Santa Clara University

Honors Program News

May 2014

Four SCU University Honors Program students win prestigious Fulbright awards and TWO win NSF awards!

Daniel Peng (SCU '12)
Biology major / University Honors Program
Fulbright: China
Project: The growing diabetes epidemic in China is greatly influenced by the diet and exercise culture in China and must be addressed with effective culturally directed heath education. The purpose of Daniel's proposal is to improve diabetes management, as well as long-term clinical outcome in diabetes patients at a regional clinic in Hangzhou, China, by establishing actionable patient goals, relevant community activity groups, and an electronic follow-up system.

Julianne Parayo (SCU '12)

English & Music double major / University Honors Program
Fulbright: Poland

Project: Julianne will be an English Teaching Assistant (ETA) in Poland. She plans to use her English and Music training to explore her capacity for teaching English in a new environment and to participate in a powerful and artistic cross-cultural exchange. She chose Poland to explore its deep regard for both tradition and progression and to investigate how cross-generational dynamics transform a nation's culture.

Saayeli Mukherji (SCU '13)
Finance major / History minor / University Honors Program
Fulbright: The Netherlands
Project:
Saayeli will study at the Duisenberg School of Finance in The Netherlands to integrate ethics and business. She will dive deeply into international legal and financial regulations that help prevent global ethics catastrophes such as the 2008 Financial Crisis. Additionally, she plans to start an open forum on business ethics with contributions from Silicon Valley and Dutch professionals that will serve as a reference for future business leaders.

Natalie Lays (SCU '14)

Psychology major / University Honors Program
Fulbright: Brazil

Project: Natalie will be an English Teaching Assistant (ETA) in Brazil, where her passion for other cultures and interest in global medicine will enrich the new experiences as a teaching assistant. After interning for five weeks in Brazil this summer, Natalie was inspired by the dynamic culture and forward-looking mentality of the Brazilians she worked alongside. She anticipates that the Fulbright experience will help her pursue her vocation, social work overseas.

Alternate: Rachel Wilmoth (SCU '14)

Mechanical Engineering major / University Honors Program
Fulbright: New Zealand

Project: If funded, Rachel's project will be research into the mechanical and structural properties of sea urchin teeth o the nan=scale to understand their self-sharpening technique. Tests available at the Nonmechanical Research Lab at the University of Auckland in New Zealand will allow Rachel to investigate ways to replicate self-sharpening on the macro-scale to improve the sharpness of tools such as knives or drill bits.

Alternate: Erik McAdams (SCU '14)

Civil Engineering major / Spanish minor / University Honors Program
Fulbright: Ecuador
Project: If funded, Erik's project will address rural poverty in earthquake-prone Ecuador by analyzing the structural characteristics of houses in remote villages. He has been an active team leader for an engineering project in Uganda on solar panels and very involved in SCU's chapter of Engineers Without Borders, where he helped design a water distribution grid for a rural town in Honduras.

Claire Kunkle (SCU '14)
Mechanical Engineering major / University Honors Program
National Science Foundation Research Fellowship Award
Project: Claire, who was trained in the lab of Dr. Hohyun Lee in the SCU Department of Mechanical Engineering, will be attending UC Berkeley in Fall 2014 to pursue a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering with an emphasis in Energy and Thermal Science. She is interested in designing energy systems to benefit developing nations and hopes to use the fellowship to participate in local and international research. Ultimately, Claire wants to use her Ph.D. in academia as a professor and inspire future engineers towards their dreams.

Julie Herman (SCU '14)
Biology major / University Honors Program
National Science Foundation Research Fellowship Award
Project: Julie, who was trained in the lab of Dr. Justen Whittall in the SCU Department of Biology, will be joining Dr. Kathleen Kay's lab at UC Santa Cruz to pursue a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. The lab studies diversification and speciation in flowering plants. Julie is planning to study the evolutionary forces in the mustard oil biosynthetic pathway and possible coevolution of mustards and Pierid butterflies.

April 2013:

Three SCU Honors students win prestigious Fulbright Fellowships this year!

Emily Hawley (SCU '13)
Political Science major / University Honors Program
Jordan

Project:
Emily plans to examine the role of Jordanian tribes in promoting or slowing the democratic reforms promised by King Abdullah II, a topic that has been under-researched in Jordan despite its potential significance. If the King can be successful in implementing these reforms, Jordan will strengthen its role as a model nation in the Middle East region during a critical time for the Arab world.

William Usdin (SCU '13)
English major / University Honors Program
Taiwan

Project:
William will be an English Teaching Assistant (ETA) in Taiwan.That program will allow him to continue to develop his skills as an educator in a culturally dynamic environment. Having experienced the austerity of Beijing University's education system, the liberal approach of Santa Clara University, and the formality and rigor of the University of Oxford, the opportunity to immerse himself in the language and culture.

Aven Satre-Meloy (SCU '13)
Political Science & Environmental Science double major / University Honors Program
Turkey

Project:
Aven will be an English Teaching Assistant (ETA) in Turkey. Aven recently completed a summer internship in Istanbul with the Turkish Cultural Foundation, an experience that sparked his interest in the country and its people. He wants to use his ETA experience to generate cross-cultural dialogue between two regions of the world that often misunderstand one another and to provide non-native English speakers with language skills that will allow them to be successful competitors in a globalized world. Follow Aven's experiences in Turkey through his blog.

July 2012:

Director, LEAD Scholars Program, Honors Program and Fellowships

Leilani Miller is an Associate Professor of Biology and former Clare Booth Luce Assistant Professor of Biology at Santa Clara University. She joined the University in 1994 after finishing her post-doctoral work in the Department of Developmental Biology at Stanford University Medical Center. Prior to that, she earned a Ph.D. in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.S. in Biology (Honors Program) from Stanford University. Leilani teaches courses in Genetics, Molecular Biology, and Biotech Ethics, and her research focus is in Developmental Biology. The long-term objective of her research is to contribute to our understanding of how cell fates are specified during development. She has published articles in Cell, Genes and Development, and Genetics.

She enjoys playing volleyball and also likes to go camping and hiking with her family.