Santa Clara University


Provost's Office News & Events


Provost's Office News & Events

Provost's Office News & Events

  •  Undergraduate Research Initiatives Update

    Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2009


    The Undergraduate Research Initiative (URI) was launched in 2008 to: expand research opportunities for SCU undergraduates; foster a culture supportive of undergraduate research; and develop an infrastructure for undergraduate research. Here is an update on the initiative.

    The URI helps coordinate, and in some cases supports, a wide variety of undergraduate research symposia on campus.  For example:
    ·          The Undergraduate Science and Engineering Symposium (USES) is in its third year.  This unique University-wide and interdisciplinary symposium provides a forum for junior and senior students to present their research to the campus community.  Students participate in panel discussions focused on the value of research in their development and education.  The symposium introduces freshmen and sophomores to the wide range of undergraduate research opportunities that exist at SCU.  Sessions this year will include “Ecology & Environmental Studies,” “All Things Nano,” and “Social Science.” In 2010, the URI supported this symposium with a $2,000 grant.
    ·          The Western Departments of Anthropology and Sociology Undergraduate Research Conference has been hosted at SCU for 37 years.  Held this year on 4/24/10, the conference promotes and recognizes undergraduate research in Anthropology and Sociology.  This year’s program included presentations from 37 students, nine of whom are SCU students. In 2010, the URI supported this symposium with a $500 grant.
    ·          Sigma Xi is the honor society for scientific research. This year 21 undergraduates presented research posters at a session held in conjunction with the DeNardo scholars’ event.
    ·          The West Coast Biological Sciences Undergraduate Research Conference was founded at SCU 35 years ago and was hosted on our campus on 4/24/10. 
    ·          The School of Engineering’s 40th Annual Senior Design Conference was held on 5/6/10.

    URI provides grants and awards to support undergraduate research and faculty mentoring of undergraduate research:
    ·          Undergraduate Student Travel Awards:  The URI granted 18 awards in 2009-2010 for up to $1,000 per undergraduate student.  Students used these funds to travel to professional society meetings and to research sites both within the U.S. and abroad.
    ·          Faculty-Student Research Assistant Program (FSRAP):  This year FSRAP supported 24 faculty members with grants of $1,000 each to be used for student wages.  Projects ranged from “Kinship and Justice: Christian Perspectives on Immigration” (Dr. Kristen Heyer, Religious Studies) to “Microfinance to Assist Economic Recovery in Haiti” (Dr. Hoje Jo, Finance) and “Attempts to Change a Spouse’s Health Behavior” (Dr. Keiran Sullivan, Psychology).  Each faculty member described how he or she would train and mentor an undergraduate assistant to assist the project.
    ·          Clare Booth Luce Undergraduate Research Scholars:  Clare Booth Luce Research Scholar awards are for undergraduate women majoring in the natural sciences and engineering.  Each awardee received $6,000 to support summer research.  All three of this year’s recipients are juniors who are on the path to becoming outstanding scholars.
    ·          Doelger Undergraduate Research Scholars receive up to $6,000 to support summer research or creative work. These awards are open to undergraduate students in all disciplines.  There were four recipients this year.

    The URI also rolled out a pilot program in 2008 to explore how to incorporate mentorship of undergraduate research into faculty teaching.  Departments have been awarded anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 to support undergraduate research.  Recipient departments include Economics, Mathematics and Computer Science, Religious Studies, Sociology, Psychology, Environmental Studies, and the “natural sciences” (Chemistry, Biology, and Physics).  The departments used these funds to support innovative models for the mentoring of undergraduate research. Here are just a few highlights:
    ·          Psychology used URI funds to support student travel to conferences.  URI funds, supplemented by a grant from the College of Arts and Sciences dean’s office, supported travel to professional meetings for 18 students and covered registration fees of several students at nearby undergraduate research conferences.
    ·          Environmental Studies used URI funds to support student wages, research supplies, and student travel to study sites and professional meetings.  Thirteen students supported by URI funds completed projects and presented their work at USES.
    ·          URI funds are supporting SCU’s first-ever Religious Studies Student Research Colloquium held on 4/30/10.  Undergraduate presentations covered topics such as “Women’s Ordination and Catholicism: A Perspective from Santa Clara Students,” “Bonds After Bombs: A Study of the Uniting Effect of Conflict for the Maronite Church,” and “Jesuit Education at Santa Clara.”  Francis X. Clooney, S.J., of Harvard University acted as the respondent to the student presentations.
  •  Provost's Updates Archive

    Thursday, Oct. 1, 2009

    Mass of the Holy Spirit

    Wed., 10/7/09, Noon, Mission Church Community lunch follows on the St. Ignatius lawn
    Classes that usually meet from 11:45 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. will be canceled. As I mentioned in my email of May 26, 2009, the University celebration of the Mass of the Holy Spirit is scheduled for Wednesday, October 7, 2009, at Noon in the Mission Church. This will be Father Michael Engh’s first Mass of the Holy Spirit since he was inaugurated in April 2009 and thus an especially important celebration for our campus community.
    To enable the campus community to attend the mass, except for the School of Law, classes will not meet between 11:45 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. on October 7. Classes that usually meet from 11:45 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. will be canceled. Classes scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. will instead begin at 1:15 p.m. Please note that Dean Donald Polden will provide instructions for the School of Law.
    The Mass of the Holy Spirit is a cherished tradition in Jesuit colleges and universities. It serves as a community-wide celebration of the new academic year, calling on the Spirit of God to be with us in all of our works, activities, and endeavors. While it is a Roman Catholic liturgy, we appreciate the diversity of faiths within our community, and we welcome one and all to join in
    To ensure that everyone receives timely notifications in the event of an emergency, faculty are encouraged to update their personal information on e-Campus for Connect-ED.
    Faculty are encouraged to visit the Cowell Health Center H1N1 blog for regular updates and helpful information about the H1N1 flu.
    Course Evaluation Update
    Online course evaluations were administered for the first time during Spring term 2009. For the most part the evaluation process went smoothly, and the overall response rate of 82.4 percent was comparable to the overall response rates to paper surveys administered in the Spring term during the previous five years (81.0 percent to 83.9 percent). However, there was a greater consistency with early term response rates in some units than others.
    Arts and Sciences (86.4 percent), Business (80.9 percent), and University Programs (90.6 percent) all had response rates that were comparable to those of paper surveys from previous Spring terms. Engineering’s response rate (72.9 percent) was about six percentage points lower than that for previous paper surveys, and the response rate for the School of Education and Counseling Psychology (69.5 percent) was about 14 percentage points lower.
    Information Services is trying to identify possible causes for the lower response rates in these two Schools. One possible factor is that graduate students may not read their SCU email as promptly as undergraduates and therefore missed notifications about the evaluations. The School of Education and Counseling Psychology is predominately a graduate unit.
    The response rates that Santa Clara experienced are near the upper end of rates achieved at other universities we contacted when considering implementing online evaluations. Many studies have shown that the single factor influencing high response rates to course evaluations – regardless of how they are administered – is the emphasis that faculty place on the importance of the evaluation to them in improving their courses. Faculty reminders sent to students during the ninth week of the term to let them know that course evaluations are coming up, and that they need to check their GroupWise email to get the link to the survey, will go a long way toward increasing response rates. Thank you for conveying this importance to your students.
    SCU’s User-Friendly Online Course Listing/Course Schedule
    Thanks go to Brian Washburn and Bill Fowler from Information Technology and Registrar Monica Augustin for their remarkable work developing a user-friendly online Course Listing/Course Schedule.
    The “CourseAvail” site provides an effective way to see courses offered each quarter, with an accurate and up-to-date listing of Undergraduate Core Curriculum attributes for both the old Core and Core 2009. Instructors and locations are visible as well. Selecting the section number for the course opens a page displaying the Course Description, Class Notes, Units, and other data.
    A print option allows viewers to produce a printable .pdf document of all courses for a particular quarter (e.g., fall 2009) or of a particular selection of courses for that quarter. This online Course Listing/Course Schedule will enhance thoughtful course selection among our students and will assist faculty and advisors in their work with students. It will be particularly useful in the advising process for our new Core Curriculum for our incoming first year students. The site provides the information needed to support intentional learning and informed advising.
    New Interdisciplinary Majors
    Public Health Science
    Web Design and Engineering
    New Administrative Appointments
    Atom Yee, Interim Dean, School of Education and Counseling Psychology, in addition to his duties as Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
    Drew Starbird, Interim Dean, Leavey School of Business
    Erin Kimura-Walsh, Assistant Director, LEAD Scholars Program
    Kevin Burke, S.J., Dean, Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University
    Terry Shoup, Interim Executive Director of International Programs
    Michelle Marvier, Acting Associate Provost for Research Initiatives
    Radha Basu and Jeffrey Miller, Managing Directors of CSTS
    Paul Locatelli Student Activity Center
    Students, faculty and staff gathered in Alumni Park on Monday, 9/28/09, for the groundbreaking ceremony of the Paul Locatelli Student Activity Center, which honors the service of Fr. Paul L. Locatelli, S.J., who served as the University’s president for 20 years. The new building is seen as a clear symbol of the way Santa Clara’s alumni – including the building’s major donors Mary Mathews-Stevens and Mark Stevens – feel about the University.
    The building is expected to be completed sometime during June 2010.
    Leavey School of Business Dean Search
    A nationwide search for the new Dean, Leavey School of Business, is being conducted by the search firm of Russell/Reynolds in conjunction with an internal search committee chaired by Hersh Shefrin, Professor of Finance. Other committee members include: Kris Mitchener, Associate Professor, Economics; Tammy Madsen, Associate Professor, Management; Narendra Agrawal, Associate Professor, OMIS; Susan Parker, Associate Professor, Accounting; Al Bruno, Professor, Marketing; Anna Han, Associate Professor, Law; Paul Soukup, S.J., Professor, Communication; Kapil K. Nanda, Member, Board of Trustees, and Founder, Chairman and CEO of Infogain Corporation; and Jay Leupp, Member, Board of Regents; Member, Business School Advisory Committee; and Chairman of Alesco Global Advisors LLC.
    Faculty Awards
    Several faculty were honored with awards for teaching, scholarship, and service at the Faculty Recognition Event on September 14, 2009:
    Louis and Dorina Brutocao Award for Teaching Excellence: William Prior, Professor of Philosophy
    Award for Sustained Excellence in Scholarship: Sam Hernandez, Professor of Art
    Award for Recent Achievement in Scholarship: Michelle Marvier, Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies
    Inclusive Excellence Award: Gerdenio Manuel, S.J., Associate Professor of Psychology and Rector of the Jesuit Community at Santa Clara.
    President’s Special Recognition Awards:
    Steven Chiesa, Associate Professor and Department Chair, Civil Engineering;
    Dennis Gordon, Professor of Political Science and Director of International Programs from 1992 to 2009;
    Bradley Joondeph, Associate Professor of Law and Associate Director of Faculty Development
    Faculty Senate Professor Award: Meir Statman, Professor of Finance
    Congratulations to all the awardees!