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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  •  Growing Interest in SCU's Solar-Powered House

    Chile has its sights set on Santa Clara University’s Refract House, the solar-powered home that won third place at the 2009 Solar Decathlon in Washington, D.C. last fall. Paul Simons, U.S. Ambassador to Chile, visited SCU on Jan. 27 and met with SCU President Michael Engh, S.J., School of Engineering Dean Godfrey Mungal, Mechanical Engineering Department Chair Timothy Hight, and Religious Studies Professor and faculty advisor for Team California, James Reites, S.J.

    Ambassador Simons has been interested in Refract House since he saw students building it on campus last year. He hopes to use the house as a way to educate residents in Santiago, Chile about alternative energy and eco-friendly home construction. Ambassador Simons also discussed the strong support from area universities and industries for hosting the house in Chile. He hopes to use the house to help promote both U.S. and local solar and sustainable industries.

    Chile isn’t the only contender, though. The San Diego Regional Sustainability Partnership and the City of Santa Clara have also expressed interest in the house. SCU has not yet made any decisions on the future of Refract House. However, SCU does plan to temporarily relocate the house across the street from San Jose’s City Hall so that it can be used as an education and demonstration center for solar and green building technologies. San Jose hopes to have Refract House ready for visitors by April.

    Watch slideshow of Ambassador Simons' visit to SCU.

  •  Help for Haiti

    The death toll from the massive earthquake in Haiti climbed to more than 150,000, and aid workers are still struggling to get food, water, and other supplies to all those in need.

    Faculty, staff, and students at Santa Clara University are reaching out to the victims by making financial donations or participating in prayer services. The campus community can donate money to any of the following organizations:



  •  Help Highlight SCU As One of the Best Places to Work in the Bay Area

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

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

    Please take a few minutes to complete the survey. The survey does not require you to enter your name or any personal information, and it is completely confidential. Your participation will help SCU be recognized as a great place to work.

    The deadline for submitting the surveys is March 2.

    To access the survey, please log onto:  

    You will need to enter the SCU code: KCMG81961

    The results will be published in May.

  •  President's Updates: Sustainability and Climate Neutrality

    From the President’s Office:

    This January, Santa Clara completed another milestone in our obligations as a signatory of the American College and Universities Presidents Climate Commitment.

    When Santa Clara signed the Climate Commitment in 2007, we recognized the need to “model ways to eliminate global warming emissions, and to provide the knowledge and the educated graduates to achieve climate neutrality.” On Jan. 15, the Office of Sustainability submitted Santa Clara University’s “Climate Neutrality Action Plan.” As a Jesuit and Catholic University, we have the responsibility to provide leadership in developing a more sustainable way of living. This action plan is another manifestation of our ongoing efforts.

    The solar panels installation and our newly-instituted Zipcar program on campus are other concrete examples of how we are incorporating renewable energy sources and reducing carbon emissions in everyday operations. I commend the Office of Sustainability and University Operations for spearheading these initiatives.

    Read more updates from the Office of the President.

  •  Program Aims to Boost Sustainable Transportation

    A recently started program at Santa Clara will give those who normally bike to the University some reprieve on rainy days. Bicycle commuters are now eligible to receive a daily parking pass for those days when inclement weather or other situations that require a car be driven to the campus. Cyclists can earn points toward the receipt of a daily parking pass, depending on the time of year.

    After arriving at the University by bike, program participants will present their Bicycle Commuter card at the main gate or at Campus Safety to be validated. Commuters can receive one daily parking pass for every five validations through the end of March. Beginning in April and lasting through June, cyclists can receive one parking pass for every 10 validations.

    The University’s Parking Auxiliary and Staff Senate sponsored the program. Both bodies believe it will encourage workers who live in the area to drive less without the fear of getting caught in bad weather. The program fits into broader sustainability goals drawn up by the University in recent years by reducing carbon emissions via fewer cars driven. Read more.

  •  SCU's Mobile Application: Convenient, Easy, and Just Plain Smart

    Want to know what’s happening on campus? There’s an app for that. Need to know where Alumni Science Hall is? No problem. How about the different courses that are offered? There’s an app for that, too.

    Santa Clara University’s media services department has created a mobile Web application for smart phones. The content comes directly from SCU’s website and gives you access to everything you would normally find on the standard site, such as campus news, events calendar, course catalog, and even emergency resources. The SCU mobile site is designed for two classes of mobile devices: feature phones and touch phones. The main differences between the two are screen size, user interface controls, and browser capabilities.

    “The goal of having a mobile site is to provide useful and easy-to-use content that’s already available on SCU’s standard website,” says Brian Washburn, Webmaster. “So, if you’re away from your desktop or laptop, you don’t have to wait until you return to your office or home. You just simply browse SCU’s mobile site from the palm of your hand.”

    For instance, if you need to reach someone but don’t have the person’s phone number, you could easily go to on your mobile device, click on the directory, look up the name, and then click on the phone number to call the person. You can also click on his or her e-mail, as well.

    Another convenient feature on the mobile site is in the map section. That’s where you’ll find all ACCESS card locations and directions to the store or restaurant provided by Google Maps.

    Washburn says he and Tony Pehanich, Web application developer, will continue to add more content as the resources become available. Washburn says it’s possible that an iPhone application could be available on the App Store some time in the future, but the priority is developing an application that can be used on a variety of mobile devices.

    To browse from your mobile device, go to

    The media services department welcomes your comments and any feedback you might have.

    Learn more about SCU’s mobile site.

  •  'Personalized Medicine' Advances, Challenges, to Be Explored at Feb. 8 Colloquium

    Personalized medicine is a revolutionary approach to treating illness in humans that uses a patient’s unique genetic profile to select proper medication and treatment strategies.  Currently, clinics worldwide are experimenting with versions of personalized medicine to help treat ailments from obesity to cancer.

    Technologies for Personalized Medicine is an upcoming colloquium at Santa Clara University that will provide cutting-edge analysis and discussion of the impact of the state of the art in new genomic technologies. 

    Taking place Feb. 8 from 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. in the Nobili Hall Dining Room at Santa Clara University, the colloquium will feature business and academic leaders discussing how biotech and pharmaceutical companies are creating new strategies to bring products to market, and how policy and regulatory challenges are affecting advances in the field. Read more.

  •  A Sweep for Santa Clara Magazine

    The Office of Marketing and Communications is proud to announce that Santa Clara University has received 12 Awards of Excellence at the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District VII awards ceremony, which was held in November.

    For a third consecutive year, Santa Clara Magazine earned more medals than any other magazine in the region. It received gold in Excellence in Design, Covers for the Winter 2008 issue and silver for Summer 2009 issue. It swept the category of Excellence in Design, Editorial Design, receiving gold for “Go With All Your Heart”, silver for “Plucky Seven”, and bronze for “Silken Choreographies.” The magazine received gold in Excellence in Designs, Illustrations for “Go With All Your Heart” and bronze for “Jesuit Volunteer Crops.” It also received gold in Periodical Special Issue for the Summer 2009 issue, and gold in Photography for “Katrina at Three,” a photo essay by alumnus Patrick Semansky. The magazine also received bronze in Periodical Staff Writing for External Audiences.

    Bronze medals also went to the 2007-2008 President’s Report and the Fall 2008 issue of Santa Clara Law Magazine.

    CASE’s District VII comprises more than 100 colleges and universities from Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah.

    Learn more about the CASE District VII 2009 Awards of Excellence.

  •  Plugging In: Agilent Technologies Helps Future Engineers at Santa Clara University

    A new partnership between Santa Clara University and Agilent Technologies, Inc. will give undergraduate engineering students access to the most current electronic test equipment in the industry. SCU and Agilent announced its sponsorship of the electrical engineering undergraduate teaching lab during a dedication ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 20.

    The SCU lab uses Agilent oscilloscopes, power supplies, multimeters, and function generators. The lab reaffirms SCU’s commitment to work with Silicon Valley companies, such as Agilent, to deliver an advanced engineering laboratory environment for the undergraduate program.

    “We are very pleased with the outcome of our work with Agilent and hope that it will be an incentive to other innovative technology companies to partner with us,” said Cary Yang, professor and chair of the electrical engineering department. “Santa Clara University is very focused on delivering real-life challenges with academic achievement. This lab gives our students an excellent and competitive engineering instructional environment to learn and grow in.” Read more.

    Watch a slideshow of the dedication ceremony.

  •  Designing and Drawing with an Artist

    A masterpiece is hanging in the Art Department Gallery of the Fine Arts Building.

    Francisco (Pancho) Jimenez’s studio art seminar students worked with artist Tim Anderson in the designing and sketching of a graphite mural. Anderson spent several days on campus with the students, teaching them his technique, but credit for the design and the amount of work put into the project goes to the following students: Kate Fiedelman, Kathryn Fraser, Anna Leon, Addi McClure, Michael McGregor, Guillermo Portillo, Armando Portillo, Jessica Power, Ana Quispe, Kristen Rieke, and Natasha Wallace. The drawing will be on display until Feb. 5.

    The campus community is invited to a reception that will be held on Feb. 3 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. The students and Anderson will be giving a talk from 5:00-5:30 p.m.

    Watch a slideshow.

    Learn more about Timothy Anderson.

  •  Santa Clara University Rolls Out Zipcar

    No car? No problem. At least that’s the message Santa Clara hopes to send when it officially launches its own Zipcar chapter this January. The car-sharing program, found in urban areas and other universities like Duke and USC, will allow faculty, staff, and students to rent vehicles for dollars on the hour.

    The idea came more than two years ago, when the Center for Student Leadership began looking at new cars for the Santa Clara Community Action Program to use for service projects and volunteering. Working through then-Associated Students Senator Katherine Quinn-Shea and CSL Director Jon Gray, the University got to the contract phase with another rental service before talks stalled and the issue was dropped.

    Car-sharing was given new life last year when Senator Courtney Seymour began working with Vice Provost for Student Life and Dean of Students Jeanne Rosenberger and Assistant Vice Provost for Student Life Matt Cameron on a series of reports and presentations to convince the administration to move forward with Zipcar. Director of Campus Safety Charlie Arolla began talks with the service around the same time and has since been designated Zipcar’s University representative. Read more.

    Click here for slideshow of launch event.

  •  Personal Health Records: Ensuring Patient Safety and Security

    A key cornerstone of President Obama’s healthcare reform efforts is a national web of computerized Personal Health Records (PHRs), provided by a burgeoning industry of health-IT providers such as Google, Microsoft, and IBM. But before this industry can be fully built out, health providers, technologists, and legislators need to agree on a slew of privacy and security safeguards and standards.

    An upcoming forum at Santa Clara University, Privacy Protections for Patient-Empowered Care, will cover some of the pressing issues and key recommendations the Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Trade Commission will likely present to the United States Congress on Feb. 18. Congress has asked for recommendations for privacy and security requirements for certain Personal Health Record vendors and others whose activities are not governed by regulations that currently apply to healthcare providers.

    For example: Should there be legal consequences if personal health-record information is leaked, even inadvertently, to marketers or to commercial data brokers? Are there cutting-edge, foolproof ways of hiding identities in such data to minimize damage from such leaks?

    The forum, taking place Jan. 20 from 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. in the St. Clare Room of the Harrington Learning Commons, Sobrato Technology Center, and Orradre Library at Santa Clara University, will feature two health-IT experts at the epicenter of federal discussion on the issue. Read more.

  •  de Saisset Museum Unlocks Vault to Showcase Extensive Collection

    Two exhibitions, highlighting the diverse nature of de Saisset Museum’s permanent collection, will kick off the winter season on Saturday, Jan. 16 at Santa Clara University. On Site/In Sight: Selections from the Permanent Collection and Just In: Recent Acquisitions to the Permanent Collection feature a variety of objects including a wide selection of visitor favorites, works that have never been seen before, and pieces that have been newly acquired.

    On Site/In Sight highlights traditional favorites from the collection and brings hidden gems into the spotlight. It features pieces by prominent Bay Area artists such as Ansel Adams, Bruce Conner, Robert Bechtle, Inez Storer, and Henrietta Shore. Other well-known artists Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Michael Kenna, and Sebastião Salgado are also represented. An eclectic group of works carefully chosen by curator Lindsey Kouvaris reflects the dynamic evolution of the museum’s holdings.

    Just In: Recent Acquisitions to the Permanent Collection comprises roughly 20 works that have been added to the collection over the last three years. The objects accepted during this time represent a range of media including painting, prints, and photography. Given to the de Saisset through the generosity of individuals, families, foundations, and artists, these pieces were acquired with the goal of augmenting and strengthening the museum’s holdings. Many of the works in this exhibition are on view for the first time. Artists include Lita Albuquerque, Ad Reinhardt, Patsy Krebs, Gregory Edwards,and Andy Warhol in addition to Santa Clara University faculty members Kathy Aoki, Kelly Detweiler,and Don Fritz.

    A free preview reception will be held on Friday, Jan. 15 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Both exhibitions will open to the public on Saturday, Jan. 16. On Site/In Sight is open through March 12; Just In closes April 23.

  •  Game Show Trivia for $200, Alex

    Literary numbers. All things Japanese. Academy Award nominations. They are a small sampling of categories you may see on Jeopardy! They are also topics one Santa Clara University student may have to remember if he wants to do well on the game show.

    Last fall, producers of Jeopardy! selected SCU freshman James Hill III to compete in the college tournament. Hill was in Southern California earlier this month for the taping of the show, which will air in February. While he was preparing for the game show in December, Hill said he was definitely nervous, because he had never been on national television before.

    “But I was also really excited. I wasn’t scared, though. I’ve been interested in trivia pretty much my entire life, and I have the ability to remember all kinds of useless information,” he said.

    The 17-year-old student, who learned how to read at the age of two and skipped kindergarten, said he has essentially been preparing for this his entire life, thanks to the number of books, magazines, and websites he has been reading on a daily basis. Hill said he also competed in national and international tournaments in middle and high schools. But making it to Jeopardy! was definitely a first.

    “After I was done with my finals last quarter, I started reading tons of books, magazines, and websites again, especially ones that have even more useless information,” he laughed.

    Hill is the second student in SCU’s history to compete in Jeopardy! Bryan Stofferahn was selected to go up against 14 college students in the College Championship in May of 1998.

    The show in which Hill was featured will air on Wednesday, Feb. 3 on ABC7 at 7 p.m.

  •  Getting Their Bhangra On at the White House: Two Broncos Led a Punjabi Bhangra Dance Group to Give a "Once in a Lifetime" Performance

    Two SCU Broncos were part of history last month: Bringing the traditional Punjabi folk dance called Bhangra to the White House, on the occasion of the first state dinner given by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

    Michelle Puneet Gill, ’05, and Omer Mirza, currently an MBA candidate at the Leavey School of Business, were among the 13 members of the group Bay Area Bhangra Empire providing entertainment for the Nov. 24 dinner for India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur.

    Their gig came after a surprise, whirlwind invitation from the Office of the First Lady. The team, in scarlet red and pistachio green costumes, took the stage in a vaulted, elegant tent around 9:30 p.m., performing their high-energy routine with 10 dancers, two cymbal players and a drummer. Read more.

    Click here to watch a slideshow of state dinner.

  •  Vice President for University Relations to Step Down

    Santa Clara University’s Vice President for University Relations Jim Purcell plans to step down from his post next year after 13 successful years directing the University’s fundraising and external-relations efforts.

    Under Purcell’s leadership, Santa Clara University has seen its endowment more than double, its campus transformed by six major capital projects, its alumni participation strengthened and improved, and its media presence enhanced.

    “Santa Clara University owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to Jim Purcell for his many accomplishments over the thirteen years that he has led the University Relations office. We have been blessed by his inspiring dedication, humanity, and passion for SCU,” said Michael Engh, S.J., president of SCU. “He has been a successful leader, administrator, and spokesperson in advancing the goals of the University in countless ways. My best wishes and congratulations go out to Jim for this next phase of his professional career.” Read more.

  •  A Testimony to the Collaborative Nature of the Ignation Center

    Santa Clara University said goodbye last month to one of the Ignation Center’s key players. During his 11 years at SCU, Associate Director Paul Woolley helped make what the Ignation Center for Jesuit Education is today.

    Woolley joined SCU in January of 1999 as assistant director of the then Bannan Center. In 2005, he was an instrumental player in the merger of the Bannan Center and Arrupe Center, creating the Ignation Center. Woolley is credited with building the center’s user-friendly website, improving the journal Explore, and directing the staff reflection series. Woolley went above and beyond what was expected of him in his role and reached out to others across campus.

    “I met him as the Northern California Innocence Project was just getting started. He contacted us, and offered to help,” said Kathleen “Cookie” Ridolfi, executive director of Northern California Innocence Project. “We knew how to be lawyers, but we didn’t know how to be an organization. And Paul came in and basically put the structure in there for us. So, we’re forever indebted to him.”

    “I’ll miss Paul’s willingness to do whatever needs to be done whenever it needs to be done,” said Laurie Laird, associate director of the Ignation Center for Jesuit Education.

    “I’m going to miss his honesty. I always felt that I could have real conversations with him, and I appreciated that,” said Matt Smith, campus minister.

    Dozens of people stopped by Woolley’s retirement party before the holiday break to wish him the best of luck. Woolley was humble, though, saying the crowd was just a testimony to the collaborative nature of the work he did.

    “Our work has been magnified tenfold because of the people we work with on campus. These people have all worked with us on the projects that we’ve done at what was then the Bannan Center. It’s really been a joy and pleasure,”

    Woolley doesn’t have any major plans as of yet. He’s planning to swim and exercise every day at the YMCA, and then he’s off to a 17-day Mediterranean cruise in April.

  •  Center for Science, Technology and Society Announces Recipients of Fall Grant Program

    The Center for Science, Technology, and Society has announced the recipients of the fall grant program for both faculty and students. There were a total of 13 proposals, eight from faculty members and five from students.

    Project titles ranged from “Digital Inequality & Success in the Digital Job Market: Benefiting Disadvantaged Youth in the US and South America,” in which Laura Robinson will work to develop a protocol whereby low-income high school students will receive training in computer skills that will allow them to be successful in entering the job market, to “Discovery of Drug Leads for Addressing Parasitic Diseases in the Developing World,” in which Amelia Fuller will conduct research on the synthesis of an array of molecules that mimic anti-microbial peptides as leads for drugs against trypansomiastic diseases afflicting people in the developing world.

    This inaugural competition supports projects that are commensurate with the Center’s mission, “to understand and enable the innovative application of science and technology for global human benefit.” CSTS is pleased to make these research awards and hopes that these internal grants can help faculty seek additional, extramural funds, as well as continue to mentor our student scholars. The Center also encourages the integration of this research with new STS course development and the Values in Science & Technology pathway (also sponsored by CSTS). Read more.

  •  Santa Clara University-based Global Women's Leadership Network Aims to Convert Women's Business Dreams into Concrete Reality

    Buying land for survivors of domestic violence in Uganda. Providing dozens of scholarships and meals for Malawi students. Training hundreds of women to be trekking guides in Nepal.

    For the past five years, projects like these around the world have become a reality thanks to a dedicated group called the Global Women’s Leadership Network (GWLN) and its annual Women Leaders for the World (WLW) training and coaching program. The fifth annual program—consisting of a one-week residential program and three-month follow-up coaching—begins December 6–11 at Santa Clara University and in Palo Alto.

    The 19 women in this year’s cohort are from Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Zambia, India, Turkey, the Middle East, and the United States. Their goals are varied: to teach Ugandan women farmers to grow sustainable cash crops; to educate South African teachers to be better tutors of girls; to empower the youth of rural India to drive change. Their stories and biographies are available at

    The residential leadership development program is a joint effort between Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business and the GWLN. Santa Clara University houses the GWLN, which oversees a coaching team that spends three months after the program helping the participants enact their visions. Read more.

  •  The Financial Crisis and the Loss of America's Global Leverage

    “Dual crises in economic and diplomatic circles are bearing down on America,” says David Sanger in his first book, The Inheritance: The World Obama Confronts and the Challenges to American Power, an analysis of the Bush administration’s legacy and the nation’s current challenges. How President Obama reacts to these conditions will determine America’s future economic health and position in the world.

    Writing about President Obama’s economic stimulus package, Sanger says, “When Roosevelt took America down new roads, he financed it at home. Mr. Obama does not have that luxury: He must persuade not only Congress and the public but also world financial markets, which must decide whether — and at what interest rate — they are willing to finance his plan. That is the three-dimensional chess game the administration must play as it tries to mount the biggest economic rescue plan in more than seven decades.”

    The lecture begins at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 14 at the Mayer Theatre. General admission tickets are $25 each;tickets for faculty, staff, and members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute are $20 each; andSCU student tickets are free, but student seats are limited.

    For more information or to order tickets, visit the President’s Speaker Series Web site.

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