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Family Weekend

The College of Arts and Sciences will present at the following Family Weekend sessions.

Friday, February 23

Featured Events

Ask Us Anything (About AI)

11 a.m.-Noon
Recital Hall, Music and Dance Building
Artificial intelligence is already transforming education, jobs, and the world. In this panel, Santa Clara University scholars from business, engineering, philosophy, and the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics will talk about their work with AI, how education is adapting to AI, what impacts AI may have on society, and more. Ask us anything about AI!

Tammy L. Madsen, Sanjiv Das,  Susan Kennedy, Yi Fang, Brian Green

  • Tammy L. Madsen, W. M. Keck Foundation Chair and Professor of Strategy & Innovation and Senior Associate Dean of Faculty Research & Initiatives, Leavey School of Business
  • Sanjiv Das, William and Janice Terry Professor of Finance and Business Analytics, Leavey School of Business
  • Susan Kennedy, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Yi Fang, Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, School of Engineering
  • Brian Green, Director of Technology Ethics, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, moderator.

Dean's Reception and Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression Forum

4:30-6 p.m.
Sobrato Campus for Discovery and Innovation (SCDI) East Lobby (near the Cafe)
Featuring the students listed below.
Student with poster answering questions

Hear from Dean Daniel Press and learn about the exciting achievements of our students as they share their work from the arts, natural sciences, humanities, and social sciences. Besides individual and group work, students will also share faculty-mentored research and creative projects. Bonus - Get a sneak peek into the new interactive installation encouraging multidisciplinary exploration among our students!

"Back to the Classroom" Faculty Presentations

Social Justice and Society in Photography
1-2 p.m.
Edward M. Dowd Art and Art History Building, 3rd Floor Rotunda
Renee Billingslea, Senior Lecturer, Department of Art and Art History
Renee will discuss the use of photography in the classroom and beyond to disrupt racism, break down social stereotypes, and bring awareness of personal privilege. Billingslea will discuss her photography projects, and how her practice inspires what she teaches her students, and how she incorporates Santa Clara University's mission to serve others into the photography projects her students create.

Ethics of AI: Will Smart Machines be Less Biased Than Humans?
2:30-3:30 p.m.
Alumni Science Hall, Room 120
Susan Kennedy, Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy
While AI holds the promise of reducing human bias, it can also yield unintended consequences, resulting in unfair or discriminatory outcomes. With AI becoming integrated across various industries, there is a growing emphasis on the responsible development and design of this technology. This talk will explore how ethics can help identify the harms associated with a wide range of AI applications and inform effective strategies to mitigate bias.

Building Tours and Open Houses

Edward M. Dowd Art and Art History Building Tour
10:30-11:30 a.m.
Dowd Art and Art History Building
Come take a tour of the Edward M. Dowd Art and Art History Building where art history students develop a cultural understanding and gain intellectual skills developed throughout the program. Studio art students learn hands on skills in a variety of art medium and develop comprehensive skills that prepare them for graduate study or careers in fine or commercial arts.

Imaginarium Open House
11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Heafey Hall 237
The Imaginarium staff will provide a guided tour of the equipment, facilities, and resources within the Imaginarium, specifically featuring student projects in research and practice in the areas of virtual reality, mixed reality, 3D modeling, digital art, and visualization.

Studio and Digital Cinema Facility Tour
11 a.m.-Noon
Vari Hall
Join us on a tour of our digital cinema production center where you will have an opportunity to see where our students produce, direct, and edit their films. Our production space includes state-of-the-art editing bays running industry-leading Avid software and a studio with the latest cameras and lighting gear alongside traditional film equipment.

Theatre & Dance Tour
11-11:30 a.m. and Noon-12:30 p.m.
Mayer Theatre
Join the Theatre and Dance department for a tour of their facilities. Tour stops include Mayer Theatre—SCU’s largest performance facility; the Rehearsal Hall, scene and costume shops, backstage dressing and makeup rooms, the Green Room, Fess Parker Studio Theatre and the Dance studios.

Department of Biology Open House
11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Meet @ SCDI Hallway 3301B (between 3305 and 3307)
Take a faculty-led tour of the Department of Biology including faculty labs and resources. Guests will get to hear from Biology Professors Leilani Miller and Pascale Guiton.

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Open House
11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Meet @ SCDI 2114 (O-Chem Lab)
Take a faculty-led tour of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry including faculty labs and resources. Guests will get to hear from Chemistry/Bio Chemistry Chair Korin Wheeler and Professor Paul Abbyad.

Department of Physics Tour
11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
Meet @ SCDI 1106
Take a faculty-led tour of the Department of Physics including faculty labs and resources. Guests will get to hear from Physics Professor Bachana Lomsadze and Physics Department Chair Guy Ramon.

Saturday, February 24

Career Exploration and Internship Support: From Arts & Humanities to Natural & Social Sciences

8:30-9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.-Noon From your first year to your senior year, discover ways to begin exploring your career, your passions, and the possibilities of what comes after SCU. Learn more about the benefits of career exploration and experiential learning offered throughout the College and academic departments.

Dean's Reception and Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression Forum Featured Students

The following students will be at the Dean's Reception and Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression Forum. Stop by to see their exciting work.

Mae Krause '24

Mae Krause

Majors: Anthropology, Public Health Science; Minor: History

Title: Postpartum Neglect and Erasure: Obstetric Violence in the Lives of Postpartum Individuals in San Jose, California

Hometown: Sacramento, California

Plans: I plan on working this summer on continuing my research work, and then working in a community health organization. In a year I will be applying to graduate school for public health.


Rebekah Kim '24

Rebekah Kim

Major: Studio Art

Title: Alley

Hometown: Saratoga, California

Plans: I will be building a portfolio for MFA programs, applying to residencies and internships.


Oriel Zagazeta '24

Oriel Zagazeta

Major: Biology; Minor: Chemistry

Title: The Effect of Genomic Differences between Gamma and Delta SARS-CoV-2 variants on RNA-dependent RNA Polymerase Susceptibility to Mutation-Inducing Cytosine Analogs

Hometown: Morgan Hill, California

Plans: I plan to take two gap years to study for the MCAT, gain clinical experience as a medical scribe, and apply for medical school.


Alisha Burch '24

Alisha Burch

Major: Chemistry

Title: Room Temperature Nickel-Catalyzed Reductive Coupling of End-Brominated Polystyrene Chains

Hometown: Greenwood, Mississippi

Plans: I hope to get accepted into graduate school and pursue a Ph.D.! After that, I hope to go into industry or academia to continue my research and provide discovery and application to current issues.


Evan Baerg '25

Evan Baerg

Major: Biochemistry; Minors: Biotechnology, Mathematics

Title: Evolving High-Affinity Aptamers for Cancer-Linked Glycoforms of Thrombospondin-1

Hometown: Gig Harbor, Washington

Plans: After Santa Clara, I plan to apply to graduate schools in bioanalytical chemistry and pursue a career in chemical research.


Michelle Benavente '25

Michelle Benavente

Majors: Child Studies, Spanish Studies

Title: Storytelling for Climate and Environmental Justice: Fostering Imagination and Action with Children's Literature

Hometown: San Bruno, California

Plans: I am in the beginning stages of thinking about graduate school, but currently my plan is to attend grad school for education and go on to teach in an elementary school.


Mikaela Dacanay '24

Mikaela Dacanay

Majors: Child Studies, Psychology

Title: Street-Level Climate Science: Decolonial Experiential Learning Opportunities for Young Children in Metropolitan Contexts

Hometown: Sacramento, California

Plans: Following my graduation in June, I will be pursuing a Master's in Education and Teaching Credential. I have applied to Harvard University, University of San Francisco, Stanford University, Santa Clara University, UC Davis, and UC Berkeley.

Kaitlin Dalpino '25

Kaitlin Dalpino

Majors: Child Studies, Psychology

Title: Storytelling for Climate and Environmental Justice: Fostering Imagination and Action with Children’s Literature

Hometown: San Rafael, California

Plans: I am planning to go to grad school to get my masters in School Psychology.


Sofie Fernandez '25

Sofie Fernandez

Majors: Child Studies, Psychology

Title: Street-Level Climate Science: Decolonial Experiential Learning Opportunities for Young Children in Metropolitan Contexts

Hometown: Sacramento, California

Plans: For my plans after Santa Clara, I aspire to go to Graduate school to pursue a Masters degree in School Psychology.


Rena Zhang '24

Rena Zhang

Major: Communication; Minor: Retail Management

Title: Beyond Frames: A Tapestry of Stories and Perspectives

Hometown: Seattle, Washington

Plans: My plans are to either attend grad school or start work, ideally in New York City. I hope to work in the film and media industry, with a long-term goal of being a curator and producer of film and media content, spreading awareness for underrepresented voices and communities.


Ashley Pace '24

Ashley Pace

Majors: Communication, Philosophy

Title: “Casual Instagram”: An Investigation of Performative Authenticity

Hometown: Los Gatos, California

Plans: I plan on taking a gap year before going to law school.



Briana Guingona '25

Briana Guingona

Major: Environmental Studies; Minors: Graphic Design, Sustainability, Sustainable Food Systems

Title: Connecting Local Hydroclimatic Trends to Smallholders Experiences of Climate Change in Northern Nicaragua

Hometown: Manila, Philippines

Plans: Work in sustainability and/or design in the US as permitted by my OPT as an international student.


Samantha Lei '26

Samantha Lei

Major: Environmental Science; Minors: Biology, Public Health, Sustainability

Title: Lip Service on the Advancement in Water Equity and Justice in California’s Central Valley with the Implementation of the CV-SALTS Program

Hometown: San Francisco, California

Plans: Attend graduate school to receive my doctorate focused on hydrology, specifically groundwater management.


Samuel Cao '25

Samuel Cao

Majors: History, English; Minor: Communication

Title: SCU's Award-Winning Historical Journal: Historical Perspectives

Hometown: El Monte, California

Plans: I plan on following one of two paths. 1. Applying for the Fulbright Scholarship, teaching abroad in either Australia or Northern Europe. 2. Attending SCU School of Law with emphasis in Civil Litigation (and ADA Compliance).


Tong (Ben) Chen '24

Ben Chen

Major: Mathematics; Minor: Computer Science

Title: The Artistic Potential of Bessel Functions

Hometown: Shanghai, China

Plans: Applied to grad schools, including JHU, UCLA, UCB, USC, UCSD, Brown, UW-Seattle, UMich, Stanford.


Jingxuan (Paisley) Hou '24

Paisley Hou

Major: Computer Science; Minor: Mathematics

Title: The Artistic Potential of Bessel Function

Hometown: Shanghai, China

Plans: I have currently received offers to the Computer Science Master's program from the University of Pennsylvania and Northwestern University. I have also applied to UC Berkeley, Stanford, and Cornell, which will release decisions in the coming weeks. I will graduate this March, and start my Master's this August/September in my new university. During this time gap, I am planning to do an internship.

Mia Locatelli '24

Mia Locatelli

Majors: Italian Studies, Communication

Title: Il mio percorso: Le esperienze di una studentessa italo-americana / My Path: The Experiences of an Italian American Student

Hometown: Santa Cruz, California

Plans: Following graduation, I plan to travel. In the summer I will live in Italy and au pair for a family. I look forward to being immersed in the language and culture. In the future, I hope to pursue a career which integrates my communication and Italian studies.

Meghan Abate '25

Meghan Abate

Major Neuroscience; Minor Economics

Title: The neurobiological basis of atypical memory functions in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): An ALE meta-analysis

Hometown: Winchester, Massachusetts

Plans: I hope to go to medical school!



Sean Do '26

Sean Do

Major: Neuroscience

Title: Early Life stress effects on CRF cell activation and social motivation in females versus males

Hometown: Milpitas, California

Plans: Medical School.



Mackenzie Fredericks '25

Mackenzie Fredericks

Major: Neuroscience; Minors: Biotechnology, Biology

Title: Neurobiological Basis of Atypical Memory in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

Plans: Plan to apply to graduate school.



Ivar Rydstrom '24

Ivar Rydstrom

Major: Engineering Physics; Minors: Computer Engineering, Mathematics

Title:  Collaborating in a Team to Hunt for Low-Mass Dark Matter

Hometown: Aliso Viejo, California

Plans: I will be pursuing a Ph.D. in physics and performing research in the field of experimental particle astrophysics to contribute to dark matter searches.



Varya Zlotnik '24

Varya Zlotnik

Major: Psychology; Minor: Chemistry

Title: Cell-Specific Contributions of the Extended Amygdala to Aversive Learning

Hometown: Belarus, Minsk

Plans: Taking a gap year working, planning on applying to grad school either in neuropsychology or clinical psychology with the next cohort.


Gabriella Stuart '24

Gabriella Stuart

Major: Public Health Science; Minor: Sociology

Title: Abode Services - Valeriote Goldman Public Health Fellowship

Hometown: Sacramento, California

Plans: My professional goal is to become a dentist. I am currently studying for the DAT (dental school admissions test), and plan to take it in the coming months. I will be applying to dental schools in the summer.


Sophia Tulino '24

Sophia Tulino

Major: Public Health Science; Minor: Spanish Studies

Title: Valeriote Goldman Public Health Leadership Fellowship with Parents Helping Parents

Hometown: San Diego, California

Plans: I will be attending the University of Washington to pursue my Masters in Public Health and play one last season of collegiate volleyball.



Laura Clark '24

Laura Clark

Majors: Religious Studies, Philosophy

Title: Philosophical and Theological Considerations: What the Ecological Crisis and AI Tell Us About the Concept of Human Dignity

Hometown: Durango, Colorado

Plans: Applied to Jesuit Volunteer Corp - hearing back from placements soon!


Mia Kanter '24

Mia Kanter

Majors: Theatre Arts, French & Francophone Studies

Title: Behind "Je Mourrais pour ton Amour"

Hometown: Morgan Hill, California

Plans: I have applied to TAPIF which is Teaching Assistant Program In France where I'd be teaching English to French students in the public school system. I will not hear back until April. I am also a dance teacher at Lisa Performing Arts and a choreographer at Bellarmine College Prep, so I might stay here and do that for another year.


Lucas Simone '24

Lucas Simone

Major: Theatre Arts; Minor: Creative Writing

Title: "Peach Fuzz, Salt Water, and Wine"

Hometown: San Jose, California

Plans: I will be taking time away from school, and hope to connect with local theater companies.