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Michael Calcagno '11
When most students are asked what their favorite class at Santa Clara has been, Topology would not be their first answer (if you are wondering, Topology is the mathematical study of the properties that are preserved through deformations, twistings, and stretchings of objects). For Senior Mike Calcagno, this upper division math class provided the interest, depth, and challenge that he was looking for. Given his affinity for mathematics, he “liked math and sciences in high school and wanted the most practical application for those two subjects,” it’s no wonder that his major is mechanical engineering.
Santa Clara’s location close to Mike’s home in San Jose is just one reason he choose Santa Clara. SCU offered him the “opportunity to follow in the footsteps of my father and a number of other relatives.” Some of Mike’s earliest childhood memories are attending SCU football games when his dad was assisting the coach.
Mike is making the most of this time at Santa Clara. In addition to his classes, he ran cross-country and track his freshman and sophomore years, and is currently a member of Pi Tau Sigma (a national mechanical engineering honor society).
As a current recipient of the Fr. Coz endowed Scholarship, Mike is appreciative of the support and commitment of those members of the Santa Clara community who have made it possible. This scholarship allows him to “focus less on paying for tuition and more on enjoying my final year of college. As a mechanical engineer I have a senior design project that will take up a lot of my time. Thanks to the contribution from this scholarship, I will be able to enjoy my senior year while focusing on my design project.”
When Fr. Coz was teaching at Santa Clara, he had a profound influence on the students he interacted with. Today, Father Jim Reites is a Jesuit who is making a similar impact on students like Mike. Fr. Reites teaches a popular class called Spirituality and Engineering, which relates aspects of religion to engineering concepts and shows that they are not mutually exclusive thought patterns. According to Mike, “Fr. Reites is an entertaining teacher that made me want to show up to each class!”
Mike is wrapping up his senior year while working at NASA. After graduation he is looking forward to continuing his work there or at another major engineering firm. His plans also include graduate school in a few years.