be deployed to advance the university’s mission, makes him a great fit for Santa Clara University.”

    In this position, Owen will lead University efforts to leverage ties to Silicon Valley, to bring appropriate technologies to SCU, and to develop multifaceted partnerships with technology companies to create educational, research, and career opportunities for students and faculty.

    Owen will oversee a staff of 107 and manage an annual budget of $20 million. As part of Santa Clara University’s strategic plan, he will help the University attain national prominence by 2020 by cultivating an organizational capacity supportive of change which enables faster and more extensive adoption of technology.

    Owen comes to Santa Clara University from Western Kentucky University (WKU) where he is currently vice president for information technology leading a staff of 155 and supporting 21,000 students in multiple locations. Prior to that Owen was associate VP for information technology at Cabrillo College, in Aptos, Calif.

    “It is a great privilege to join Santa Clara and have the opportunity to work in Silicon Valley at a university committed to Jesuit ideals,” Owen said. “I look forward to working with the campus community to improve and enhance technology services for students, faculty, and staff and move Santa Clara to the forefront. It is an exciting time to be at Santa Clara and I am energized by the possibilities ahead,” said Owen.

    “I have been impressed by the caliber of the leadership I met through the search process and look forward to becoming part of the Santa Clara community,” Owen added.

    Owen received his doctorate in public administration from the University of La Verne; his master’s of science in education from the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater; and his bachelor of business administration degree from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.

  •  Take Five

    Get to know a member of the SCU community

    Communication Professor Michael Whalen has been producing documentaries and television shows since 1994. His television experience includes writing, producing, and directing such hit series as Fox Television’s “COPS” and  A&E’s “BIOGRAPHY.” He has also produced series’ for The Discovery Channel, NBC, and The Learning Channel (TLC). Professor Whalen has also produced multiple award winning independent documentary films. His 2009 documentary, A Question of Habit was broadcast on PBS in 2012 and Gringos at the Gate was broadcast on ESPN Deportes in 2013. His latest work The Farmer & the Chef recently premiered at the 2014 Cinequest Film Festival.

    1. You were doing well as a filmmaker in Los Angeles. What made you want to come back to SCU to teach?

    I was working primarily in the documentary area for networks like Discovery and A&E and around the year 2000 the networks starting moving away from the traditional documentary form and into reality TV. I ended up directing the pilot episodes of a couple of reality shows (a baby's story and a wedding story) and then spent a year directing "Cops." It just wasn't the type of work I wanted to do and when SCU reached out to me to start teaching I used the chance to follow my dream of teaching while also being able to produce independent films.

    2. What's your advice to SCU film students who may feel inadequate compared to students at what many consider top film schools like UCLA, USC, and Chapman?

    Not to worry about it. The film education you receive at SCU is as good as all of those places. In some ways it's even better because you aren't just studying film. You're receiving an outstanding liberal arts education that will make you a better storyteller. Add in the film classes and you have a great foundation to enter the industry. Too many of the students coming out of USC, UCLA, and Chapman think they are going to become directors the minute they graduate. That's not going to happen. They start where everybody else starts … at the bottom. What enables you to move up is not your knowledge of a certain camera or tech, but rather the kind of person you are, the type of filmmaker you want to become. SCU does an amazing job of preparing you for this.

    3. What inspired you to do your latest documentary, The Farmer and the Chef?

    I really wanted to make a "green" doc—something to do with the environment but from a unique angle. I was looking all over for a good story to tell when my wife booked a reservation at Manresa for our anniversary. While we are eating the best meal of our lives my wife looked up and said, why not this place? I started reading up on David Kinch and discovered his amazing relationship with Cynthia Sandberg (the farmer) and was hooked. It's just such a cool thing they have going—and both are world class at what they do. It was an easy sell once i met both of them.

    4. You often say that presently, the best filmmaking is on television. What do you mean by that?

    Networks like HBO, FX, AMC, etc. are granting complete creative freedom to filmmakers to create amazing characters and stories. It's a freedom that directors don't have with major motion pictures because of theatrical film's needs to appeal to broad audiences and bring in massive amounts of box office revenue. On TV filmmakers are finding a place where they can develop far more complex characters and storylines because they have 12 to 18 hours per season and they can write for a very specific audience. Since these networks aren't nervously watching box office receipts they can, instead, spend the time and money creating content that keeps their very specific audience happy. That's just a luxury that theatrical films don't have and it’s why a lot of 'film' talents are moving to tv.

    5. If you could've been on the set of any movie that has ever been made, which one would you chose and why?

    Ok, every one of my students knows the answer to this …The Godfather. Why? It's the best film ever made. Do I really need to say more? Francis Ford Coppola at his best directing the likes of Pacino, Brando, Duvall, Caan, Keaton, and the rest of the cast. How could you say any other film?

    Make sure to attend SCU’s 2014 Genesis Film Festival to see SCU student films Friday, June 6th at the Locatelli Center at 6pm.

  •  Humane Business Practiced Here

    Global Jesuit universities meeting May 19–21 at SCU to share ways to better foster "social entrepreneurs".

    A wave of activity is underway by Jesuit universities to help battle the sort of inhumane capitalism and indifference to the poor that Pope Francis warned against in his exhortation last November. The tool these universities are increasingly embracing is “social entrepreneurship,” with universities supporting businesses that serve the poor by teaching students to start or support them and conducting research on their social benefit.

    Helping Social Entrepreneurs

    Social entrepreneurs use businesses and innovative business strategies to solve humanity’s biggest problems: poverty, health care scarcity, toxic cooking fuel, or agricultural unsustainability. They often have “triple bottom lines”—a goal of making a profit and creating a lasting business, having a measurable impact on social problems, and conserving the Earth’s resources.

    For more than 12 years, Santa Clara University has run mentoring programs to help social entrepreneurs expand their impact, as part of its Jesuit mission for a humane, sustainable world. The University also offers classes in social entrepreneurship topics and an undergraduate fellowship to work directly with these entrepreneurs. In recent years, about a dozen Jesuit universities worldwide have started similar programs or have become interested in working with social entrepreneurs in other ways.

    Global Meeting May 19–21

    Now, interested universities from the Philippines, Taiwan, Mexico, Slovenia, Italy, and Spain will be gathering at Santa Clara University May 19 to 22 for a meeting of the “GSBI Network,” a group of universities—most of them Jesuit—interested in advancing this promising way of helping the poor. In attendance will be Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., the secretary for higher education for the Society of Jesus and president of Loyola University in Chicago.

    For more information:

  •  Faculty Reception

    Santa Clara University congratulates endowed professors and the promotion of several faculty members.

    Santa Clara University is honoring several members of its faculty who have been promoted or appointed as endowed professors at a reception Friday, May 16. The SCU community is invited to the celebration at Adobe Lodge from 4:30 to 6:30 pm.

    Endowed Professorships:

    - Ruth Davis (Computer Engineering) has been reappointed the Lee and Seymour Graff Professor.

    - Betty Young (Physics) has been named the Lee and Seymour Graff Professor II.

    Receiving tenure:

    - George Cai (OMIS)

    Receiving tenure and promoted to the rank of associate professor:

    - Rohit Chopra (Communication)

    - Amelia Fuller (Chemistry and Biochemistry)

    - David Hess (Biology)

    - Kimberly Hill (Theatre and Dance)

    - Christopher Weber (Physics)

    - Marco Bravo (Education)

    - Mohammad Ayoubi (Mechanical Engineering)

    - Siqi Li (Accounting)

    - Xiaojing Dong (Marketing)

    Receiving tenure and promoted to the rank of full professor:

    - Yuling Yan (Bioengineering)

    Promoted to the rank of full professor:

    - Kristin Heyer (Religious Studies)

    - Kathleen Maxwell (Art and Art History)

    - Chad Raphael (Communication)

    - Shauna Shapiro (Counseling Psychology)

  •  Spring Showcase

    SCU staff & faculty explore all that Forge Garden has to offer.

    Santa Clara University is home to a half-acre organic garden where opportunities to learn about sustainability bloom everyday. The campus community learned all about ways to utilize the Forge Garden at the Spring Showcase Friday, May 2. Professors often incorporate the garden into courses and many take classes at the garden such as beekeeping, chicken care, water conservation. Forge Farmstand Fridays are also popular events, held every Friday 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., where folks come to buy organic fruits and veggies grown right in SCU’s backyard.

    About Forge Garden

    The Forge Garden currently has six chickens, four beehives, a 400 sq. ft. greenhouse, a compost center, more than 20 fruit trees, more than 15,000 sq ft of garden beds, a public commons, and an aquaponic system.The garden hosts service learning opportunities year-round, a weekly farmstand, a large variety of workshops, and special events. Dozens of academic courses utilize the garden each quarter, bringing students to the garden for labs, tours, lectures, and observation.

    Live Off-Campus And Live Sustainably (LOCALS) is one program that utilizes Forge Garden. Check out this video.

    2014 Spring Showcase Slideshow:

  •  Digital Spring Cleaning

    Five easy ways to declutter your SCU Gmail

    Marc Ramos from Technology Training shares tips on making Gmail work for you.

    Our tools for email communication have changed dramatically over the last few years. But for many of us, the way we interact with our email has not evolved as quickly. As your emails build up over time, your inbox could become unwieldy. Use these “spring cleaning” solutions to increase email efficiency.

    1. Use filters to skip the inbox entirely. Let Gmail’s filter tools be your personal assistant. Select an email and choose the “Filter Messages Like This” option from under your “More” menu. If you wish, you can create a filter that diverts all incoming mail from a specific person, group, or subject from the inbox. The filter can then apply a label to the message, auto reply using a canned response, or maybe someday auto forward it.

    2. Hide labels unless there’s an unread message. The real estate for your labels is relatively small. One solution to avoid cluttering this space is to hide labels entirely until needed. Take a quick visit to your email settings. Locate the tab called “Labels.” Display options for labels include show, hide, or only show if unread.

    3. Use Inbox Tabs to auto sort important emails. Gmail’s tabbed inbox categorizes your incoming emails into several categories: Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates, and Forums. A tabbed inbox helps you focus on emails that are high priority, and disregard the fluff. Navigate to your settings and select the “Configure Inbox” option. Select the tabs you would like to use, drag and drop emails to move them from one tab to another, and finally sit back as Gmail categorizes all of your new messages going forward.

    4. Archive instead of delete. Gmail’s search function is a powerful tool for locating old emails. Next time you open a message and can’t decide how to label it, simply select the archive button near the top of your message. Once your message has been archived it will be sitting under your “All Mail” label. Need to find it again someday? Enter any search term from the email and select the “Search Options” drop-down arrow to the far right of the search field. Search by sender, subject, attachment, size, date range, or keywords.

    5. Send and Archive. After replying to emails the original email will still take up room in your inbox. An inbox filled with emails that have been replied to may make us feel productive at the end of the day, but a clean inbox is even more rewarding. The “Send and Archive” feature does exactly as its name says—immediately archiving an email after you’ve replied to it. To enable this feature navigate to your general settings and select the “Show Send & Archive” button.

    Need to get a better grip on your email? Visit Santa Clara University’s Technology Training schedule for upcoming workshops.

  •  A Greater Good

    From international business ethics to earthquake safety to global medicine, several SCU students and alumni get ready to put their prestigious awards to good use

    Fulbright Award Recipients and Alternates

    Saayeli Mukherji ’13 is a finance major and history minor who will study at the Duisenberg School of Finance in The Netherlands. She plans to create an open forum on business ethics to help prevent global ethics catastrophes such as the 2008 financial crisis.

    "This Fulbright opportunity allows me to continue my work as a Hackworth Business Ethics Fellow and further ignite global conversations about business ethics. Specifically, I hope this dialogue allows for a crowd sourced business ethics guide that can help develop more integrity in future generations of business leaders."


    Julianne Parayo ’12  plans to use her English and music training at SCU to explore her capacity for teaching English in a new environment and to participate in a powerful and artistic cross-cultural exchange. She chose Poland to explore its deep regard for both tradition and progress and to investigate how cross-generational dynamics transform a nation's culture.

    "By teaching English not just as a foreign language, but as a means for self-expression, I hope to give Polish students a fair representation of American culture, and become an ambassador in an artistic sense, by allowing students to engage their voices in a cross-cultural discourse. In doing so, I wish to explore the ability to override language barriers through multi-disciplinary engagement of music and song."

    Natalie Lays ’14, will teach English in Brazil and looks forward to pursuing her interest in other cultures and global medicine. After a summer internship, she was inspired by the dynamic culture and forward-looking mentality of the Brazilian people. She is graduating with a degree in psychology from SCU this June.

    "With this award I hope to improve my leadership skills and gain a wider perspective on the health disparities experienced outside of the United States.

    Daniel Peng '12, is using his Fulbright award to address the growing diabetes epidemic in China.  Peng was a biology major at SCU and wants to improve diabetes management, as well as long-term clinical outcome in diabetes patients at a regional diabetes clinic in Hangzhou, China by establishing actionable patient goals, relevant community activity groups, and an electronic follow-up system.

    "Working with children affected by the disease has been a great personal motivation to create answers for how to better manage diabetes through health education and lifestyle habits. By investigating best practices in clinical health education in a rural clinic in China, my goal is to bring knowledge and answers back to the United States to advocate for better health education in underserved, immigrant communities."

    Rachel Wilmoth ’14, was selected as an alternate and is hoping her project to research the mechanical and structural components of the sea urchin’s self-sharpening teeth will be funded. The project could help improve the sharpness of tools like knives or drill bits. The tests would be run at a lab in New Zealand. She is graduating with a mechanical engineering degree in June.

    Erik McAdams ’14, was selected as an alternate and is hoping his project to address rural poverty in earthquake-prone Ecuador by analyzing the structural characteristics of houses in remote villages will be funded. He’s very involved in SCU’s chapter of Engineers without Borders and will graduate with a civil engineering major and Spanish minor from SCU in June.

    “With the Fulbright, I plan to use my engineering skills in an exciting and global context, and to learn about the cultural, social, and engineering practices of Ecuador. I also hope to grow personally through the many challenges that will be encountered during this overseas adventure. “


    National Science Foundation Research Fellowships Awards

    Julie Herman ’14 plans to use her NSF research fellowship award to study the evolutionary forces in the mustard oil biosynthetic pathway and possible coevolution of mustards and pierid butterflies. She trained under Dr. Justen Whittall and will receive her biology degree this June. She will then pursue her Ph.D. at UC Santa Cruz.

    “I hope to investigate evolutionary forces in the chemical pathways plants use to defend themselves against insects. Greater understanding of plant defense can help us improve our agricultural practices in a time when we are in danger of not being able to produce enough food to feed everyone in the world.” says Herman.

    Claire Kunkle ’14 will use her NSF award to study and design energy systems to benefit developing nations. She studied under Dr. Hohyn Lee at SCU and will earn her mechanical engineering degree this June. She will then pursue her Ph.D. at UC Berkeley.

    “In receiving this NSF fellowship I feel a renewed sense of excitement to pursue authentic, cutting-edge research. This will be coupled with a desire to explore the field of engineering pedagogy and hopefully become a new face in the national issue of engaging students of all backgrounds in STEM fields,” says Kunkle.

    Read the next edition of fyi for how Kunkle plans to inspire future engineers to accomplish their dreams, particularly young girls interested in STEM.

  •  How Tweet It Is

    Check out what people are saying about SCU on our social media channels.

    Many in the SCU community are putting why they love SCU into 140 characters or posting pictures of our beautiful campus on Facebook and Instagram. Here are just a few of our mentions. If you tweet, we’d love to follow you. Tweet us: @SantaClaraUniv and @SCUNews

  •  Hacking Retail

    Unusual hackathon taps retail executives to build the perfect course

    These days, when customers want to buy a dress from Macy’s, they are likely to turn to and then load into the car for a trip to the mall, or even get the product delivered that same day to their home. That means students of retail marketing need to be just as conversant in customer behavior as they shop across channels as they are with tried-and-true in-store marketing tools like impulse selling. They need to be masters of data analysis as well – to learn how to find a customer whose online behavior indicates she’s in the market for a dress in the first place, and if she wants it the same day, help her locate the inventory.

    This convergence of online marketing and retailing, offline and online retailing, was one of the key lessons to emerge from an unusual gathering hosted by the Retail Management Institute recently. Dubbed a “Retail/eCommerce Hackathon," the April 16 event was designed to tap the expertise of area retail executives, to help create the ideal university-level course for next-generation retail leaders.

    Retail powerhouses like Kent Anderson, president of, and Pat Connolly, chief marketing officer of Williams Sonoma, spent the afternoon brainstorming and sketching out a next-generation curriculum that would best position tomorrow’s retail student for success.

    After listening to a talk on the direction of the retail industry by Anderson and Connolly, the executives gathered into groups. Like traditional hackathons, the participants were given an in-the-moment assignment to work on during the event: Specifically, they were asked to identify the skills and talents that are vital in retail employees, but which are most often lacking in new hires, especially in the areas of technology and social media.
    A big theme of the day was data, said Kirthi Kalyanam,  director of the Retail Management Institute at Santa Clara University, and the organizer of the day’s event. The participants stressed that while retailing has always been a data-driven industry, today's challenge is to use large amounts of data to improve the customer experience and generate marketing insights in real time.

    “The executives noted that the shortage of talent that has these data skills is very, very real,” said Kalyanam. “It’s especially crucial given an accelerating trend of global e-commerce players, such as the Chinese giant Ali Baba, entering the U.S. market.”

    For students, that means they need a curriculum that is heavier than ever on multi-channel marketing skills, promotion, and being smart about big data, he said.

    Another theme was the blurring of lines between what happens offline – in retail stores – and what happens online. “With services like Google Express turning even your corner Target into an online-purchasing environment, there is no turning back the clock on online-offline convergence,” said Kalyanam.

    Some retailers are using that data to show that consumers use different channels for different things. “The word omni-channel (all channels are equal) is in high fashion in the retail industry, but several leading retailers are finding far more nuances among their consumers,” said Kalyanam.

    The participants – including officials from Google, Mattel, BuildDirect, Adobe, Shoprunner, and Twitter – will come together again to review progress towards a new curriculum, and to continue to expand the set of ideas.

  •  Ethics in Health-Care

    New charitable trust helps more students study bioethics with the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

    An elderly woman from a nursing facility is admitted to a hospital with a life-threatening illness. She is unable to discuss treatment options or make health-related decisions; no one has visited her in years and family telephone numbers on record are no longer in service. With no one to speak for her, how do medical professionals provide the care that is in her best interest?

    “This is a dilemma that we’re seeing more and more,” explained Margaret McLean, associate director of SCU’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and director of the Center’s bioethics program. “People are living longer; they’re geographically detached from family, and they’ve lost touch with friends and relatives.”

    Moved by the heartbreaking plight of such patients, an SCU alumnus and his wife set up a $2 million charitable trust to help fund health-care ethics – ensuring that work undertaken by the University’s bioethics program will continue long after the two of them are gone.

    The anonymous donors have long been “extremely passionate about medical ethics,
    especially concerning end-of-life issues affecting the poor,” according to Susan Lucas, senior director for development at the Center.

    Now infirmed themselves, the donors are relying on their two adult children to administer the fund. “This is a multi-generational estate gift,” said Lucas. “The couple’s children are carrying out the wishes of their parents.” She explained that the Center recently accepted a $500,000 advance from the family’s trust. Going forward, the bioethics program will receive regular interest payments from the funded endowment. “This family’s generous, ongoing gift means we can count on our work continuing in perpetuity,” Lucas noted.

    When the program began 20 years ago, Center staff formed a partnership with
    O’Connor Hospital in San Jose to act as consultants on ethics questions that typically arise in a hospital setting. Today, that partnership is flourishing, and several others are in place at nearby health facilities. Bioethics program staff members also teach core curriculum courses, conduct research on emerging health issues, and work with local medical teams to provide competent, sensitive care for cultural subgroups.

    A major component of the bioethics program is its innovative internships for undergraduates who are thinking about medical careers. Launched in 2001, the internship program takes students to hospital and hospice settings where, during the course of an entire school year, they observe and interact with medical professionals, social workers, chaplains, patients, and families.

    “They learn firsthand about ethical dilemmas,” explained McLean. “They’re in the middle of it all – all the joys and angst that people go through; they’re out of the classroom and into a context in which real-life decisions are made.” Mostly, she continued, “our students are observing families and patients dealing with end-of-life issues – and all too often, there are patients who are alone and can’t make their own decisions; it’s an increasing problem.”

    McLean said the Center’s internship program is unique in the U.S., and it sets the University’s bioethics program apart from other, larger medical-ethics centers. “Usually, you see interns, residents, and bioethics graduate students talking with patients and families and participating in ethics case consultations,” she explained. “Our vision is to educate our students to be persons for others. Even if these students don’t become health-care professionals, they will at some point have to make ethical treatment decisions – that’s a life skill worth learning.”

    Some 150 undergraduates have gone through the internship program since it began, and in biweekly reflection sessions, many of those students have described the impacts of their experiences. Briana Britton ’13, a program participant last year and an aspiring doctor, said the health-care ethics internship was a chance to live up to the Jesuit model of serving others.

    “You have the opportunity to shadow doctors and physicians and really be present to other peoples’ situations – sometimes they’re really challenging – but for me, it was a growing experience because I was able to learn how to be present with others’ challenges,” noted Britton. “It was a really formative experience for me as well, as a future medical professional.”

    Both Lucas and McLean are hoping to use some of the new, donor-provided funding to expand the internship program, which is currently open to only 15 students.

    “Many more than that are applying for it,” said Lucas. “They see it as a life-changing experience.”

    These funds will continue to support the Center's student fellowship in health-care ethics, which is awarded yearly to an outstanding graduate of the internship program.

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