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.

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  •  fyi Exclusive: What You Didn't Know About the President

    What did you learn from the staff and faculty coffee sessions?

    The coffee sessions with faculty and staff have been great opportunities to get better acquainted with the university at the grassroots level. There are so many things going on that by the time they get up to Walsh Hall, there’s a lot of filtering that goes on, condensing, and summarizing. What comes through most is the dedication to this place, passion about Santa Clara, passion about what they’re doing, concern about how we can improve, a lot of constructive suggestions, questions for clarifications, and even a few complaints. I had many questions about the core curriculum and many discussions about finance and university economics.

    What was the biggest surprise this past year?

    This was probably more unexpected than a surprise, but I’d say the number of times that people have recognized me off campus and in places where I wouldn’t expect like Target and restaurants. I’m not used to it. On campus? Yes, but off campus? No. Most recently, I was getting a hair cut and the barber said, ‘Aren’t you Father Engh?’ [Laughs] I didn’t get a discount, but it surprised me.

    What are your favorite five spots on campus?

    I love the Learning Commons – I think it’s a fabulous place, and I love showing it off to people. I also like the St. Clare Gardens, the Mission Gardens, and Mission Church. I’ve also been really intrigued by the Paul L. Locatelli, S.J., Student Activity Center. I’ve gone over there more times to check it out to see how the construction is going.

    What is your favorite food at the Jesuit Residence?

    The food is okay [laughing]. The cookies are great – I hate peanut butter, but they do make great chocolate chip cookies. At Benson, I do like the burritos, and actually, I like the fajitas at the Jesuit Residence. We rarely get Mexican food there, so that’s why I go over to Benson a lot. It’s closer than Henry’s and cheaper, too.

    Now that people have had a chance to get to know you better, what would still surprise us about you?

    Oh, I’d probably say my taste in music – I like everything from classical to country/western.

    Do you own an iPod?

    No, I gave it away. [Laughs] I’m not very technological, but I do use a Blackberry all the time. I love my Blackberry – it’s got a great camera, it’s got a calendar, and it sends e-mail.

    When do you pick up the Blackberry? In the morning? Right after you wake up?

    No, I have a rule with myself. I don’t read my Blackberry until after breakfast. I exercise, I pray, I have breakfast, and then I pick up the Blackberry, because if I open it before then, I’m toast.

    Which student events did you manage to attend this past year?

    I went to the Sacramento State Invitational to watch Santa Clara men’s and women’s teams compete a few weeks ago. I enjoyed that very much. I went to women’s basketball; I was the invited coach and sat on the bench – I enjoyed that. I’ve been to men’s water polo, men’s baseball, and the Associated Students’ transition ceremony…from the old student government to the new student government. I loved the Luau – it was terrific – the dinner show was wonderful. I went to the 49ers forum but couldn’t stay for the whole thing. I went to a composition recital last week for two of our graduating seniors. I’ve been to the choral concerts at Mission Church, the Jazz ensemble back in March, and a number of music events – they’re great…they really do a great job.

    Have you been to Henry’s or the Hut?

    Henry’s? Yes! I like Henry’s very much, and I like it because they take my ACCESS card. I’ve had lunch there with students a number of times. I’ve not been to the Hut, and I have no plans to go to the Hut. I won’t be there on graduation morning either. It’s the one tradition I wish would die out.

    How do you relax on campus?

    One thing I like, especially since it’s spring and now with summer coming along, I like taking a walk on campus after dinner in the early evening. It’s quieter and I can check out what’s going on. It’s a beautiful campus to walk on during the week and on the weekends too.

    What do you do for fun off campus?

    I’ve gone hiking in the Santa Cruz Mountains a number of times now with one of the faculty. He’s been introducing me to various trails and parks in the area. We’ve been three times. The most recent trip I took was to the San Francisco Bay wetlands – I enjoyed that a lot.

    What was your favorite movie this year?

    I haven’t been to a movie. I went to one last year [laughs], but I couldn’t tell you what I saw. I don’t watch TV either; I’m not into that. The only time I watch movies is on Turner Classics in the mornings when I exercise. I’ll watch whatever old flick that’s on.

    What professional games have you been to?

    I’ve been to a Giants game, and I went to a 49ers game. I haven’t been to the A’s, Warriors or the Sharks games. I’ve been invited to a Sharks game but didn’t get over there.

    What are your summer plans?

    Well, every Jesuit makes an annual retreat, a silent retreat for eight days. Most of us do it in the summer. I’m doing mine in July. There’s a monastery way up in the redwoods near Eureka where I go, no cell phone service, no available telephone. It’s really quiet. And then vacation, I’m going up to the Sierra Nevada with some friends.

    Any plans to go to Los Angeles to see your family?

    I go to L.A. about every five to six weeks, because of meetings, to see people, and to see my family. I didn’t get home for Mother’s Day this year, though. I don’t think I’ve missed Mother’s Day in 22 years.

    Beer or wine?

    Both. Who wants to make a choice? How can you have a Mexican dinner and not have a bottle of beer? And how can you have an Italian dinner and not have a glass of red wine? My favorite beer is Negro Modelo, and wine – I like pinot noir and zinfandel, no particular vineyard.

    Salsa or guacamole?

    Why choose? I mean really. What’s Mexican food without salsa and guacamole?

    Button-down or polo shirt?


    Do you own a pair of flip flops?

    Yes. Who doesn’t? I haven’t worn them to work yet, but I wear them if I’m going to go to the beach or around the house at night to go down and get a snack. They’re comfort shoes.

  •  Three Santa Clara University Seniors Win Fulbright Scholarships

    Three Santa Clara University seniors have been awarded Fulbright scholarships to study or teach abroad in the 2010–2011 academic year.

    The SCU student winners include Megan Williams, who will go to Warsaw, Poland, to study Polish and research student political attitudes; John “Jack” Mahoney, who will go to Indonesia to teach English at one of that republic’s Islamic boarding schools, known as pesantren; and Jennifer Mock, who will go to Bavaria, Germany, to teach English.

    “I extend my warmest congratulations to SCU’s outstanding Fulbright winners,” said University President Michael Engh, S.J. “Their accomplishments and intellectual curiosity exemplify the best of Santa Clara University and its mission to educate students in service to the world.” Read more.

  •  Engineering Students' Creativity Comes to Life

    Faculty, staff, alumni, and parents attended the School of Engineering’s 40th Annual Senior Design Conference last month held to witness seniors’ innovative solutions to today’s engineering challenges.

    Senior engineering students spent their final undergraduate year at SCU, designing tools to improve surgical procedures in the U.S., water filtration in Honduras, motorcycle safety for riders everywhere, a conceptual rebuilding campaign for Haiti, and thought outside the box (or the vending machine) to create an eco-dispenser.

    Learn more about all the students’ capstone projects.

    Watch slideshow of Senior Design Conference.

  •  SCU's Class of 2010 Undergraduates and Graduates Prepare for Commencement

    Sakena Yacoobi, an award-winning pioneer who has improved the lives of millions of Afghan women through her Afghan Institute for Learning, will address Santa Clara University’s graduate students at their 2010 commencement ceremony on Friday, June 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the University’s Leavey Events Center.

    In attendance will be nearly 600 students receiving advanced degrees from the School of Engineering, the Leavey School of Business and Administration, the School of Education and Counseling Psychology, and the Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries. Read more.

    Learn more about the graduate commencement ceremony.

    Ken Hackett, president of Catholic Relief Services, will deliver the commencement speech for Santa Clara University’s undergraduate class of 2010 on Saturday, June 12 at 8:30 a.m. at Buck Shaw Stadium.

    “I’m looking forward to taking part in this very important day for graduating seniors,” Hackett says. “It’s a time when they can reflect on the last four years of their college career and some of the most important lessons they learned from their professors, fellow classmates, and their families.” Read more.

    Learn more about the undergraduate commencement ceremony.

    Just as an incoming student's experience of Santa Clara University begins with an orientation liturgy, so too does that experience end within a liturgical setting, the Commencement Liturgy. Students of all faiths, their families, and friends are cordially invited to participate in this celebration. It is a time for giving thanks and praise for the gifts given and received while at Santa Clara and for asking a blessing on the graduates and their futures. The Commencement Liturgy is at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, June 11, 2010 in the Leavey Center.

  •  Learning to Work for Social Justice

    Fifteen Santa Clara students are set to engage in a transformation unlike any other this summer, and the only people who can deeply understand that experience are the alumni who were in their shoes once before as Jean Donovan Fellows.

    Jean Donovan was an American woman who lived, worked, and died in solidarity with the impoverished and oppressed people of El Salvador in the 1980s. SCU created a fellowship in her name 10 years ago to encourage and support students who desire to deepen their understanding of social justice issues through a summer community-based learning experience. The Ignatian Center has given students a $1,500 grant to help cover costs for travel, lodging, and program fees. Students have traveled to remote places in Burkina Faso and Nepal to more familiar cities such as Portland, Ore., and even Salinas, Calif. Their trips, though, are far from a typical student’s summer vacation.

    In the summer of 2004, Neil Ferron ‘05 spent five months in Calcutta, India, where he worked with Mother Teresa’s Sisters.

    “The Jean Donovan Fellowship radically altered my life. I witnessed things I have never witnessed since, taking part in work that emptied me, filled me, and emptied me again,” says Ferron, who is now studying playwriting at Trinity College Dublin on a Mitchell Scholarship. It’s awarded to students for both excellence in their field and dedication to community service. Ferron believes he would not have received a Mitchell Scholarship had he not received the Donovan Fellowship.

    “The Donovan Fellowship deepened my understanding of what it means to be human. There can be no greater gift,” says Ferron.

    Sophomore student Liliana Palma, who is studying political science and Spanish, is about to embark on an incredible journey that could parallel Ferron’s. She is one of this year’s recipients. Palma decided to apply for the fellowship, because she learned that Jean Donovan was murdered by the Salvadoran military, who considered her to be problematic for helping people.

    “I really felt connected to her story and felt it would be an honor to be a fellow,” says Palma.

    Instead of returning home to Santa Monica this summer, she will be working with children at an orphanage called Ciudad de Los Niños in Oaxaca, Mexico. The orphanage is home to 147 abused children, mostly newborns. Palma will be assisting three to four times a week helping with physical education and other activities. She chose Oaxaca because her parents were born there, and she wanted to fully immerse herself in the city where her parents grew up.

    “I’m hoping this experience allows me to see the reality of life for many marginalized people and understand some of the suffering my parents experienced as children,” says Palma.

    She also hopes to share her experience with others so that they will be more conscious of the injustice people in Mexico regularly face.

    The 14 other Jean Donovan Fellowship recipients and the places where they’ll be spending their summer are: 

    • Zena Andreani '12, Santa Clara
    • Allison Baker '11, Ecuador
    • Diana Bustos '11, El Salvador
    • Tim Carlson '12, Guatemala
    • Michael Garcia '12, Peru
    • Drew Hodun '12, Peru
    • Nhu-Nguyen Le '12, San Francisco
    • Kadee Mardula '11, Washington, D.C.
    • Jenny Nicholson '12, Costa Rica
    • Tanya Schmidt '12, Peru
    • Jackie Tasarz '11, Ghana
    • Kristen Williamson '11, Costa Rica
    • Clare Wylie '11, Chicago
    • Sergio Zepeda '11, El Salvador & San Jose
  •  Students Recognized for Outstanding Contributions to Ethnic Studies Program

    Faculty, staff, students, and their families gathered last month to honor the graduating seniors who are minoring in ethnic studies or whose individual studies majors focused on ethnic studies. They are:


    • Jose Arreola
    • Anushree Dasgupta
    • Veronica Gomez
    • Jessica Paul
    • Arianna Spratley
    • Ruben Dario Villa


    Each year, the Ethnic Studies Program also recognizes students who have submitted a research paper/essay dealing with ethnicity/race issues for the Matt Meier Award. It was established in honor of Professor Matt Meier for his scholarly contributions in the area of Chicano history and for his dedication to and support of the educational goals of the ethnic studies program at SCU. This year, two students were named recipients of the Matt Meier Award:


    • Gustavo Magaña Jr.
    • Lindsay Mohundro


    Another distinguished guest, Atom Yee, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, was recognized with the Cedric Busette Memorial Award, which honors the memory of Professor Cedric Busette for his outstanding commitment to the Ethnic Studies Program, his dedication to the goals of a Jesuit education, and his role as a mentor for ethnic studies minors.

    Watch slideshow of the 2010 Annual Seniors’ Reception.

  •  Taking a Walk Down Memory Lane via Facebook

    The most talked about and commented on post on Santa Clara University’s Facebook page this past week was about the pool that graced Graham Hall in the years gone by. The Santa Clara University Alumni Association posted a video about the pool, and alumni enjoyed taking a walk down memory lane. Any fyi readers who remember the pool?

    In addition, SCU’s Facebook page is also where graduating SCU seniors can win prizes leading up to graduation on June 12. Answer the question of the week, write a haiku, or share a memory and they can win SCU gear, parking passes, and tickets to the alumni picnic.

    Social media websites like Facebook are helping to get the word out about SCU, its community, excellence in academics, the benefits of becoming a Bronco, and everyday news and events related to the University. See for yourself by logging into Facebook and “liking” Santa Clara University. Be a part of the phenomenon and the conversations that are happening every day online.

  •  New Solar Panels to Boost University's Renewable Energy Portfolio

    Student tour guides at Santa Clara University often brag to prospective students about Silicon Valley’s 300-plus days of sunshine each year. School officials hoping to capitalize on that climatic characteristic recently gave the green light to installing new photovoltaic arrays on several University structures. The project is just another step in Santa Clara’s efforts to become climate neutral by the end of 2015.

    The University is no stranger to solar. A 50-kilowatt photovoltaic system installed atop the main facilities building in 2007 is currently the largest renewable energy producer on campus. It is estimated that the 338-panel array reduces carbon dioxide emissions by up to 5,880 metric tons per year.

    Santa Clara also gained notoriety in the field of solar power three years ago and again last year with consecutive third-place finishes in the national Solar Decathlon sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. Read more.

  •  When Disaster Strikes, SCU EMTs Respond

    A woman with a worried look hurried up to the nearest person in uniform, asking if everything was all right. Almost on cue, another woman leaned out of a second-story window in O’Connor Hall, screaming for help. But the EMT calmly told her that this was all a simulation, and that no one was really injured.

    Every year, SCU’s Emergency Medical Services holds a mass casualty incident (MCI) with a certain scenario designed to test the EMTs response ability in the event of a disaster. Between the EMTs, “patients,” and other staff members on hand, nearly 100 people participated in this year’s MCI, which simulated a massive earthquake, on Saturday, May 1.

    The purpose of this event was “to prove that we are well trained and well versed in how to handle a mass casualty with multiple patients and injuries,” said SCU EMS Assistant Director Kelly Fletcher. Additionally, Fletcher said that it also would “demonstrate how highly competent our EMTs are.”

    Over the 13 years since SCU’s EMS was founded, by students, about 40 EMTs have developed a consistent system for responding to disaster. When a disaster is first reported, a phone tree is activated that directs all EMTs to Cowell Health Center. From there, they move to wherever they are needed. In the case of this simulation, O’Connor Hall was the main disaster site, and 63 patients (student volunteers) awaited medical attention. Officers of the Santa Clara Police and Fire Departments were in attendance as observers, along with a student from U.C. Berkeley studying our program in order to start one at his own campus.

    Triage teams were the first to respond to the variety of patients and injuries, and proceeded to sort patients based on their level of injury, according to triage officer Cristina Sansone. Patients who were red-flagged needed immediate attention, while those in yellow could receive delayed help, and those in green had only suffered minor injuries. The empty black section was reserved for the morgue.

    Fletcher detailed the remaining steps; an extrication team then carried patients out of the building, starting with the most severely injured and working from there. Section leaders would delegate medical attention once the patients were safely out, and treatment EMTs would then take care of them as necessary.

    Two “victims,” senior Allison Terry and junior Josh Goldberg, along with the other 61 patients, were volunteers, and both affirmed the idea that “they [the EMTs] needed more patients, so I volunteered.” Sansone cheerfully reported that, due to this volunteer spirit, the number of patients had improved; saying that in years past it was tough to reach 50.

    “It’s important to understand that we’re volunteers…at other schools, EMTs are paid,” said Sansone, who also praised the team, who “all have a passion for medicine, for taking care of people in the community.”

    Captain Mike Sellers of the SCPD, after observing the event, said that it was “good that the campus is preparing for such a disaster” and praised their work: “Looks like they’re doing a real good job.”

    Watch a slideshow of MCI simulation.

  •  Santa Clara Women's Basketball Honored for Community Involvement

    On behalf of the city of Sunnyvale, Mayor Melinda Hamilton presented the Santa Clara University athletic department and its women’s basketball program a certificate of appreciation for outstanding community service at their city council meeting last week.

    The recognition stems from the Broncos’ participation in the 16th annual Sunnyvale Basketball Shoot Off, held at the Columbia Neighborhood Center on Friday, Feb. 5. Santa Clara student-athletes took time out of their basketball season to volunteer at the event. In all, 330 youngsters participated, and 177 of them were invited to the finals.

    “For the past 16 years Sunnyvale’s Department of Public Safety has hosted a basketball shoot-out event in order to promote the importance of physical activity for school children throughout the local community,” said Hamilton. “The Santa Clara women’s basketball team was a very special addition to the festivities. As we know, college athletes provide excellent role models for children, exemplifying positive values, the attainment of both athletic and scholastic goals, and the importance of physical health as an integral part of a person’s development and well being.” Read more.

  •  Santa Clara School of Law to Honor the Class of 2010

    SCU School of Law graduates will be honored on Saturday, May 22, at 9:30 a.m. in the Mission Gardens. No tickets are required. Seating is first-come, first-served. A light reception in the Mission Gardens will immediately follow the ceremony.

    Miguel S. Demapan, the chief of justice of the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), will be the honored speaker at the commencement ceremony. Read more.

    Families and graduates, learn more about SCU’s law school commencement ceremony.

  •  Reading West Africa: Literacy and Libraries in Burkina Faso

    Amid the high-tech wonders of the state-of-the-art Harrington Learning Commons, Sobrato Technology Center, and Orradre Library rests an exhibit celebrating the most basic components of the information age: books and reading.

    Ensconced in the third floor gallery outside the Martin Reading Room and on view until June 11, “Reading West Africa” highlights the efforts of a group of students and faculty during a fall 2009 study abroad/immersion program in Burkina Faso, a combined effort of SCU and the nonprofit Friends of African Village Libraries (FAVL). During the program, the students studied digital photography, French (the official language of the country), as well as economic, political, and environmental aspects of Burkina Faso. Students also worked in village libraries and created children’s books in French.

    The exhibit features some of those books, students’ narratives about this life-changing experience, native arts and crafts, and some of David Pace’s compelling photos of the country and its people. Pace, a lecturer in the Art and Art History Department, traveled with the students and taught them photography as part of the study abroad curriculum. 

    “One of the things we wanted to highlight was the importance of libraries in people’s lives, especially in poorer countries,” says Deborah Whiteman, head of archives and special collections and one of the co-curators of the exhibit.

    The libraries provide books, a scarce commodity in the country where the overall literacy rate is about 28.7 percent, and far less for women. “There is very little reading material over there, even in the schools,” explains social sciences librarian Helene Lafrance, the other co-curator. She was in Burkina Faso for six weeks this fall as an academic adviser, to help the students with their French, and to visit the libraries in the villages. “Many of the books [the students created] are about life or things related to Burkina Faso. The idea is to provide culturally relevant material for the children and new readers.”

    The goal of FAVL, the nonprofit organization founded by Michael Kevane, associate professor and chair of the economics department, and Leslie Gray, associate professor and executive director of the Environment Studies Institute, is to establish and support small community libraries in rural Africa.

    Learn more about the study abroad program in Burkina Faso.

    Learn more about Friends of African Village Libraries.

  •  Inventive Student Aims to Improve Physical Therapy

    Greg Method, class of 2012, didn’t set out to invent a new physical therapy device. But when the mechanical engineering major landed an internship with a physical therapy clinic in his hometown of Park City, Utah, last summer, he started noticing ways in which better devices could lead to better therapy.

    One day he saw that a shorter therapist was having trouble supporting her long-legged patients’ knees so they could do stretching exercises. Method went home and started building a device that would support the back of the leg. For the next six to eight weeks, Method tested about a dozen prototypes, changing them based on feedback from therapists and patients.

    As Method improved the device, it went from being a substitute for a therapist’s arm to being a device that patients could use to work on rehab exercises at home.

    Method also created a wedge used to elevate a patient’s leg when a therapist is working on a patient’s knee.

    He has now started a company, Method Therapeutic Solutions LLC. In March, he submitted provisional patents for both devices.

    “Hopefully, with some design changes, I’ll take this to market one day,” Method said. “Just to see that it was so helpful to the patients and that it was so effective was the best part of my experience. Now it’s just a matter of getting it out there and making it available to other patients.”

    Philip Kesten, associate professor of physics, is advising Method.

    “I’m very impressed with what he has done,” Kesten said. “He doesn’t brag—he’s just got this neat problem in front of him. It’s like a puzzle, and he wants to solve it.”

    Method’s father, Vic Method, vice president of business development for Evolv, is his son’s main funder. He hopes the experience will serve his son well when he enters the workforce after college.

    “I have seen my son grow as a person by watching how something he has done has helped people,” Vic Method said. “That’s really cool as a parent to see.”

  •  SCU's Facebook Asks Graduating Seniors to Share Their Memories

    The conversation on Santa Clara University’s Facebook page this past week centered around a contest for graduating seniors. Leading up to graduation on June 12, the University’s Facebook page is running a contest for seniors. If they answer some trivia questions, write a haiku, or share a memory or a photo in Bronco apparel, they can win SCU gear, parking passes, and tickets to the alumni picnic.

    SCU asked the question: “If there is anything you can do before the day of graduation to finish your SCU career in style, what would it be?” The best answer wins an SCU license plate frame and decal.

    A big shout out to SCU senior Dorothy Ma who said, “I would take every person--friend, classmate, professor, faculty-- who made my experience at SCU better out for a drink and personally tell them how much they meant to me. It [would] be a long night but it [would] be worth it!”

    Matt Cavaliere said, “I would either go skydiving with my roommates or go to the Bronco and spend about $50 in food for a goodbye party with my roomies and some friends.”

    Social media websites like Facebook are helping to get the word out about SCU, its community, excellence in academics, the benefits of becoming a Bronco, and everyday news and events related to the University.

    See for yourself by logging onto Facebook and “liking” Santa Clara University. Be a part of the phenomenon and the conversations that are happening every day online.

  •  Santa Clara University Voted One of the Best Places to Work in the Bay Area

    Santa Clara University has been voted one of the “Best Places to Work in the Bay Area” in a 2010 survey that’s sponsored by the San Francisco Times and the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal. SCU was ranked number eight in the “large employers” category (501-1,500 employees) and was the only university in the Bay Area to make the list.

    SCU President Michael Engh, S.J., congratulated and thanked faculty and staff for fostering a work environment of mutual respect and genuine concern for one another.

    “The positive campus climate they help create benefits the entire Santa Clara family, especially the students,” he said.

    The annual survey ranks the top 125 Best Places to Work in the Bay Area based on extensive questionnaires regarding management practices, policies, benefits, work climate, culture, diversity, career development, and training.

    In the last six years, Santa Clara has ranked in the top 15:

    • 2009 – #5
    • 2008 – #10
    • 2007 – #11
    • 2006 – #6
    • 2005 – #9
  •  Santa Clara University Designated Conference Champion in EPA's College & University Green Power Challenge

    For a second straight year, Santa Clara University is using more green power than any other school in the West Coast Conference, making it 2009-10 Individual Conference Champion in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s College & University Green Power Challenge.

    SCU beat its conference rivals by using nearly 23 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, representing 74 percent of the school’s annual electricity usage. SCU purchases a utility green power product from Silicon Valley Power/3Degrees and generates on-site renewable electricity, which help to reduce the environmental impacts associated with the campus’s electricity use.

    SCU’s use of nearly 23 million kWh of green power is equivalent to the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of nearly 2,000 average American homes each year. It’s also equivalent to taking 3,000 passenger cars off the road.

    Since April 2006, EPA’s Green Power Partnership has tracked and recognized the collegiate athletic conferences with the highest combined green power purchases in the nation. The Individual Conference Champion Award recognizes the school that has made the largest individual purchase of green power within a qualifying conference.

  •  Electrical Engineering Professor Wins Richard E. Bellman Control Heritage Award

    Dragoslav D. Siljak, the Benjamin and Mae Swig University Professor in the School of Engineering at Santa Clara University, has won the prestigious Richard E. Bellman Control Heritage Award for his fundamental contributions to the theory of large-scale systems, decentralized control, and parametric approach to robust stability.

    The award is the highest recognition of professional achievement for U.S. control systems engineers and scientists, given for distinguished career contributions to the theory or application of automatic control. Bestowed by the American Automatic Control Council (AACC), an association of the control systems divisions of eight member societies, the award is named after the applied mathematician Richard Bellman, who pioneered the field of dynamic programming, which is essential to control system theory.

    Siljak joined the SCU faculty in 1964. A prolific scholar, he has published an array of books and papers, including four monographs (Decentralized Control of Complex Systems, Large-Scale Dynamic Systems, Nonlinear Systems, and Control of Complex Systems: Structural Constraints and Uncertainty) and more than 200 papers in scholarly and scientific journals. In 1999, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers honored him with the prestigious title of Life Fellow.

    His analysis of intricate mathematical models provides a glimpse into how the interdependent parts of complex systems interact in complicated and uncertain ways in order to determine optimal strategies for localized, stabilizing control. “Interest in complex systems has grown in both the living and man-made systems. Everything is becoming more complex—the electric power systems, transportation and communication networks. Everywhere you turn, you see these complex systems,” Siljak explains. He has analyzed models in areas as diverse as population biology, the arms race, large space structures, competitive equilibrium in mathematical economics, robotics, electric power systems, and gene regulation. “When we study these models, we don’t want to know just what the world is, we want to find what the world can become,” he says.

    Engineering Dean Godfrey Mungal, the Sobrato Professor of Engineering, lauded his colleague’s contributions and achievements. Drago Siljak is an icon in the field of stability and control. Past winners of the award have come mostly from research 1 universities, so it is even more impressive that he has been recognized from an institution which carries a high teaching load,” Mungal notes. “In 2007, his book Large-Scale Dynamic Systems, Stability and Structure was reprinted after 30 years as a Dover Classic, again attesting to his impact in the field.”

    That impact was reiterated earlier this year when Siljak’s 1991 book, Decentralized Control of Complex Systems, topped the list of sales in Amazon’s Systems and Control Systems category—even though it has been out of print for more than 10 years. A used copy fetched more than $800 in auction.

    Siljak will formally accept the award on July 1 in Baltimore, MD, at a plenary session during the American Control Conference, the annual conference of the AACC, which is composed of the control systems divisions of the following eight societies: the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics; the American Institute of Chemical Engineers; the Association of Iron and Steel Engineers; the American Society of Civil Engineers; the American Society of Mechanical Engineers; the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers; the Instrumentation, Systems, and Automation Society; and the Society for Computer Simulation.

  •  Conference to Gather Top Minds in Corporate Social Responsibility and Socially Responsible Investing at Santa Clara University

    Some of the nation’s top experts in corporate social responsibility and socially responsible investing will gather May 14 and 15 at Santa Clara University to discuss the benefits of elevating ethical values for corporations and investors.

    The conference, titled “The Value of Values: Social Investing and Corporate Social Responsibility,” will be held Friday, May 14, from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 15, from 8 a.m. to 12:45 p.m in Lucas Hall.

    “The Value of Values” conference is the signature event of the Santa Clara Initiative for Financial Innovation and Risk Management (SCIFIRM), a multiyear project focused on ethical financial innovation and responsible risk management. SCIFIRM was formed after the international financial crisis that began in late 2008 as an effort to leverage SCU’s institutional expertise in areas such as behavioral finance, risk management, and private equity with the University’s focus on ethics, justice, and compassion. Read more.

  •  Fifth Annual Alumni Anniversary Awards

    The Alumni Association congratulates Enrique Flores ’01, M.A. ’06, and Phil Grasser ’67, the 2010 Ignatian Award recipients. This award recognizes alumni who live the SCU ideals of competence, conscience, and compassion and have been a credit to the Alumni Association and the University through exceptional service to humanity.

    The 2010 Louis I. Bannan, S.J., Award goes to Doug ’66 and Marie Barry ’68, for their distinguished and outstanding service to the Alumni Association and the University.

    Mario Belotti, W.M. Keck Foundation Professor of Economics, is the recipient of the Paul L. Locatelli, S.J., Award, which was established in 2008 to recognize a single SCU employee or affiliate who has given distinguished and outstanding service to the Alumni Association and to the University.

    All five were honored on Saturday, April 24, at the Alumni Anniversary Awards Dinner.

    Watch slideshow of event.

  •  A Student's Mission to Help Haiti Earthquake Victims

    SCU senior Bobby Moon is keeping the images of the Haiti earthquake destruction alive to help the victims receive more aid. He hopes to achieve that through his camera lens, which he used to capture nearly 2,400 photos during his visit to the quake-ravaged country during his spring break in March.

    The 22-year-old marketing major was in the Dominican Republic, volunteering for an organization called Somos Amigos, when the 7.0 magnitude temblor struck on Jan. 12. Moon nearly lost his balance as the ground beneath him rocked back and forth. While many volunteers were stunned and unaware of what was happening, Moon, who grew up in Los Gatos, immediately knew he was experiencing an earthquake. He soon began hearing reports that the epicenter was in the neighboring country of Haiti and that the damage was catastrophic.

    “We managed to tune into a radio station which was reporting that a couple of hundred thousand people may be dead,” says Moon. “And as each day went by, the volunteers and I felt we needed to go to Haiti to help.”

    But they were also hearing reports of utter chaos: no electricity, no access to food and water, and crushed homes and buildings everywhere. The organization leaders decided it wasn’t safe enough to enter Haiti. So, they along with the volunteers, returned to the U.S. to begin mapping out a future mission. In order to get a firsthand look at the situation, Moon and the founder of Somos Amigos arrived in Haiti on March 20 to assess the damaged areas.

    “It was something out of a movie. It looked like the earthquake had just happened yesterday. Rubble from destroyed buildings littered the streets, and bulldozers were everywhere, slowly trying to clear the area. Many buildings also had dead bodies inside, so the stench was overwhelming,” says Moon.

    He captured images of thousands of orphaned children fighting for food, mass graves, and tent cities filled with displaced families. He quickly realized that he needed to show the world that nearly three months after the earthquake hit, victims were still in need of basic necessities. So, Moon submitted his photos to CNN’s iReport, and they immediately became one of the most popular stories on the website.

    “I want the photos to remind people of the ongoing crisis in Haiti and hope that the images will raise money,” he says. “The victims are in desperate need of help.”

    Moon was also invited to the Americas Relief Team Regional Crisis Relief Annual Luncheon in Miami on May 7, where his photos will be on display.

    Click here to watch slideshows of Moon’s photography.

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