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Students capture heart and soul of homeless on film
Students capture heart and soul of homeless on film
For one day last month, students from Renee Billingslea's Exploring Society through Photography class set up a portrait studio at Community Homeless Alliance Ministry (CHAM) in downtown San Jose.
For many of the shelter residents, this was the first time they had ever had a professional quality portrait taken of themselves and their families. "The Free Portrait Day allowed students an opportunity to apply ethics, use their photography skills, as well as create gifts for the families. The success of this class is due to the student's generosity, willingness to open their hearts and to stay flexible," said Billingslea.
On Dec. 4 the students are making a special presentation of the finished portraits. They will prepare dinner for all shelter residents and give those who participated in the portrait day photo albums holding their photos. The photo albums were donated by a community member who read about the project in the San Jose Mercury News.
The class and the portrait day project have gained a lot of positive media attention in recent weeks. Just before Thanksgiving, the national spotlight shone on the project: The Christian Science Monitor featured a story about the students' work and how it is an example of service learning on college campus. And on Nov. 27, CBS 5 a story about the students' efforts, as well.
Select portraits will be on display at the de Saisset Museum in conjunction with an exhibition by Sixth Street Photography Workshop, featuring images of the homeless community in San Francisco. The exhibition runs Jan. 13 through March 4.
This project was made possible by a Center for Multicultural Learning grant and is supported by the de Saisset Museum and the art and art history departments.
Bank of America Foundation makes million dollar grant to SCU
SCU's Leavey School of Buisness will receive a $1 million gift from the Bank of America Foundation on Dec 4. The gift will go toward the construction of a new business school building on the University’s campus. The new Leavey School of Business building on the University’s Mission campus will be an 84,000-square foot state-of-the-art facility that will be about 2 1/2 times as large as the current building and will unite the business school classrooms, faculty offices, research centers, and executive education programs that are spread across campus. The new building will also be equipped with executive seminar rooms, wired and wireless classrooms, a cyber café, and business services center.
Mock trial win highlights dire situation in Darfur
It might have been a mock trial that Beth Van Schaack won Nov. 13, charging Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir with war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, but the assistant professor of law at SCU is hoping the outcome spurs real-world action against the genocide in Sudan.
"This is just a piece of the puzzle, but we hope it will serve as the basis for action and help strengthen those voices that are calling for intervention," Van Schaack said. She was chosen for her role because of her previous work as prosecutor at the Yugoslav War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague, and an article she had written on the genocide in Darfur.
During the six-hour mock trial before the International Citizens' Tribunal of Sudan, which took place at the U.N. Church Center in New York City, Van Schaack and her team questioned real witnesses to the crimes, as well as actual experts on Sudan. That team included Eric Ortner '06, who helped write the indictment, assisted in preparing direct examinations of the witnesses and trial exhibits, and contributed to other behind-the-scenes trial work. Third-year law student Kevin Osborne also assisted, acting as defense counsel during a deposition of an expert witness that was held in the mock trial room at SCU prior to the Nov. 13 event.
The outcome was not a foregone conclusion, Van Schaack said. "There's no question that the crimes were committed. The question really was: Could the president be held responsible for them?" she explained. "I think it's pretty easy to make the claim that whenever the Sudanese armed forces are deployed in Darfur, the responsibility goes up to the commander in chief, President al-Bashir. But whenever we are dealing with crimes of the so-called Janjaweed, which are roving militia, it's trickier because they don't occupy any formal role within the armed forces. We had expert testimony that the government essentially created the Janjaweed by arming them, paying them, giving them weapons, etc., but there was also testimony from an expert who said that the government no longer controls them. So we had to argue that the head of state could still be held liable on the basis of a complicity theory."
The defense, she said, "made very good, compelling arguments as to why al-Bashir should not be held liable for what they described as a band of bandits that are running loose in a very remote area of Sudan, 600 miles from the capital."
Ultimately, though, the prosecution's complicity theory argument prevailed, convincing the tribunal that the Sudanese government's support of the Janjaweed militia—including providing weapons and promising them impunity—implicated the president in the genocide.
Plans are under way to create a documentary of the trial to use at both the graduate and undergraduate level to teach about Darfur, accountability, and international criminal law. Reading material based on the prosecution's case is also being compiled to be sent to both national and international policymakers, to spur them into providing peacekeepers for Darfur. All the materials will also be sent to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, who is investigating crimes in Darfur.
"The hope is that this is a first step, not a last step," Van Schaack said. "We can't just rely on the principle of deterrence through international criminal justice. We really have to be willing to act now and intervene now."
Professor uses artwork to bring ancient culture to modern world
Cory Wade, professor of medieval literature and ancient cultures at SCU, uses modern, abstract techniques to illustrate an ancient time in civilization in the exhibition "Expressions of Ancient Egypt," which runs through Dec. 30 at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose.
This one-woman exhibit is the first of its kind at the museum, with more than 60 paintings on display, many of which are in dual format: two versions of the same moment in history portrayed with slightly different illustrations of that particular moment.
Wade, who hopes her painting will create a bridge between ancient cultures and the modern world, says there is something for everyone who comes to the exhibit. "Because these paintings are abstract, they allow visitors to see what they value most in each piece of artwork," Wade said.
SCU recognized by President Bush for community service
This fall, President Bush awarded a number of colleges and universities for their community service efforts in the categories of general community service and hurricane relief service. Santa Clara University was among the five Jesuit institutions recognized. SCU, along with Georgetown University, was awarded Honor Roll with Distinction for hurricane relief service. Other awards went to Loyola University New Orleans, Saint Joseph's University, and University of San Francisco. View a complete list of the honorees.
Reminder: Staff Faire Dec. 5, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Leavey Auditorium.
Festival of Lights Fundraising Dinner & Concert
Human Resources Workshop: Simplify Your Life
Thomas Plante (psychology) was featured in an Associated Press article about the "tween" years becoming the new teens. Read the article.
Ryan Reynolds (art and art history) received a preview notice in the September 2006 issue of ArtWeek, Vol. 37, Issue 7.
The Silicon Valley Challenge Summit, co-sponsored by the Center for Science, Technology, and Society at SCU, was the location chosen to show off the latest prototype from the One Laptop per Child project and was featured on CNET. Read the article.
Gerald Uelmen (law) was quoted in an ABCnews.com article about O.J. Simpson's book deal. Read the article.
Terry Shoup (engineering) has been named as the Interim Vice Provost for Enrollment Management.
Mark Aschheim (civil engineering) has been elected a Fellow of the American Concrete Institute.
Peter Kareiva (environmental studies) has received a two-year award of $25,000 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to support "Adaptation Options for Climate Sensitive Ecosystems and Resources—a Synthesis of Case Study Results."
Chris Kitts (mechanical engineering) had a journal article published, "Sapphire: A Case Study in University-Class Satellites," in the AIAA Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, Vol.43, No. 5, Sept.-Oct., 2006. Kitts also presented and had published the paper "The GeneSat-1 Microsatellite Mission: A Challenge in Small Satellite Design" at the AIAA/USU Conference on Small Satellites, in Logan, Utah, in August 2006.
Tim Meyers (education) has had a number of books and stories recently published and forthcoming. They include: "Rock Takes a Name," a children's story now appearing in a literature-enrichment textbook for middle-schoolers from Glencoe/McGraw Hill; "The Second Angel," appearing in the Soma Lit. Review; "Basho and the River Stones," one of three nominated for a 2007 California Young Readers medal, which is voted on by California children, in the Picture Books for Older Readers category; "The Furry-Legged Teapot," coming from Marshall Cavendish in March 2007; "That Mass at Which the Tongue Is Celebrant", due out in early 2007; and "The Fisherman and the Draug," which has appeared in Spinning Whorl.
Betty Young (physics) has received second-year funding from the National Science Foundation that provides $40,000 to support "Detector Optimization for the SuperCDMS Experiment." The award with this amendment totals $80,000.
To submit grants, awards, and publication information, click here.