Santa Clara University


Provost's Office News & Events


Provost's Office News & Events

Provost's Office News & Events

  •  Provost's Update Spring Quarter No. 1

    Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014
    Dear Colleagues,

    About this time each year, a sense of anticipation and excitement builds among our students as the academic year nears completion. In the coming weeks, we will celebrate our students’ accomplishments and prepare to send off our new alumni.  

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the invaluable ways you help advance our institution and enrich the lives of our students. Santa Clara graduates develop a love and loyalty for their alma mater as a result of the engagement and investment of our faculty and staff.  

    With appreciation,
    Dennis Jacobs


    Last quarter, the campus community discussed Santa Clara 2020, our ambitious integrated strategic plan. Over five hundred faculty and staff participated in the disciplinary cluster discussions or attended one of the four town hall meetings at which the President and I discussed the three component plans, one of which is the Elaborated Strategic Plan.

    The Elaborated Strategic Plan is organized around six strategic goals, which expand into twenty-four objectives concretized by a set of critical components. Each component is associated with a specific outcome that the University aspires to achieve by 2020 to help realize one or more strategic objectives or goals. The goals, objectives, and critical components have been developed through an iterative process in which members of the University community exercised their creativity and developed innovative ideas for advancing the University.

    I invite faculty and staff to help continue refining the integrated strategic plan as we work to develop an elaborated description for each component by Summer 2014. The current phase of planning invites all members of the Santa Clara community to participate in one or more of the discussions taking place this spring.

    Discussions are organized by the themes and topics below. More information about the topical discussions is on a university intranet site, including descriptions of the critical components, the names of discussion organizers, and dates of upcoming discussions.


    • Advancing Contemporary Theological Studies, Education, and Ministry
    • Cultivating Ethics, Sustainability, and Compassion
    • Developing An Integrated Six-quarter Undergraduate Educational Experience
    • Facilitating Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Service of Humanity
    • Fostering Excellence in Teaching and Learning
    • Imagining STEM at SCU
    • Promoting Diversity, Retention, and Success


    • Center for Arts and Humanities
    • Global Engagement Initiatives and Study Abroad
    • Student Research and Fellowships
    • Thriving Neighbors Initiative
    • Vocational Discernment


    The search committee for the Chief Information Officer and Vice Provost for Technology & Information Services position and the search firm consultants from Next Generation have been actively engaged in the review and evaluation of candidates for the position. More than 70 applications were submitted for consideration. Applicants came from a variety of backgrounds, from both higher education settings and other environments. Many had a combination of experience in higher education and the for-profit sector.

    The committee invited three candidates to campus for interviews with stakeholder constituent faculty and staff groups, key University administrators, and members of the Trustees Technology Committee. Each candidate was also asked to make a presentation open to the campus addressing the following question:  Based on your review of the University's 2020 Strategic Plan, what are the key strategic opportunities and challenges the University faces and how would you as Chief Information Officer help the University capitalize on those opportunities and address those challenges? The first two candidates visited the campus on April 15 & 16 and April 22 & 23 respectively. The final candidate is scheduled to visit the campus on May 7 & 8.  It is anticipated that a decision will be made in mid-May with a starting date for the new appointee this summer.

    If you have questions about the search, please feel free to contact a member of the search committee.


    I am thrilled to announce that several recent alumni and students have been selected for prestigious fellowships and awards. Three Santa Clara students and recent alumni received Fulbright fellowships and two additional students  were named as alternates. Two additional students were awarded National Science Foundation research fellowship awards.

    Fulbright Award Recipients and Alternates

    Saayeli Mukherji (SCU '13), a finance major and history minor, 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 resource for future business leaders.

    Julianne Parayo (SCU '12), an English and music double major, 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 progress and to investigate how cross-generational dynamics transform a nation's culture.

    Natalie Lays (SCU ’14), a psychology major 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 past 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.

    Rachel Wilmoth (SCU ’14), a mechanical engineering major, was selected as an alternate. If funded, Rachel’s project will be research into the mechanical and structural properties of sea urchin teeth on the nano-scale to understand their self-sharpening technique.  Tests available at the Nanomechanical 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.

    Erik McAdams (SCU '14), a civil engineering major and Spanish minor, was selected as an alternate. 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.

    National Science Foundation Research Fellowships Awards

    Julie Herman (SCU ’14), biology major, is a recipient of an NSF research fellowship award. 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.

    Claire Kunkle (SCU ’14), mechanical engineering major, is a recipient of an NSF Research Fellowship Award. 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 toward their dreams.

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