Greetings Bronco Parents,
What a year! In my short 6-months since taking the helm here at the College of Arts and Sciences, I have been so impressed with our faculty, staff, student, and alumni community. From our Public Health and Biology faculty stepping up to lead Santa Clara University’s campus-wide COVID-19 response to our incredibly driven students who designed Santa Clara’s LEVL UP Program working to help all students get the most out of their online education, members of our community have illustrated their dedication to the success of this institution, and have made me proud to be a part of it.
Perhaps what strikes me as most impressive is how much more our campus community has worked during the pandemic. Although we have been so limited by lockdowns and other restrictions, faculty, staff, and students have all increased their efforts—to teach, learn, manage labs and facilities, and nurture those in need. During COVID-19, we have been more, done more and tried harder, not less. Our Santa Clara University absence has been so, well...present!
We have faced many challenges this year, but I am confident that we will emerge from this difficult time with even stronger bonds and new ways of working together that will serve us well once COVID-19 is behind us. These challenges have certainly shaped my priorities as Dean and will be what drive us towards a better future for all within our community.
Despite the many ways in which we have improved remote instruction, we know that face-to-face learning really works best, so a big priority of mine will be growing our internships and other experiential education opportunities. I especially hope that you—our College alumni, donors, and parents—will embrace today's students and offer them ever greater work and learning opportunities in your businesses, schools, labs, medical facilities and other organizations.
As you may know, I view our efforts in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as a high priority for the College. Accordingly, I will be joining with many others on campus to increase the access and affordability of a Santa Clara University education to more students, especially from under-represented communities.
I'm also excited at the prospect of founding a new Center for Teaching and Learning. Even before the pandemic, we knew that higher education today can continually improve how we teach in response to the myriad ways in which we learn. A new Center for Teaching and Learning could help our faculty evolve and grow as teachers so that they may best meet the needs, aspirations, and skills of our students.
Given that the global pandemic has fundamentally changed the way we teach, learn, and function at Santa Clara (at least temporarily), I wanted to provide you with a look at how our community has responded. Within this issue, you’ll find examples of the resilience and determination of our community and the creative ways that we have been able to continue teaching and learning in a remote environment.
I wish you a peaceful, safe and restorative holiday season. And with luck, perseverance, and hard work, I will see you in person in a few months!
College of Arts and Sciences