Santa Clara University

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The Faculty-Staff Newsletter, e-mail edition
Santa Clara University, March 1, 2007, Vol. 7, No. 10

Table of contents

Using a virtual world to check out the future and explore the past
Last beam is placed on new library
University Budget Forum
Students spring into action over break
Solar Decathlon kickoff celebration
Santa Clara University elects three new trustees to board

Using a virtual world to check out the future and explore the past

This spring there will be a new building on campus—but you won’t find it on the actual campus of SCU. You’ll need to go to the University’s virtual campus in Second Life. That’s where Michael Ballen, instructional technology resource specialist, is creating a virtual simulation of the new Learning Commons and Library that is under construction in the “real world.”

Second Life is a 3-D virtual world entirely built and owned by its residents. Since opening to the public in 2003, it has grown in popularity and today is inhabited by close to 3 million people from around the globe.

“We are hoping this will get students excited about the new library,” Ballen says. The new library will open it doors in fall 2008. In the meantime, the virtual library in Second Life will give the campus community an opportunity to check out the building and get used to the new space months before the actual building in complete. The virtual library will include a reference desk, classrooms, a group study area, a bookstore, a game room, and café.

About a half-dozen faculty members from various disciplines plan to incorporate the Second Life experience into their courses this spring. Some professors will hold lectures in the virtual café, a dance instructor may ask her students to choreograph and perform an original dance in the virtual multipurpose studio, and a political science professor has plans to create an international conference where students from his class can discuss political issues with students from other countries, avatar to avatar. (An avatar is a graphical image that represents a person, as on the Internet.)

While the focus of the project is the new commons and library, the project may also include the rebuilding of the original mission church. Archeology professors will work with Web designers to re-create the landmark mission that is the centerpiece of the University campus today.

Other universities using Second Life include: Ball State; Columbia University; Harvard; New York University; Penn State; Stanford; and San Jose State.

This project is made possible by a grant from the University’s Technology Steering Committee.

Last beam is placed on new library

A celebration marking the placement of the last beam of the structural steel skeleton for the new Learning Commons and Library was held on Feb. 16. Photo by Charles Barry.

University Budget Forum

The University Budget Council held its annual Budget Forum on Feb. 22 in the California Mission Room. At the forum, the FY 2008 Operating Budget was presented. Referring to the cost of health care, Harry Fong, associate vice president for finance, said, "We are always looking for ways to minimize the impact of health-care costs for faculty and staff. We are trying hard to keep health-care costs down without passing them on to faculty and staff ."

Read more about the budget forum online (PDF).


Students spring into action over break

Spring break immersion trips sponsored by the Ignatian Center’s Kolvenbach Solidarity Program are growing in popularity, with 115 students applying for eight trips this spring. Both the number of students and the number of trips are at a record high. “The increase in participation this year may reflect two trends. The first is many of our students are coming to Santa Clara with substantial community service and community engagement experience, and are intentionally choosing Santa Clara because they know they can continue that sort of experiential-learning while they are here. Secondly, as the numbers of students, faculty, staff, and alumni increase, the network effect takes over; more and more students, having heard positive things about immersion trips, want to get involved,” said Michael Colyer, associate director of the Ignatian Center.

During the last week of March, SCU students will head as far east as New York and as far south as Mexico doing everything from assisting with post-Katrina hurricane cleanup and recovery efforts in Pass Christian, Miss., to working with children in after-school programs in Nogales, Mexico.

Kyle Ozawa is one of seven student leaders who have been preparing for the trips since the fall. He reflected on his experience in Appalachia last spring. “While staying in the rugged back country of West Virginia, I met an elderly grandmother who went by the name of 'Hank.' Although most people would have considered her to be poor, to me she possessed things of far greater worth: happiness, strength of character, and wisdom. Too often we associate the lack of material items as constituting 'poverty,' yet this is only one definition of what it means to be poor. In actuality, being in poverty simply means that you are in a state of deficiency, and so if you really think about it, we are all poor in some way.”

Each trip has between 10 and 14 students and one leader—with the exception of the trip to Tijuana, Mexico, which has the largest number of students, 34, and two leaders. The student liturgy at 10 p.m. March 18 will focus on sending forth the 113 students participating in the spring immersion trips.

Read more about the Kolvenbach program’s spring immersion programs.

Students build relationships and make a difference over spring break.
Solar Decathlon kickoff celebration

At the SCU Solar Decathlon kickoff celebration on Feb. 22, project manager James Bickford suggested Silicon Valley be renamed “Solar Valley.” Photo by Charles Barry.

Santa Clara University elects three new trustees to board

Santa Clara University welcomed three new members to its Board of Trustees this winter, two of whom are alumni of the University. There are 40 trustees on the board. 

undefined William S. Carter, former vice president, chief technology officer, Xilinx, Los Gatos
William Carter is a graduate of Santa Clara University (BSEE ’71, MSEE ’95). A 30-year veteran of the semiconductor industry, he spent the first 10 years in microprocessors and peripherals and the last 20 in programmable logic. Carter led the development of the first Field Programmable Gate Array, currently a $2.5 billion industry.
undefined P. Anthony “Tony” Ridder, former chairman and CEO of Knight Ridder, Woodside
P. Anthony “Tony” Ridder, served as chairman and CEO of Knight Ridder from 1995 until its sale to McClatchy in 2006. He was president of Knight Ridder since 1989, and he joined the Knight Ridder corporate staff as president of the newspaper division in 1986. He joined the San Jose Mercury News in 1964 and was appointed publisher in 1977. He received his bachelor’s degree in economics in 1962 from the University of Michigan.
undefined Tasce Simon, medical student, San Francisco
Tasce Simon graduated from Santa Clara University summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in accounting in 2004. She is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the national scholastic honor society for students of business. Simon is currently in her second year of medical school at UCSF, where she is chapter co-president of the American Medical Student Association and chair of the Native American Health Alliance.


SCU Events

Climate Change: What Can We Do?
A Presentation and Workshop by Al Gore-trained Climate Speaker John Allen
March 1, 8-10 p.m., Commons at Kennedy Mall
John Allen (a speaker trained by Nobel Prize nominee Al Gore) will present a version of Al Gore’s famous climate change slideshow. Following the presentation, participants will break into small groups to explore ways to minimize climate change by exercising their power as consumers at the individual and community levels. This event is free. Learn more about this event (PDF).

Winter Orchestra Concert
March 2, 8 p.m., Mission Church
The Santa Clara University Orchestra performs a concert of cinema favorites including “Pirates of the Caribbean” medley, Concert Suite from “The Polar Express,” “Star Wars Suite,” “Bugs Bunny’s Greatest Hits: What’s up at the Symphony?,” highlights from “Jurassic Park” and two pieces from “Schindler’s List,” featuring concertmaster Alysa Berbey. Tickets: $12 general; $10 seniors 60+ and SCU faculty and staff; $5 students. For more information, contact Lisa Rademacher.

Ethics at Noon: “Ethical Issues Facing University Administrators and Faculty: A National Look Through Chronicle of Higher Education Case Studies.”
Mar. 6, 12 noon, Wiegand Room, Arts and Sciences
Les Goodchild, dean and professor of education in the School of Education, Counseling Psychology, and Pastoral Ministries will present. For more information, contact David DeCosse.

More SCU events.

SCU in the News

Felix Just, S.J., (religious studies) was interviewed on NBC 11 for a story about a new documentary that suggests two ancient stone boxes may have once contained the remains of Jesus and Mary Magdalene.

Tyler Ochoa (law) and Eric Goldman (law) were quoted in a San Francisco Daily Journal article about top law firms in the area as well as intellectual property. Read the article.

Byron Walden (mathematics) was quoted in a San Jose Mercury News article about the first ever Silicon Valley Puzzle Day in Morgan Hill. Read the article.

SCU’s Solar Decathlon team was featured in a radio report on KLIV AM about the team’s kickoff celebration on Feb. 22.

More SCU in the news.

Grants, awards, and publications

Simone Billings (assistant to the president, English) was named the Elaine W. Hughes Outstanding Sponsor Award winner for 2007 by Sigma Tau Delta’s Student Leadership Committee. This award, named for a longtime Sigma Tau Delta past president, recognizes at the national level only one outstanding sponsor a year.

Francisco Jimenez’s (modern languages and literatures) book “The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child” was published in Korean by Darun Publishing Co. Ltd. Seoul, Korea. Earlier this year, Jimenez received the Napa County Hispanic Network’s “Friends of the Hispanic Network Award” for his “contributions to education and for being an inspiration to youth.”

Dale G. Larson (counseling psychology) has been given the 2007 Hospice Award of Excellence by the Hospice of Northeastern Illinois. The award is given to individuals or organizations that have made a significant difference in the arena of hospice care on a regional, state, or national level. Larson will receive the award on March 20 in Barrington, Ill.

To submit grants, awards, and publication information, click here.

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