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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  •  Budget Forum

    If you missed the University’s Budget Forum on March 5, you can check out the presentation here.

    Some highlights of the $346.1 million budget were:

    • 2% average salary increase pool
    • 3.6%undergraduate cost of education increase
    • No planned faculty or staff reductions


  •  A New Major for a New Globalized Society

    As the U.S. becomes more diverse by the year, employers are seeing a greater need for understanding cultural, ethnic, and racial differences, making ethnic studies one of the most important programs on college campuses today.

    That’s one of the reasons why Santa Clara University is launching a new major in ethnic studies to help prepare students for the globalized workplace. Starting next fall, SCU will offer ethnic studies as a companion major, meaning students majoring in it must declare a primary major in another discipline. This would be beneficial for undergraduates wishing to combine their training in majors such as business, psychology, or political science, because the companion major would enhance opportunities for graduate study and/or careers.

    For instance, business students might learn about certain traditions in China, which has the fastest growing economy in the world, and then see how American companies are applying them in their marketing strategies. Psychology majors could gain better insight into the psychological impact of Eastern Asian-Americans forced to flee their country during a time of war and oppression. Students wanting to become teachers might focus on comparative ethnic studies to gain a broader understanding of multiculturalism taking place in the classroom.

    “We need to look at ethnic studies differently in today’s world where populations have become so much more diverse. In addition to studying a particular group of people isolated from another, we’re also focusing on the interaction between various racial and ethnic groups,” says James Lai, professor and chair of ethnic studies at Santa Clara University.

    “I never learned about Latinos or African-Americans when I was growing up. In fact, I had to learn about my history on my own. Ethnic studies has given me the tools I believe are necessary to make effective change in my own community, because it’s up to me to be the change I want to see,” says Gustavo Magana, an SCU sophomore who’s majoring in political science and ethnic studies.

    The development of the new major couldn’t come at a better time. The University is celebrating the ethnic studies department’s 40th anniversary this academic year. Already, Lai has been holding forums that focus on the various ways ethnic studies has transformed students, communities, and the campus.

  •  Forging Ahead with a Community Garden

    If you had walked by the corner of Benton and Sherman streets a couple of centuries ago, you would have heard blacksmiths pounding metal. Today, the muted sounds of spades will waft to your ears. It’s Santa Clara University students working the soil of the robust new community garden, which will be used for food, education, and as a model for other urban gardens.

    Called The Forge in honor of the plot’s history, the half-acre site currently abounds with garlic, leeks, strawberries, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, chard, and kale. Soon these winter fruits and vegetables will make way for typical spring fare.

    The garden is a cooperative effort between the Environmental Sciences Institute, the Food and Agribusiness Institute, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Ignatian Center, and campus facilities.

    “The garden is still very young, less than a year old. It will change pretty rapidly in the next year,” said Patrick Archie, the garden manager and director of campus and community programs for the Environmental Studies Institute, who has overseen the transformation of the plot from a vacant lot, to one with cover crops, and now to a thriving patch of flora and greens.

    Currently, whoever works in the garden gets to partake of its bounty. “This spring, we’ll be harvesting more than we can eat,” said Archie. We plan to donate produce to a women’s and children’s shelter, and as our volume increases, we’ll be looking for other organizations that could benefit from the food.”

    A new ministry has also sprouted from the site, in partnership with the Silicon Valley Health Corps. Dubbed Bronco Urban Gardens (BUG), it’s an environmental justice outreach program that provides gardening education, training, design advice, and resources to underserved schools and marginalized communities in Santa Clara County. Currently, BUG is working with several schools and community centers in the Gardner, Washington, and Alma neighborhoods.

    “Although other universities have gardens, I think that ours, with its urban focus, is on the cutting edge,” Archie said.

    He welcomes neighbors to visit the garden, which is open to the public every Wednesday and Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. and also hosts periodic workshops. Click here for more information.

  •  Santa Clara Magazine

    Fr. Luis Calero, S.J. writes on Colombia—one of the places he calls home—and Dan Coonan tells the tale of the SCU Orange Bowl victory. Read about Michael Whalen's latest documentary and Dennis Moberg's new book, and a profile of sculptor Sam Hernández. Catch up on the latest books and news from SCU alumni— including appearances in Cosmo and Ripley's Believe It Or Not.

    Find all this and more online.

  •  Law School Hosts Debate

    Santa Clara County District Attorney Dolores Carr and challenger Deputy District Attorney Jeff Rosen will face off in a debate on Santa Clara University’s campus Tuesday evening, March 23. 

    The event will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall.

    In addition to fielding questions from moderator Gerald F. Uelmen, professor of law at Santa Clara University, the candidates will also respond to written questions from the audience. 

    “Santa Clara University is the ideal location for this debate, given that the questions of legal ethics, fairness, and justice that are so central to this race are also integral to SCU's values,'' said Uelmen.

    Admission is free, and all students, faculty and the public are invited to attend. The event is being sponsored by Santa Clara University School of Law.

  •  Taking the HEAT

    Jennifer Woolley, assistant professor of management, had a very good excuse for postponing the class she was supposed to teach the first Saturday in February—she was putting out a fire.

    Dousing the flames with a fire extinguisher was one of the hands-on exercises in the 20-hour disaster preparedness course dubbed HEAT (Home Emergency Assistance Teams) that she, her husband, and a dozen other SCU faculty, staff, students, and their significant others took. “In the past, I didn’t know how powerful a fire extinguisher was or how it operates,” Woolley said. “The hands-on training helped me put all of the different pieces together. It gave me a better sense of things that I can actually do in case of an emergency.”

    Since its inception by the city of Santa Clara in 1995, more than 2,000 city residents have gone through the HEAT training, an official Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program, according to Bill Kelly, a deputy fire chief with the Santa Clara Fire Department.

    HEAT gives participants practical training in how to be self-sufficient and do the most good for the most people in the event of a large-scale disaster, since emergency services are likely to be overwhelmed and unable to reach all the victims immediately.

    “We teach them such things as first aid, some basic fire-fighting, some basic light rescue ... how to use lumber and things to pry heavy objects off people, how to shut off gas utilities, and make structures safe,” Kelly explained.

    In the event of an on-campus emergency, one of the likely first-responders will be SCU EMT Kelsey Brunts. The sophomore in biomedical engineering took the HEAT classes to round out her medical training. “I had never even held a fire extinguisher before, much less pulled the pin and put a fire out,” she said. “And the markings to make on a building when you enter it, and how to lift heavy objects off a person wasn’t covered in the EMT class, so I thought this was a really good supplement.”

    This is the second time SCU has partnered with the city of Santa Clara to offer the HEAT program on campus and it won’t be the last, said Mike Taheny, SCU emergency planning manager. “To me, this training fits with the Jesuit concept of education—to develop men and women for other,” he said. “The more of our community at all levels that we help prepare, the better off the entire University and the surrounding community will be.”

    For more information about upcoming HEAT classes, visit the City of Santa Clara HEAT website.

    Click here to view a slideshow of the event.

  •  ROTC Battalion wins MacArthur Award

    On Feb. 2, the Santa Clara University ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) “Bronco Battalion” was recognized as one of the top units in the nation, winning the prestigious MacArthur Award granted by the U.S. Army’s Cadet Command and the General Douglas MacArthur Foundation.

    The awards, named after late General Douglas MacArthur, recognize unit performance based on his ideals of “duty, honor, country.” The award takes into consideration factors such as the battalion’s physical fitness, navigation skills, leadership, and success in commissioning officers after ROTC.

    SCU’s battalion also includes cadets from San Jose State University and Stanford University. In winning the award, SCU’s ROTC program surpassed those of 32 other schools from eight states and Guam and places it among only eight ROTC battalions nationally to win the award. Among the standout factors for SCU, according to SCU Military Science Department Director Lt. Col. Shawn Cowley:

    • Several battalion cadets won highly competitive overseas cultural internships sponsored by the Army, to travel to places like Indonesia, the Czech Republic, Jordan, Costa Rica, and Russia. SCU law student and cadet Aldo Zilli toured Guantanamo Bay’s facilities during an Army Judge Advocate General internship in Virginia this past summer.
    • Numerous cadets won national-level awards this year, including San Jose State University cadet Alejandra Del Rello, who won National Hispanic Engineering Cadet of the Year, and recent SCU graduate 2nd Lt. Alexander Kneefel ’09, who won one of 20 Society of American Military Engineers awards nationally. 2nd Lt. Brittany Clark, SCU ’09, won the Pallas Athene Award as the most outstanding female cadet in the 8th Brigade.
    • Sixteen graduating seniors became commissioned officers in the Army, Army Reserves, or National Guard—more than the 14 expected to do so four years ago.
    • Lt. Col. Cowley won Professor of Military Science of the Year for the 8th Brigade, and was nominated for the same award nationally. (Results will be announced sometime in the next month.)
    • SCU’s Capt. Vince Mucker won Recruiting Operations Officer of the Year for the 8th Brigade, and was nominated for the same award nationally.
    • SCU was one of only three schools in the 8th Brigade to have had zero failures at last summer’s Leadership Development Assessment Course, at which SCU senior Benny Tran was named Top Cadet in his regiment. The battalion ranked in the top 5 percent for training. Cowley said SCU played a big part in making cadets successful, including allowing them to go abroad in their sophomore year, to accommodate a heavy training regimen for junior cadets. Also, professors like David Pinault and David DeCosse teach the cadets about Islam and military ethics, respectively— desirable training that many other universities don’t offer. Professor George Giacomini, a former SCU regimental cadet commander, teaches military history.

    “You can definitely see the influence of the University on ROTC, and those factors are what the Army really needs,” said Cowley. “They are looking to increase the percentage of science, technology, and engineering majors among the officer corps, and because of the nature of the world, we need officers who are more culturally aware.”

    Cadets in ROTC are making a large commitment even before they join the Army, Cowley said. They have physical training at least three days a week starting at 6:30 a.m.; they have about three hours of classes a week, not counting a weekly lab or assorted training or educational workshops; and many join related clubs like a weekend running club or a rifle club. Many spend their summers learning how to parachute out of airplanes, survive in the mountains, or intern in actual Army units. Those who remain in ROTC as of their junior year are committing to joining the Army in some capacity upon graduation, he explained. Notable Bronco ROTC alumni include CIA Director Leon Panetta, Rita Tamayo, the first female ROTC cadet commander in the nation in 1976, and Lt. General Joseph Peterson, the deputy commanding general of the United States Army Forces Command.

    Cadre instructors include Major Larry Gnewuch, the Armed Forces National Champion in the Pentathlon, and Major Jason Cullinane, a four-time track and field all-American who placed 9th in the Atlanta Olympic team trials.

    “We already have above-average cadets coming in as freshmen,” said Cowley. “Winning the MacArthur Award means we are turning them from above-average to excellent. My hat is off to the cadre because they’ve really done a great job.”

    Learn more about ROTC at Santa Clara.

  •  Crew team at SCU gets brand new boat

    Santa Clara University’s men’s crew team will soon be rowing a brand-new eight-seat boat, thanks to a donation from a group of young alumni.

    “This particular varsity eight crew has had a good fall season together, and this is where the young alumni really felt that the new boat could make a difference,” said Staci Gustafson, associate athletic director. “This group really wants to see the men’s program improve, and we rely on donations for equipment.”

    A group of recent graduates led by Geoff Demander ’09 pooled their resources to purchase the $34,000 Vespoli V1 eight-person boat.

    “We got these donors to step up in the worst economy since the Great Depression and get a boat,” said Jimmy Shoven ’08, assistant director of the Santa Clara Fund. He was captain of the men’s crew team his senior year. The athletic department and some parents also made contributions, but the nine young alumni gave most of the money.

    Demander, a staff accountant at Ernst & Young who came up with the idea of a donation, initially thought about buying a van for the team. But after talking with other donors and team members, there was more excitement about a new boat.

    The boat has nine seats (for eight crew members plus the coxswain, who steers the boat), and each will be inscribed with the name of a donor. The boat itself will be named The Demander.

    The new boat does not necessarily give the team an advantage over other teams, but it will keep it from falling behind. Wear and tear on older boats can impede the team’s progress. Also, technological improvements make new boats better.

    “Better equipment basically allows the athletes to perform to the level of their ability,” said Wieslaw Kujda, the men’s crew head coach.

    The donation is also a morale boost for the team, Demander said: “All the guys love rowing in the new boat. They’re going to go out there and make sure it goes fast.”

    The fundraising process took just three weeks, Shoven said. He hopes the success of this fundraising campaign can inspire more fundraising for some of the University’s smaller sports teams.

    Learn more about Santa Clara University's crew team.

  •  Kirk O. Hanson awarded endowed chair

    Santa Clara University President Michael Engh, S.J., has named Kirk O. Hanson, executive director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, as the John Courtney Murray, S.J., University Professor in Social Ethics for a three-year term, effective January 1, 2010. Made possible through an endowment by Andrew ’53 and Beverly Honzel of Lake Oswego, Ore., and the Honzel family, the new appointment honors Hanson’s scholarship and contribution to Santa Clara University, and also emphasizes the University’s commitment to work in applied ethics.

    “My parents, Andy ’53 and Bev Honzel, admire Kirk Hanson’s work with the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and are delighted with his appointment.  They value the importance of ethics and are strongly committed to giving social ethics and health care ethics a prominent and permanent place at Santa Clara,” said Karen Musica.

    Hanson has been the Executive Director of the Markkula Center at Santa Clara University since 2001 and previously held the title University Professor of Organizations and Society. A pioneer in the study of business ethics, Hanson taught at the Stanford Graduate School of Business for 23 years prior to coming to Santa Clara.  He has consulted with more than 100 business, health care, government and nonprofit organizations on ethics in his 40-year career.  He is widely quoted in the press on ethical issues facing society. 

    “I am grateful to the Honzel family, which has not only supported this chair, but also an endowment in healthcare ethics to make it possible for the Markkula Center to expand its work in that critical field,” he said. “It’s a great honor to receive a chair named for John Courtney Murray, S.J., who was a pioneer in encouraging the Church and Jesuit education to engage in real ethical problems of the world. He is a wonderful symbol for the kind of applied ethics work which the Markkula Center does.”

    John Courtney Murray, S.J., was a globally known ethicist who played a major role in the Second Vatican Council, writing some of its important documents, including Declaration on Religious Liberty. Murray emphasized, throughout his body of writings, the Catholic Church’s need to raise and discuss actual, real-life ethical issues, Hanson said.

    While too soon to specify exactly what new endeavors will be put into place at the Markkula Center, Hanson said, the generosity of the Honzel family will allow the center to expand its work in the fields of business ethics, medical ethics, government ethics, character education in the schools, as well as in meeting the needs of the campus, particularly through the new core curriculum.

  •  President's Updates: University Planning

    From the President’s Office:

    The University’s Planning Action Council (PAC) has been discussing the Capacity Review and Campus Master Plan in concert with the draft Strategic Plan. The Board of Regents reviewed the draft Strategic Plan at their last meeting on Feb. 5. The PAC is on target to brief the Board of Trustees on the Strategic Plan and related metrics at their next meeting in June.

    Read more updates from the Office of the President.

  •  State of the University

  •  School of Engineering gets a surprise visit from Rep. Mike Honda

    Nearly six dozen middle- and high-school girls from Santa Clara Unified School District got a surprise visitor when they came to the SCU for Success Camp, Feb. 16. U.S. Representative Mike Honda, a veteran Democrat who represents much of Santa Clara County, stopped by to show his support for the girls, whose curriculum for the day was funded by a program procured by Honda.

    “What’s the highest math and science you’ve taken?” Honda asked the multicultural group of girls, who impressed him with answers like trigonometry, chemistry and physics. He encouraged them to ask questions in class, apply themselves and “get good sleep.’’

    He told them how he’d just come from NASA Ames, and seen a demonstration of new aerodynamic semi trucks, which were expected to save tons of carbon dioxide and diesel fuel thanks to their design.

    “The stuff you are thinking about studying now has many applications,’’ said Honda.

    “You really are at a point where you can make all sorts of discoveries.’’

    The girls worked on three projects during the day, including an underwater-robot project created by students of mechanical engineering professor Chris Kitts. Several engineering students were on hand to assist the campers. The girls also got a tour of the 2007 Solar Decathlon house as a way to learn about green buildings and sustainability, and worked on a project sponsored by the Girl Scouts to learn more about recycling and “green” living.

    The robotics project arose out of RETINA, which stands for Robotic Exploration Technologies in Astrobiology, a partnership with SCU, NASA, and the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. RETINA includes undergraduate and graduate learning, curriculum creation for grade schoolers, and outreach to K-12 students such as the Success Camp students.

    Rep. Honda helped secure $382,000 for Santa Clara University to be part of RETINA.

    The girls are part of a program called GAINS (Girls Achieving in Nontraditional Subjects), which aims to break the achievement gap for girls in math and science. SCU electrical engineering professor Shoba Krishnan is a regular adviser to GAINS.

    Click here to view a slideshow of the event.

  •  Help Make SCU the Best Place to Work

    The University has been nominated again as one of the “Best Places to Work in the Bay Area.” In both 2008 and 2009, it was the only higher education institution in the top 10.

    For SCU to be included in the final group highlighted in the Silicon Valley/San José Business Journal’s 2010 special “Best Places to Work” publication, a significant number of SCU employees (15 percent) must complete the online survey.

    Please complete the short survey BEFORE Tuesday, March 2. You don’t have to enter your name or any personal information, and the process is completely confidential.

    To access the survey, go to, and enter SCU code KCMG81961.

  •  SCU Freshman Wants More Broncos on Jeopardy!

    He’s only 17 years old, but James Hill III is already a celebrity around campus. Wherever he goes, people congratulate him, point or smile, and even ask for autographs. The freshman skyrocketed into fame at Santa Clara University after making SCU history as the second Bronco to appear on Jeopardy!

    After defeating two Ivy League students on Wednesday, Feb. 3, Hill was back on the show the following Monday. Friends and classmates gathered at Graham Residence Hall for a second time to cheer for him. Although the trivia whiz did well in the regular and double Jeopardy round of the show, a Washington University student ended up winning the final Jeopardy round, stealing Hill’s chance of advancing to the final round of the College Championship.

    A collective ah echoed throughout the basement of Graham, but Hill graciously thanked everyone for their support and then encouraged them to be the next Jeopardy! champ.

    For more information on becoming a contestant in next year’s college Jeopardy! Championships visit the website.

    “I want to get as many students as I possibly can to take the test and get them into the audition,” Hill says.

    Several people approached him after his first appearance, asking him how they can be a contestant.

    “I don’t want another 12 years to go by before someone from SCU gets on the show. In fact, I want to see someone from Santa Clara on the show again before I graduate,” he says. “I have to get SCU into the finals or even better, to win.”

    Bryan Stofferahn was the first Bronco to compete in Jeopardy’s College Championship in 1998. He, too, lost in the semifinal round.

    While Hill plans to continue to encourage more students to try out for Jeopardy!, he also plans to organize a trivia club. It was an idea he intended to carry out last quarter, but learning the ropes of college life and becoming a Jeopardy! contestant forced him to put that mission on the backburner. Hill says the idea could become a reality in the spring or next fall.

  •  Broncos, Don't Let the Zags Beat You!

    Gonzaga University, Loyola Marymount University, and Pepperdine University are beating the Broncos in the Western Coast Conference Shoe Drive. Since Dec. 1, universities have been collecting gently used shoes to be distributed around the world. After the devastation occurred in Haiti, organizers refocused their attention onto the earthquake victims and will be donating the shoes to men, women, and children there.

    Gonzaga is currently in first place with 1,000 pairs of shoes. LMU has collected 600, Pepperdine has 260, and SCU has only 250 pairs in their bins. Broncos, you can do better than this. Grab a pair of gently used shoes from your closet and drop them off at the Leavey Event Center, Malley Fitness, and Recreation Center, or any Residential Learning Community. You can also donate shoes for babies or toddlers and even dress shoes for men and women. The last day to donate is Feb. 26.

    Learn more.

  •  Classmates, Faculty Remember SCU Law School Graduate Killed in Haiti

    The catastrophic Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti claimed the life of Santa Clara Law alumna Ericka Chambers Norman ’98, who was known at SCU for her commitment to social justice, her devotion to her Christian faith, and a relentlessly upbeat approach to life.

    Norman, 42, was living those values in Haiti, where she worked for the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Board of Inquiry office.

    “I wasn’t surprised when she went to work at the U.N.,” said classmate Landon Edmond ’98, who describes Norman as the type of person who was always asking her first-year classmates how they were holding up under the pressure of law school. “The work she wanted to do had to have some meaning to it.”

    Previously, Norman had served in Kosovo at the U.N.’s Interim Administration Mission, helping displaced citizens find housing and resources. Prior to that, she also worked for Legal Aid and held a short stint in corporate law, friends and former colleagues said. 

    Norman graduated from Pomona High School in Los Angeles (where she was senior class president), and received her undergraduate degree in East Asian studies and international law from Smith College. Norman, who went by Ericka Chambers at SCU, met her husband, Liberian-born engineer Alvin Norman while serving in Kosovo. The couple had a daughter Denise, who is now 2, according to her hometown paper. Denise’s birth added to a family that also included Alvin’s two children from a prior union. Published reports said Norman and Denise survived the earthquake. 

    Law School Assistant Dean Jeanette Leach, with whom Ericka stayed in touch over the years, said Ericka was upbeat and ebullient in most things she tackled. She didn’t learn to drive until she arrived at SCU, Leach recalled, but became “hell on wheels” after getting her license.

    “She always had a sunshine-y attitude; she was always smiling,” said Leach. “She seldom let things get her down.”

    U.N. colleagues, in a memorial posted on a company website, said Norman “befriended many colleagues from various parts of the world” and “took delight in learning about their home countries, their particular culture and food.”

    “She always made an effort to take care of others in the office in ways big and small, whether that meant lending us movies from her extensive DVD collection or making sure that a cab driver whom she befriended drove a number of us home safely during a night of rioting in Kosovo in March 2004,” they wrote.   

    Norman traveled to Japan, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Thailand, and Dubai, her colleagues recalled, and enjoyed cooking and re-creating dishes from different parts of the world.

    Santa Clara Law Dean Donald Polden sent a note to the law school community expressing “our profound sorrow at the loss of this vibrant and engaged lawyer and friend.”

    According to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Norman is survived by her husband Alvin, a daughter; her father, Ernest Chambers, and stepmother, Paulette Chambers, of Seattle; and her mother, Barbara Lott, of Seattle.

  •  New Editorial Style Guide for Print, Web Publications Now Online

    Wondering how to abbreviate academic degrees? Whether to use the serial comma? When to capitalize academic titles? Or how to choose between “its” or “it’s”?

    The latest version of the University’s Editorial Style Guidelines is now online. It’s a tool for everyone writing for print or electronic publications for SCU. The guide provides quick answers to many commonly recurring questions such as:


    • When do you capitalize department names?
    • Is it “Web Site,” “web site,” or “website”?
    • When do you capitalize “university”?
    • Is it “Joe Smith ’12” or “sophomore Joe Smith”?
    • When do you abbreviate months?
    • When do you use “Dr.” in a title?
    • Is it “Michael Engh, S.J.”; “Fr. Michael Engh”; or “Michael E. Engh, S.J.”?


    Bookmark the fully searchable online style guide today:

  •  The Voice Workout

    How are you standing? How do you keep from losing your voice? What is your voice saying about you? These were some of the many questions tackled in a recent faculty development workshop titled “Voice Workout,” and it may soon be available to staff.

    Kimberly Mohn Hill, assistant professor in the Acting and Voice Theatre and Dance Department, led faculty members through a series of exercises to help prepare and retrain their voice before giving a lecture, a speech, or a presentation.

    “The exercises give you a sense of awareness of things that conspire against you while you’re trying to find, center, and own your natural sound,” she says.

    Hill demonstrated breathing and stretching moves to release tension that can build in the neck, shoulders, and back, thus affecting how you sound. Faculty followed along as Hill showed another technique that relaxes the tension in their jaw, which is crucial in how you articulate. She also had faculty become more aware of their own posture, which supports the voice by supporting the muscles needed to carry and deliver the sounds.

    Then, the strange noises began filling the room. Each faculty member hummed, ahed, and buzzed, as Hill instructed them to do. The sounds, exaggerated facial expressions, and moves are the various ways to warm up  the muscles in your face and body before speaking, she explained.

    Hill’s point is that everyone should warm up before speaking, even if it’s in a classroom or a boardroom. She says once you open your mouth, you’ll reveal something about yourself that you can’t necessarily control, such as regionalism. However, she says you can control how people perceive you, such as having confidence or authority.

    “The most common mistake people make when they’re speaking can be found in their pacing. It comes from how you feel about yourself, what you’re saying, and being up in front of people. So, if you’re not comfortable, you tend to speed through your presentation or lecture,” says Hill. “Another common problem I see, especially in new faculty, is volume. They may not be familiar with the acoustics of the room or a microphone.” Thus, faculty may not know they’re talking loud enough or the opposite—that they’re too loud and overmodulated.

    The University’s Human Resources department is working with Hill to make the workshop available for staff in the near future.

  •  Help Make SCU the Best Place to Work

    The University has been nominated again as one of the “Best Places to Work in the Bay Area.” In both 2008 and 2009, it was the only higher education institution in the top ten.

    For SCU to be included in the final group highlighted in the Silicon Valley/San José Business Journal’s 2010 special “Best Places to Work” publication, a significant number of SCU employees (15 percent) must complete the online survey.

    Please complete the short survey BEFORE Tuesday, March 2. You don’t have to enter your name or any personal information, and the process is completely confidential.

    To access the survey, go to, and enter SCU code KCMG81961.

  •  SCU's Sustainability Goal: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    SCU is in its fourth year of “RecycleMania!,” a nationwide recycling competition among over 600 colleges and universities that promotes sustainability and raises awareness of campus recycling.

    From Jan. 17 through March 27, SCU will compete with these other schools to determine which schools recycle the most and divert as much as possible from landfills.

    On a weekly basis, SCU’s Facilities staff and sustainability interns will be collecting the weights of our trash, recycling, and compost and reporting them to “RecycleMania!” As the competition goes on, you will be able to track SCU’s progress on the “Recyclemania!” website. Learn more.

    The competition is taking place during a very important transition at SCU. The University is trying to reach its sustainability and climate neutrality goals by changing its waste collection procedures and encouraging people to reduce their trash, reuse what they can, and recycle what they can’t use.

    Some offices may have noticed new desk-side trash and recycling bins. The larger blue bin is for all recyclables, including paper, plastic bottles, glass bottles, and aluminum cans. The smaller black bin is for all waste that isn’t recyclable and goes to the landfill. New composting collection containers have also been added to the common area of office suites and departments.

    Each morning, custodians only empty the blue recycling bins and the composting receptacle. It’s the faculty and staff’s responsibility to throw out their own landfill waste in the larger waste bin, also located in the common area of their office suite or department.

    “The new system makes it easier for faculty and staff to recycle, especially since most of the waste by their desk is paper. It also makes people think about how much landfill waste they’re producing on a daily basis,” says Lindsey Cromwell, the University’s sustainability coordinator.

    If your office has not yet received the blue and black bins, please continue to recycle in the designated areas until the new system is phased into your building. Learn more.

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