Note from the Chair
Dear Alumni and Friends,
This fall the University returned to what we now call “face-to-face” or in-person instruction for most of its undergraduate classes. While faculty and students were glad to be back on campus after more than an entire year online, the transition back to normal was not without its challenges. Faculty and students alike have responded with goodwill and generosity of spirit as we all navigated these waters in our own ways.
This year opened with the arrival of two new tenure track faculty in the area of systematic theology: Haruka Umetsu-Cho and Elyse Raby. Their colleague Prof. Daniel Morgan orchestrated the profiles featured in this issue of Perspectives.
We also welcomed a new academic year lecturer, Thien-Huong Ninh, who is offering courses in Buddhism this year while David Gray is on sabbatical. We also were joined by Jason Schwartz, who is completing graduate studies at UCSB and taught RSOC 9 this fall, and Michael Rende, a Lonergan scholar who is teaching TESP 004, Christian Tradition for us.
This issue of Perspectives offers a glimpse into department events and faculty achievements over the past couple of months. As a special bonus, our department manager Vicky Gonzalez shares with us a perspective from her 30 years at SCU. We are glad to have her with us, and look forward to another 30 years!
Vicky’s article reminded me that I too have been here for a while. It has been an honor to serve the department as interim chair this year—a role I played once before, in 1988-89, while long-time chair Jim Reites, S.J. (rip) was on a sabbatical in Rome. In a future newsletter, I will try to capture the contours of the changes I’ve seen in the department since that first tour of duty.
Wishing everyone a healthy and blessed holiday season!
Philip Boo Riley
Interim Chair, Religious Studies Department