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Dear Alumni and Friends,

The Fall quarter was a time for beginnings and reunions, as we returned from our various summer adventures and welcomed new students and faculty. The 2019 Fall quarter, in particular, was a time for welcoming new members of the Santa Clara Religious Studies community. We have been blessed to have a number of undergraduate students declare majors and minors in our department. We were very happy to be able to welcome back our faculty Karen Peterson-Iyer in her new role as an Assistant Professor. Karen has been a part of the Santa Clara community for over fifteen years, both as a member of our faculty as well as a staff member in the Markkula Center. We have also welcomed three additional and truly "new" faculty members. The first, Clovis Karam, has a Ph.D. in Scholastic Philosophy and Religious Studies from the Catholic University of Lyon-France and another Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Lyon III France. Clovis is teaching Islamic religion and culture for us, the Religious Studies Department, and AIMES. He is also teaching Arabic language courses for the Department of Modern Languages and Literature., The second is Travis Stevens, a recent Ph.D. graduate from Harvard University, hired as an adjunct academic year lecturer teaching the history of Christianity. Last but not least is I Sil Yoon, who graduated with her Ph.D. earlier this year from the Graduate Theological Union, with a focus on theological ethics. Please join us in welcoming these new members of our Religious Studies community here at Santa Clara University.

David Gray
Chair, Religious Studies Department

New Faculty
  I Sil Yoon headshot

I Sil Yoon

Yoon's academic interests include Christian migration ethics, biomedical ethics, and Christianity in East Asia.

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  Travis Stevens Headshot Travis Stevens

Stevens' research area is the history of Christian thought.

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  Karen Peterson Iyer Karen Peterson-Iyer

After 18 years at SCU, Peterson-Iyer is the department's newest Assistant Professor.

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  Clovis Karam Clovis Karam

Karam's research focuses on comparative Middle/Near Eastern studies, Semitic religions, cultures, mythologies, and philosophies.

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News and Events
  Paul Schutz, Lisa Kloppenberg, Kathleen Schneider Rekindling the Fire of Hope: Paul Schutz's Experience in El Salvador

Paul Schutz reflects on his experience with the people of El Salvador during the 30th anniversary of the martyrs' deaths.

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  Why a Muslim Scholar in Pennsylvania Matters to the World book cover Why a Muslim Scholar in Pennsylvania Matters to the World

Information about Turkish Muslim Scholar/Cleric Fetullah Gulen, and author Jon Pahl's visit to SCU.

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  Group talking for RS conversations First RS Conversation of the 2019-2020 Series

The topic: Sex, Gender, & Sexuality.

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  religion mixer A Successful Mixer

Kicking off the new academic year for Religious Studies majors, minors, and faculty.

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Faculty Updates
  Sister Ana Maria Pineda in Rome Updates on Sister Ana Maria Pineda, RSM's recent happenings.

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  Teresia Hinga and Father Obrien with two entrepreneurs Teresia Hinga's accomplishments this quarter.

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  Philip Boo Riley headshot How Boo Riley has been addressing homelessness in Silicon Valley.

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  More faculty updates from David Gray, Eugene Schlesinger, Fred Parrella, Michelle Mueller, Thao Nguyen, Roberto Matas, Jaime Wright, Elizabeth Drescher, and Clovis Karam.  Read More
Students and Alumni
  Nick Nagy in front of Peace Corps Zambia sign

New Peace Corps Volunteer, Nick Nagy
Religious Studies/Political Science major Nick Nagy '19 is currently a volunteer for the Peace Corps in Zambia. 

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  Nick Spragg in Harvard memorial church

Trip to Harvard

Nick Spragg '20 attends Harvard Divinity School's Theological Education Day.

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  Sarita Tamayo Moraga and Olivia Hill

A New Academic Collaboration 

Olivia Hill '21 and Sarita Tamayo-Moraga work together on a paper and an independent studies course.

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  Ramon Duran and Roberto Mata

Divinely Good News!

A Religious Studies major gains acceptance to Harvard DivEx program.

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We would love to hear from you! If you have any news or memories to share (tell us your best RS story!), would like to update us about your current life and work, or have any ideas for RS programs and initiatives, please email

You might include a story or photo of a recent event, or just let us know about your current location, career, or thoughts. Thank you!

Religious Studies faculty 2019

Santa Clara University
Department of Religious Studies
500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053
Phone: 408.554.4547