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

    Elsa Chen (Political Science) has received a $184,979 grant from the National Science Foundation. In November 2012, California voters approved a ballot measure that modified the state’s “Three Strikes and You’re Out” repeat-offender law. Now, nonviolent and nonserious new felonies no longer trigger 25-to-life sentences, and certain third-strike inmates may petition to be resentenced as second-strikers and receive shortened sentences and/or early release. This study will examine how court officials are implementing these changes, how certain contextual and individual factors influence resentencing outcomes, and the effectiveness of these changes at shrinking prison populations and reducing sentencing disparities. It will also identify challenges and opportunities facing former third-strikers as they re-enter society. The findings will have implications for other states as they consider alternatives to mass incarceration.

    Virginia Matzek (Environmental Studies and Sciences) has received a $39,643 grant from the National Science Foundation for research focused on ecological restoration in Australia. The project will explore how scientists, policy makers, resource managers, and other stakeholders perceive the value of ecosystem services provided by the restoration of natural habitats.

    Korin Wheeler (Chemistry & Biochemistry Department) has received a $27,691 grant from UCLA. This grant will fund Korin's "Sustainable nanoMaterials undergraduate Laboratory (SMAL)" project. The developed project aims to translate the cutting-edge research of the UC CEIN to an undergraduate population by collaboratively designing and developing a research-based laboratory module for use in undergraduate classrooms.

    Ed Maurer (Civil Engineering) has received a $26,342 subaward from San Francisco State University (funds originated from the National Science Foundation). This funding will support Ed's "Groundwater Teleconnections with Interannual to Multidecadal Climate Variability" project. Ed will be responsible for assembling an ensemble of downscaled GCM output. This output will be prepared using the BiasCorrection and Constructed Analogues (BCCA) and Bias Corrrection with Spatial Disaggregation (BCSD) techniques, to capture some of the variability attributable to downscaling technique selection.

    Betty Young (Physics) has received a $98,817 award from the National Science Foundation. These funds will support Betty's "Cryogenic Detectors for Next-Generation Physics Experiments." The funding will support the PI and SCU undergraduates perform laboratory-based work in the areas of CDMS detector fabrication, testing and optimization. Beginning immediately, the group will also help develop and deploy a unique, high-resolution superconducting sensor array for SSRL at SLAC. The SCU work will be done mostly in labs at nearby Stanford University where the PI is an active and involved visiting scholar and closely mentors both SCU (undergrads) and Stanford students. Year 1 funds will explicitly support an SCU physics major as he works on his Honors thesis during the 2014–15 academic year.

    Thane Kreiner (Executive Director for the Center for Science, Technology, and Science) has received a $251,225 contract from the United Nations Foundation to support the “Social Enterprise Boost Program.” This project will develop, implement, validate, and disseminate the Social Enterprise Boost Program covering basic business plan and presentation preparation that helps prepare social enterprises in the developing world to apply for grants, investments, awards, and capacity development programs. The Center for Science, Technology, and Science will develop and provide the Social Enterprise Boost Program, a program of the Global Social Benefit Institute, to the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, an initiative of the United Nations Foundation as a training available to partners of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.

    Cynthia Mertens (School of Law) has received a $11,056 grant from the State Bar of California Legal Services Trust Fund Program. This grant will allow the Katharine & George Alexander Community Law Center to continue to provide legal services in the areas of workers' rights, immigration, and consumer protection matters to low-income persons in the south Bay Area.

    Christopher Kitts (Mechanical Engineering) has received $50,000 from Canopus Systems US, LLC to support “Mission Control of Two Perseus Spacecraft.” Santa Clara will provide services for the operation of two 6U CubeSats; Perseus-M1 and Perseus-M2. This includes but is not limited to coordinating mission operations, ground station operation, command and telemetry tasking, anomaly management, and potential commercial operations.

    Lynette Parker (School of Law) has received a $10,000 award from the Services, Immigrant Rights, and Education Network (SIREN). This award will allow the Katharine & George Alexander Community Law Center to increase the number of people applying for deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) initiative. This initiative offers eligible immigrant youth work authorization and temporary relief from deportation if they satisfy a particular set of requirements based on their status, age, and residency.

    Butch Coyne (Director of SCU•Presents) has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in the amount of $10,000 to support the Arts for Social Justice Thriving Neighbors program "The Creative Project/El Proyector Creativo.” SCU•Presents will enact three interactive, multidisciplinary engagement projects in the local community with a focus on performing and visual arts, and social justice issues, entitled, “The Creative Project | El Proyecto Creativo,” featuring a dynamic co-facilitation model by professional artists.

    Lucy Diekmann (Environmental Studies and Sciences and the Food and Agribusiness Institute under the mentorship of Leslie Gray who guided the development of the project) has received a $150,000 award from the USDA to support her "Characterizing the health, social, and economic impacts of urban agriculture and its contributions to food security" project. The project will assess urban agriculture’s contributions to the local food supply and its potential to increase food security. It will also analyze how participation in urban agriculture affects health, nutrition, food budgets, social capital, and community engagement as well as the size and demographic characteristics of the populations involved in urban agriculture. Additionally, Lucy aims to foster learning and collaboration among extension educators involved in urban agriculture nationwide by organizing a working group dedicated to urban agriculture in eXtension, an online platform for Cooperative Extension. Through participation in the eXtension working group, Lucy and her collaborators will be able to place their results in a broader context and create research-based educational content for a national audience.

    Rebecca Schapp (de Saisset Museum) has received $6,722 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to support "New Media Collection Preservation Survey and Assessment". This award will allow the Museum to hire an audiovisual preservation consultant to survey the collection and make recommendations for rehousing and transferring these works to appropriate formats for longterm preservation, access, and exhibition. The Museum will then proceed according to the consultant’s recommendations to transfer the video works to stable and viewable formats with funds from a private donor and other sources.

    Nam Ling (Computer Engineering) has received $200,440 from Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd to support "Research for 3D Extension for HEVC Standardization." The purpose of this project is to conduct research on issues related to 3D extension for High Efficiency Video Coding. The technical objective is to show coding efficiency gain so that the method could be patented and preferably adopted by JCT3V (Joint Collaborative Team for 3D-HEVC, of the standardization organizations ISO and ITU-T), preferably as normative contribution(s) for future video compression standard.

  •  Grand Reunion 2014

    A weekend of old memories, new fun, and Bronco pride draw alumni back to campus

    Santa Clara University is welcoming back thousands of alumni for Grand Reunion this weekend. About 4,000 alumni will be back on campus for 52 events starting this morning and ending Sunday afternoon. The event is aimed at new grads and alumni with class years ending in four or nine, but every Bronco is welcome to come back to reminisce with old classmates and make memories with new friends.

    “We are so lucky and thrilled to have such enthusiastic alumni,” says Maureen Muscat '91, MBA ’99, associate director of events for the Alumni Office. “Watching our Bronco family gather on campus to share old memories and make new ones is priceless. The values and community SCU grads develop in their times as students truly last a lifetime.”

    Although the University regularly has reunions for classes celebrating their 55th and 60th reunions, this year 20 alumni will mark their 65th reunion.

    “What’s great is they approached us!” says Muscat. “It's nice to know SCU is still such a big part of their lives.”

    The class dinners Saturday evening are among the most popular events, featuring live music and dancing. There are also a number of events open to the public, including the Bronco Art Showcase, a 5K run/walk on Saturday morning, and various faculty speakers.

    For a schedule of events, see

    What Bronco decade do you belong in? Take this fun Bronco quiz:

  •  Fall Career Fair (VIDEO)

    More than 150 companies came to campus to woo SCU students

    Santa Clara University’s Career Center held its Fall Career Fair last week. Hundreds of students vied for the attention of  more than 150 companies including Gap Inc., Cisco, Kaiser Permanente, The Walt Disney Company, Stryker, the Tech Museum, and Tesla, which had a Model S on display. The SCU Career Center encourages students to keep an open mind when looking for career opportunities.

    “We always tell students to think beyond their major. You don’t have to be an engineer to work for Apple or Google, and healthcare companies are in need of computer science and human resources staffing. They shouldn’t limit themselves when thinking about their future,” says Career Center Director Elspeth Rossetti.

    One hiring trend SCU’s Career Center points out is more companies hiring freshmen and sophomores as interns in hopes of transitioning them into full-time employees at graduation. This may also work to the student’s advantage. They not only gain valuable experience in an internship, but they have the opportunity to test if a career path will work for them.

    “This is about more than just finding a job that matches your skills. We want students to see the importance of exploration and experience in determining their interests, declaring a major, and finding a fit at work. The earlier they engage, the more time and chances they have to align their interests and skills with available jobs,” says Rossetti.

    The last SCU survey of recent graduates found 78 percent of the respondents in the Class of 2013 were either employed full-time, attending graduate school, or participating in a service program such as the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. Santa Clara University also recently ranked among the highest paid alumni in the country, according to a PayScale survey.

    Watch the video of the career fair here:

  •  Jerry Smith Coaching for Life Academy

    SCU launches first sports leadership program with workshop featuring all-star panel

    Santa Clara University’s School of Education and Counseling Psychology is launching a new endeavor to promote the importance of developing leadership and life skills featuring one of the most successful coaches in collegiate soccer. The Jerry Smith Coaching for Life Academy (JSCFLA) is SCU’s first sports leadership program and held its inaugural workshop Oct. 9. The Academy’s mission is to help educate and prepare coaches, players, and parents to achieve success in sports and life.

    “The relationship coaches develop with players is vital to the success of young athletes on and off the field, and in their careers. The impact we have on these men and women cannot be overstated,” says Jerry Smith, head coach of the SCU women’s soccer team and executive director of the JSCFLA. “We’re excited to shift the focus to the kind of sports leadership that doesn’t just look at wins and losses in the game, but how athletes flourish in life with the right mentorship.”

    Smith is currently coaching his 28th soccer season at SCU and is the winningest coach in the history of the program. His players have gone on to win Olympic medals, lead long careers in professional soccer, and play for the U.S. National Team. Many of his former Broncos have gone on to have successful careers in medicine and TV, as well as high ranking positions at companies such as Google, Yahoo, and Nike. Several of Smith’s former players have also gone on to be successful entrepreneurs. The Academy will feature a series of seminars and workshops for the personal and professional development of parents, students, student-athletes, and coaches. Future plans include sports leadership courses for undergraduate and graduate students.

    “Without a doubt, Jerry Smith's coaching style and mentorship allowed me to succeed as a soccer player and continue to benefit me as an adult today,” says professional soccer player and two-time All-American Mandy Clemens ’99, “I'm thrilled to know that his knowledge and skill set will be made available to others who haven't had the advantage of being coached by him.”

    Smith led the first workshop “Building Self-Esteem through Sports” today. Panelists included FIFA World Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist Brandi Chastain ’91, Former MLB all star and CSN Bay Area Giants analyst Randy Winn ’96, and SCU Baseball Head Coach Dan O’Brien. Participants discussed using sports as a vehicle to build self-esteem, develop leadership, create healthy habits, improve teamwork, and enhance communication.

    Watch a video of event highlights by EYEBRONCO here:

  •  Privacy Education

    SCU programs receive settlement funding for privacy protection and education efforts

    Santa Clara University’s High Tech Law Institute and Markkula Center for Applied Ethics were awarded $346,000 in cy pres funds from the settlement reached in In re: Netflix Privacy Litigation, a federal class action lawsuit against the Los Gatos-based entertainment company.

    The lawsuit alleged that the company had retained and disclosed users’ viewing histories and other personally identifiable information without consent.

    The funds are to be spent on privacy protection and education efforts, according to the terms of the court-approved settlement. Both the High Tech Law Institute and the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics have established track records in those areas.

    “As shown by our new Privacy Law Certificate, we’re constantly innovating new ways to educate about privacy,” said Eric Goldman, co-director of the High Tech Law Institute. “We are looking forward to finding creative and effective ways to deliver value for members of the Netflix settlement class.”

    “As technology advances more rapidly than laws can, ethics provides another lens through which to evaluate new tools and services and to educate consumers,” said Irina Raicu, director of the Internet Ethics Program at the Markkula Center. “The funds from this settlement will help us continue to educate consumers and to promote privacy protection online through resources focused on software engineering ethics.”

    Eighteen other organizations also received cy pres funds from the $9 million settlement.

  •  Family Ties

    A new exhibit at the de Saisset explores the meaning of family

    What is the meaning of family? An exhibition at the de Saisset Museum this fall and winter explores that question using works of art. “Creative in Common” starts by exploring traditional family bonds, presenting works of art by pairs of artists who are either husband and wife or parent and child.

    “The idea of the exhibition is really to create a jumping-off point for conversations with our audience about the theme of family,” said Lindsey Kouvaris, curator of exhibits and collections at the de Saisset Museum. “We understand that family has myriad definitions. For some it’s that blood relationship; for others it’s extended family and a network of chosen individuals.”

    The works of art on display include etchings, paintings, mixed media, sculpture, and artwork made on Shrinky Dinks. At least one artist in each pair has works represented in the museum’s permanent collection.

    The exhibition will include a lot of programming that invites the audience to consider what family means. One gallery will be set up like a family room. The audience “will be able to come in and sit down on couches with their computers and have a very homey experience,” Kouvaris said.

    The museum will also host “family day” this Saturday, Oct. 11 with an afternoon full of free activities for families. “There will be lots of opportunities for families to come here and engage together in making art, to think about what family means to them as they’re creating something,” Kouvaris said.

    Although the pairs of artists in the show, who include sculptor Fletcher Benton and his daughter Ashlie Benton, have art in common, their influence on each other is not always obvious, Kouvaris said.

    “When you think about the definitions of family, you have something shared in common,” Kouvaris said. “The artists in this show, they have the creative in common: They have that fire in them to create and to be artists.”

  •  Strengthening Ties with Universidad Centroamericana

    A group of 10 faculty and university leaders from UCA visited SCU, finding common ground and room for mutual advancement. 

    Leaders from the Jesuit Universidad Centroamericana (UCA) in El Salvador have spent the last several decades focused on social justice for the poor—a longtime focus before and after the shocking killings 25 years ago of the school’s leader and seven others who died at the hands of military oligarchists.

    Recently, a group of 10 faculty and university leaders from UCA visited Santa Clara University, in the process sharing their experience of living out a social-justice agenda, while also taking the opportunity to find ways SCU can help UCA enhance its academic offerings in El Salvador.

    “During this historic visit, we found tremendous common ground with our UCA colleagues, in our shared Jesuit identity and commitment to social justice,” said Michael McCarthy, S.J., executive director of the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education at Santa Clara. “It is amazing how important personal relationships are. The UCA delegation made a great effort to come here from El Salvador as we traveled there last summer. But breaking bread together and having real-time, face-to-face experience of each other not only edifies but also allows for the energy that is needed to pursue concrete collaborations. They were moved, quite deeply, at how important their work and witness at UCA is to us at SCU.”

    The meeting marked the first time a group of leaders from UCA have visited Santa Clara, which regularly sends students to El Salvador on “immersions” designed to educate students and put their talents at the disposal of Salvadoran people. Each summer SCU also sends a delegation of faculty and staff on immersion to El Salvador, and in 2013 the President’s Cabinet of SCU traveled to meet with their UCA counterparts.

    Santa Clara University has long had important ties to the UCA, which suffered a tragic loss nearly 25 years ago when its then-president, Ignacio Ellacuria, S.J., was killed along with five fellow Jesuits and two women for his strong advocacy on behalf of the poor. Ellacuria had received an honorary degree and gave the University commencement speech in 1982. In 1989, SCU provided shelter to one of the Jesuits who had narrowly escaped being murdered, Jon Sobrino, S.J., and SCU recently helped publish a book featuring the account of the primary witness to the murders, Lucia Cerna.

    In his convocation address that took place during the visit, President Michael Engh, S.J., discussed the importance of the visit:

    “At least since 1982, when the then-president of UCA, Fr. Ignacio Ellacuria, received an honorary doctorate from Santa Clara, our University has been inspired by the UCA. Members of today's delegation now hold positions that Fr. Ellacuria and his companions once held. Our visitors are the successors of those whose lives are commemorated by the white crosses outside this Mission Church. We pass those crosses every day. They stand as mute yet steady witnesses that we who aspire to educate creators of a more just world must also cultivate in our students courage and a sense of commitment. While we hope that our students will never suffer the violence that so many endured in El Salvador, we remain inspired by their witness to justice.”

    The group met with numerous University Centers of Distinction, the law and engineering schools, members of the President’s office, and others. During the visit they advanced plans for UCA faculty to pursue higher education opportunities at SCU; for University Relations to visit UCA and share some fundraising and alumni-relations best practices, and for further integration of the immersion programs at both universities. A video documenting the history of the relationship between the two universities is available at

  •  Class of 2018

    A new generation of Broncos arrive on campus for the 2014-2015 academic year.

    Members of Santa Clara University’s Class of 2018 launched their college careers with the start of classes for the 2014–15 academic year this week.

    The campus is bustling with more than 5,000 students, including more than 1,300 freshmen. Of the freshman enrolled this year, 57 percent are from California, 40 percent from out-of-state and nearly 3 percent are international students. The class is evenly split between male and female.

    The majority of the undergraduate class of 2018 is enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences (54 percent), followed by the Leavey School of Business (25 percent) and the School of Engineering (21 percent). The School of Engineering has seen a spike in enrollment compared to the Class of 2015 graduating this year, up 7 percentage points from freshman four years ago (14 percent).

    The majority of students from the class of 2018 were born in 1996 when Steve Jobs returned to Apple; Bill Gates graced the cover of Time magazine after releasing Internet Explorer 3; E.R. and Seinfeld were the two most popular TV shows; and Pope John Paul II made international headlines by declaring evolution and creationism could coexist.

  •  President's Speaker Series

    A trio of powerhouse speakers to give insights into sports, diplomacy, and more

    Santa Clara University will host lectures by internationally known experts in diplomacy, television, and sports this fall and winter. The 2014–15 President’s Speaker Series will feature three lectures:

    • Ronnie Lott, who won four Super Bowl titles with the San Francisco 49ers, will speak on Oct. 9 as part of a discussion titled, "What Makes a Champion?" Lott will draw on his experience as a Hall of Fame defensive back who was renowned for his toughness and competitive drive on the field. In the past, Lott has addressed audiences as the keynote speaker at the annual symposium for SCU's Institute for Sports Law and Ethics, during which he discussed the problem of concussions in football.
    • Andy Ackerman ’78 has directed and produced some of TV’s funniest and most beloved series, including 89 episodes of Seinfeld. He won his first Emmy at the age of 24 for his work on WKRP in Cincinnati and subsequently edited more than 100 episodes of Cheers. He has contributed to other popular series, including Ellen and Everybody Loves Raymond. This year, Mulaney, a series he is directing and producing, will debut on Fox. In a conversation on Feb. 9, 2015, Ackerman will give his insights into the creative process.
    • During the Clinton administration, Madeleine Albright was a high-level participant in dramatic events ranging from NATO’s intervention in the Balkans to U.S. relations with Iran and Iraq. When she became secretary of state in 1997, she was at the time the highest-ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government. On May 5, 2015, she will give a talk entitled “Economy and Security in the 21st Century” and discuss how America can retain its leadership role during globalization and how domestic politics influence foreign policy.

    All events will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the Louis B. Mayer Theatre. The Lott and Albright events have sold out, but tickets are still available to hear Andy Ackerman and cost $25 each.

    To order tickets or get more information, go to or call 408-554-4015.

  •  Cornel West to Speak

    Famed intellectual, philosopher, and professor to kick off Bannan Institute programming Oct. 3rd

    Internationally known activist, philosopher and professor Cornel West will kick off the 2014–15 Bannan Institute speakers series Oct. 3, with a talk entitled "Black Prophetic Fire."

    This year's Bannan Institute focuses on the topic of leadership relative to larger themes of justice, faith, and the intellectual life. The fall Institute talks will center on leadership and justice; winter, on leadership and faith; and spring 2015, on leadership and the intellectual life.

    Getting it all started will be Dr. West, the famed public intellectual, professor emeritus at Princeton University, and current professor of philosophy and Christian practice at the Union Theological Seminary in New York. A frequent commentator on the role of race, gender, and class in America, he is the author or co-author of 19 books including the bestselling collection of essays entitled Race Matters.

    Dr. West graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy at Princeton. He has also taught at Harvard, Yale, and the University of Paris.

    At Santa Clara, Dr. West, who has written a new book entitled Black Prophetic Fire, will offer a fresh perspective that retrieves notable African-American leaders as the revolutionary figures that they fully are, not the “sanitized” versions that history sometimes makes them out to be.

    Funded by the Bannan family endowment, the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education sponsors academic events and supports scholarship that specifically furthers the Jesuit, Catholic character of the University. Bannan Institutes are yearlong thematic programs, which span academic, public, and pastoral offerings to engage Santa Clara University and the larger community around issues of contemporary religious, cultural, and theological debate.

    A full list of speakers, dates, and times for this year's Bannan Institute series can be found at

  •  Perfect Score

    Santa Clara University earns top honors in sustainability honor roll of colleges across the country

    Santa Clara University is heading into the 2014–15 school year with new bragging rights: a top spot in Princeton Review’s Green College Honor Roll. The Jesuit University in Silicon Valley earned its first perfect score in the rankings of 861 colleges across the country. The rankings note Santa Clara’s vested interest in environmental justice and sustainable living practices for the benefit of society at large.

    “Our focus on sustainability can be seen across departments in the Santa Clara community and we’re honored to have our extensive efforts recognized,” says Lindsey Kalkbrenner, director of the Center for Sustainability. “Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword or small project. It’s engrained in our culture and everything we do.”

    Santa Clara University is among 24 schools to earn a perfect score including Harvard, Stanford, and Cornell universities. SCU’s sustainability focus is now featured in the Princeton Review Guide’s Best 379 Colleges and The Complete Book of Colleges. The publisher found 61 percent of the 10,116 college applicants surveyed for its 2014 “College Hopes and Worries Survey” reported a college’s commitment to the environment would impact their decision to apply to or attend a school. Many students in SCU’s incoming Class of 2018 included reflections on the meaning of sustainability in their applications.

    “It’s clear more students are placing importance on a school’s commitment to the environment in their college searches and we’re proud to show them we walk the walk when it comes to sustainability,” says Mike Sexton, SCU’s vice president for enrollment management.

    SCU offers majors in environmental studies and environmental science. Last year, 778 courses related to sustainability were available to students. The University’s Experiential Learning for Social Justice component requires all undergraduates to participate in community-based learning, which often involves environmental justice projects.

    The Sustainable Living Undergraduate Research Project (SLURP) supports yearlong research projects on ways to make residence life more sustainable. With help from SLURP, teams of students have coordinated the installation of water fountains to cut usage of plastic bottles, studied the effectiveness of fair trade and energy conservation campaigns on campus, and produced documentaries about campus sustainability. Students have also partnered with SCU’s dining services to establish a food recovery program where leftovers are donated to a local food kitchen.

    Other Facts:

    • SCU generated 41,381 therms of onsite solar thermal power and 1.7 million kWh of onsite photovoltaic electricity.
    • SCU has decreased greenhouse gas emissions per person by 40 percent since 2005.
    • Forty percent of all University vehicles are hybrid or electric and staff and faculty receive benefits such as free carpool parking and reduced rates for public transportation.
    • SCU undergraduates can also choose to live in the CyPhi Residential Learning Community, which is focused on sustainability and the arts and houses 20 percent of campus residents.
    • SCU has set a Gold LEED standard for new construction on campus.
    • The campus diverted 58 percent of waste from landfills in 2013 with extensive advocacy for recycling and composting.
    • Over 85 percent of SCU’s 104 acre campus is irrigated with recycled water.
    • SCU has set an ambitious goal to be carbon neutral by the end of 2015.
  •  U.S. News and World Report Rankings

    Santa Clara University ranks No. 2 among Master’s Universities in the West

    Santa Clara University is ranked second among master’s universities in the West according to U.S. News and World Report. SCU earned an overall score of 98 out of 100, a dramatic increase from 90 just five years ago. At 94 percent, SCU has the highest freshman retention rate of any master’s university in the country and also has the highest graduation rate in the West, at 84 percent.

    SCU made great strides in several key areas this year.

    • 80 percent of SCU freshmen were in the top 25 percent of their high school class in 2012, up from 75 percent in 2011.
    • More students recognize the quality of an SCU education and are applying. SCU’s acceptance rate dropped to 50 percent.
    • SCU cultivates proud and generous alumni and saw an increase in its average alumni giving rate from 18 percent in 2012 to 22 percent this year.
    • SCU’s School of Engineering was named one of the best undergraduate engineering programs, coming in 14th among the selective programs ranked.
    • SCU’s Leavey School of Business was also listed as one of the top 100 Best Business Programs, ranking 62nd.

    The Top Five Master’s Universities in the West

    1. Trinity University (Texas), score: 100
    2. Santa Clara University (Calif.), score: 98
    3. Gonzaga University (Wash.), score: 89
    4. Loyola Marymount University (Calif.), score: 89
    5. Seattle University (Calif.), score: 82
  •  Class of 2014

    Olympian Brandi Chastain reminds SCU’s newest grads to celebrate their accomplishments

    Nearly 15 years after scoring the winning goal that won the U.S. the World Cup and inspired the passionate celebration that landed her on front pages across the globe, soccer legend Brandi Chastain, ‘91 returned to her alma mater to deliver the 163rd undergraduate commencement address. The speech helped mark 50 years of women’s athletics at Santa Clara University.

    The class of 2014 cheered her as loudly on the stage as if they were watching her on the field, with fist pumps and chants of "USA, USA."

    Even a championship-winning player has to realize that "everybody matters," said Chastain. "Not just the players that score goals, not just the 11 that get to be on the field, not the substitutes. But every single player. The ones that are on the bench make the team great."

    Chastain graduated with a degree in communications from Santa Clara University before going on to win two gold medals and one silver medal while representing the U.S. in the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympic games. She is also a volunteer assistant coach with the SCU women’s soccer team and co-founder of the Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative. The non-profit offers a free weekly after-school program for elementary school girls to develop self-esteem and good health practices with mentoring from women athletes from collegiate and high school teams.

    Chastain shared lessons from her parents, coaches, and her grandfather, that helped fuel her service-oriented life. For instance, her grandfather, who knew she loved to score goals, offered a young Chastain $1 for every goal -- but $1.50 for every assist.

    Such lessons taught her that “if I gave something to somebody else so they could do something great, it would come back twofold to me,” said Chastain, who was awarded an honorary doctorate of public service.

    Rupert and Maryellie Johnson also received an honorary doctorate of public service for their dedication supporting higher education and scholarship.  With a five million dollar gift , the Johnsons founded the Johnson Scholars Program at SCU in 2013 to cultivate compassionate, intelligent, empowered leadership in SCU students.

    Rev. Howard A. Lincoln was honored with a doctorate of pastoral ministry for his outstanding work with churches across the country and his leadership in helping the poor with food, medical care and education.

    The Kino Border Initiative represented by Sean Carroll, S.J. was also awarded an honorary doctorate for its work and mission to make a more humane, just and workable migration between the U.S. and Mexico a reality.

    Valedictorian Ivan Krayniy, an accounting major with a minor in international business who was born in a refugee camp, told his classmates to appreciate what they have, including the diversity and diverse experiences SCU yielded them, such as study abroad, internships, charitable and humanitarian projects, and friendships.

    “This is the time to hold your head high,” he said.

    Santa Clara University’s undergraduate class of 2014 is comprised of more than 1200 students, ranging in age from 20 to 55.

    View Highlight Video:

  •  Graduate Commencement

    Hundreds of graduate students earn their degrees and a reminder of what’s important

    Before a packed audience of thousands of family and friends, the nearly 700 graduate-degree recipients of Santa Clara University marked their evening commencement with cheers, balloons, and photos -- but also with advice to truly “see” the needy around them.

    Frederick J. Ferrer,  CEO of the Health Trust and a nationally recognized expert in child development and nonprofit leadership strategies, received an honorary doctor of public service degree during the event.

    He also gave a few remarks, telling the graduates It is easy not to see children who go to school with tooth decay, or the workers who show up to clean when everyone else has moved on. Santa Clara University, from which Ferrer graduated in 1980, challenges its graduates “to see the invisible, to see what makes us uncomfortable,” he said.

    SCU’s 163rd graduate commencement took place Friday evening at the University’s Leavey Center. Nearly 700 students received advanced degrees this year from the College of Arts and Sciences’ Pastoral Ministries program; the School of Engineering; the Leavey School of Business; and the School of Education and Counseling Psychology.

    University President Michael Engh, S.J. urged the graduates to put their gifts to work in service to the world with compassion, and “never forget the poor, the hungry, the alienated, and marginalized.”

    Other information about the graduating class:

    Graduates represent 18 states and more than 17 countries, provinces, and territories.

    Top Ethnicities: Asian (64%); White (17%); Other/Unknown (12%); Hispanic (5%)
    Gender: 65% Male; 35% Female

    Top Ethnicities: Asian (46%); White (30%); Other/Unknown (16%); Hispanic (8%)
    Gender: 56% Male; 44% Female

    Education and Counseling Psychology
    Top Ethnicities: White (48%); Other/Unknown (17%); Asian (16%);  Hispanic (16%)
    Gender: 86% Female; 14% Male

    Arts and Sciences (specifically Pastoral Ministries)
    Top Ethnicities: White (36%); Other/Unknown (27%); Asian (18%); Black/African-American (9%); Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (9%)
    Gender: 64% Female; 36% Male

  •  Athletics Celebration

    $7.7 Million Gift from Stevens Family Helps Launch Athletic Program Enhancements at Santa Clara University

    A $7.7 million gift from Santa Clara University alumna and trustee, Mary Stevens '84, and her husband, Mark, a prominent venture capitalist, marks the first step in a significant recommitment of University resources, time, and talent to create a more nationally prominent athletics program at Santa Clara University. An event celebrating athletics and the generous donation was held June 11.

    The gift will be used to build a new state-of-the-art soccer training center and to upgrade the current soccer stadium.  It will also help build a new plaza to recognize and honor the importance and history of sports played on that field—including many years of NCAA football and women’s and men’s soccer.

    “We thank the Stevens family for their generous gift that has brought us to this important moment for Santa Clara University athletics,” said Michael Engh, S.J., president of Santa Clara University. “After a great deal of thought, study, and reflection, we are moving forward with a new level of resources to reach our goal of having an athletics program that is nationally prominent, ethically focused, and a vibrant force on campus.”

    Watershed Moment for Athletics

    The Stevens gift is a key component as Santa Clara University undergoes strategic planning to ensure that athletics will continue to play a key role in the vibrancy and excellence of the University. On June 6, the University’s Board of Trustees enthusiastically endorsed a report that provides the broad outlines for implementing a plan  over  the coming months to raise the visibility and competitive stature of SCU’s intercollegiate athletic program.

    “With a deep commitment to educate the whole person, Santa Clara aims to provide outstanding coaching and facilities for our student-athletes," said Provost Dennis Jacobs. “Santa Clara University aspires to reach the same level of excellence in intercollegiate athletics as it has achieved within its academic programs."

    Upgraded Stadium and Plaza to Honor Bronco Sports

    The first step in this recommitment is being funded by a $7.7 million gift—the largest single gift ever to SCU Athletics—from the Stevens family. The gift will help build a new soccer training center; upgrade the stands in the soccer stadium; and build a plaza that will celebrate Bronco sports—its past, present, and future. The plaza will celebrate the history of Santa Clara University football as well as the legacy and future of men’s and women’s soccer at SCU.

    The Bronco men’s and women’s soccer teams have a proud and storied tradition that includes two national championships, 15 Final Fours, 21 West Coast Conference titles, 43 NCAA tournament berths and 64 All-Americans.  Players on the two teams have combined to win 20 World Cup and Olympic medals.

    In addition, the gift will further fund scholarships for students from Mary Stevens’ high school alma mater, St. Mary’s Academy in Portland, to attend SCU, as well as other improvements.

    “This wonderful gift from the Stevens family represents a watershed moment for our two soccer programs and for Santa Clara Athletics generally,” said SCU Director of Athletics Dan Coonan. “We will now have state-of-the-art facilities that are befitting of soccer programs with our national profile and legacy.  Coupled with two of the best coaching staffs in intercollegiate soccer, the sky is the limit now for our Bronco soccer programs.  And this gift will most certainly serve as a catalyst for further significant support for Athletics generally going forward.   I really believe now the potential for Bronco Athletics has never been brighter. ”

    Mary and Mark Stevens

    Mary has served on the Board of Trustees since 2012, before which she served on the Board of Fellows for more than a decade. A soccer player while at SCU, she served on the president’s athletic commission, which explored the best role for sports at Santa Clara University. She spent 14 years in the commercial real estate industry in Silicon Valley.

    “It’s a joy to be able to make this gift to my alma mater. I am proud to help the University build the foundation for a well-rounded experience for the next generation of elite student-athletes,” said Mary. “Santa Clara is uniquely positioned as an institution of strong Jesuit values that benefits from its location in the heart of Silicon Valley.”

    Past gifts from the couple include $7 million to build the Paul L. Locatelli, S.J., Student Activity Center, and a $500,000 scholarship for St. Mary’s Academy alumnae to attend SCU.

    Mark, an active philanthropist and former partner in the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, was an investor in some of the most successful tech companies of the past decades, notably Google and LinkedIn. He has served on the University’s investment committee since December 2009.

    “I see Santa Clara as the best Catholic institution in the Pacific Rim,” added Mark. “This gift is an investment in future leaders who will have the advantage of a strong grounding in academics, athletics, and global human values.”

    View Highlight Video:



  •  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.

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