Skip to main content

Features Library

The Santa Clara Way

Santa Clara University is committed to creating a more just, humane, and sustainable world. Our teaching scholars, students, and graduates pursue new technology, encourage creativity, engage with communities, and share an entrepreneurial mindset. They engage lines of inquiry at the frontiers of knowledge and forge creative works that inspire and challenge. Our goal: To help shape the next generation of leaders and global thinkers by educating women and men of competence, conscience, and compassion according to our Jesuit tradition. 

The following articles are just a few examples of these values and priorities in practice.


  • Santa Clara's faculty pushes students to the frontiers of knowledge and experimentation, challenging them to solve persistent problems. Dr. Zhang presented his students with the challenge of creating a noninvasive portable glucose monitor for less than $100, and many of them rose to the challenge by creating innovative products. Bioengineering students Casey Kiyohara '17 and Ciara Gonzales successfully developed a monitoring device that has the potential to bring comfort to millions of people around the world who need to test their glucose levels on a daily basis.

  • Santa Clara University encourages students to apply their education and knowledge toward building a more sustainable world. SCU Civil Engineering students teamed up to create this year's award-winning 238-square foot rEvolve House and lead in the Sacramento Municipal Utility District 2016 Tiny House Competition, winning first-place. The team members dedicated their house to the nonprofit, Operation Freedom Paws, and are proud to know their energy efficient product will make a difference in people's lives and inspire others to work toward a sustainable future.

  • Santa Clara strives to develop students who value diversity and apply their gifts towards greater service to humanity. SCU alumna Katie Fitzgerald '09 applied her studies in Theater and Spanish to start a small theater group for youth in Nicaragua. With enthusiastic support from professors, Fitzgerald plans to build the organization to be sustainable so Nicaraguans can maintain it on their own, and encourages students to expand their horizons and use their passions to serve others around the world.

  • Santa Clara University provides unique, hands-on experiences and opportunities for collaboration between faculty and students. The College of Arts and Sciences Digital Humanities Initiative brought together students and faculty colleagues from several departments to explore the impact digital technology has on archival research. The initiative allowed participants to explore cross-disciplinary approaches to traditional questions associated with humanities and the digital age.

  • SCU students experience a global education through immersion experiences and study abroad, and many of them carry habits of global outreach and engagement with them well after graduation. A trip to build a water system Rwanda in his senior year paved the way for Civil Engineering alumnus Scott Hanson ‘14 to put the knowledge and talents he built at Santa Clara to work as a volunteer for Conscious Impact. Today, he is helping to rebuild a school in a Nepalese village and modeling a life of competence, conscience, and compassion.

  • We promote a culture of service—not only to those who study and work at Santa Clara but also to disadvantaged members of our community as we work to build a more humane, just, and sustainable world. Students working with Professor Chris Bacon examined the harsh realities of hunger in Silicon Valley. Their efforts are helping to improve services that combat food insecurity in the region and providing hands on experience making a difference in the community.

  • A Santa Clara education gives students more than a degree—it engages them in experiences such as community-based coursework and independent research, empowering them to help find solutions to societal problems and effect change in the community. Santa Clara Law Professor David Ball uses his Criminal Law and Policy course to involve his students in impactful, practical research that tackles critical needs in legal reform. Students in Professor Ball's course are getting an early start on transforming the world for the better.

  • Santa Clara is committed to leaving the world a better place by shaping the next generation of leaders and global thinkers. Four recently awarded Fulbright fellowships exemplify this commitment and head abroad to expand their horizons and contribute to solving problems facing the world community.

  • Santa Clara University is deeply committed to building positive relationships with its neighbors and working in partnership with communities on projects that yield mutually beneficial outcomes A Thriving Neighbors Initiative workshop facilitated by Associate Professor of English Juan Velasco sparked an interest in writing that is helping a group of mothers in the Greater Washington neighborhood of San Jose to connect with their community and be “authors of their own lives.”

  • Santa Clara’s culture is entwined with Silicon Valley’s spirit of innovation and discovery. Hersh Shefrin, Mario L. Belotti Professor of Finance, embodies this spirit of innovation and a commitment to promoting active learning through his use of a game-based simulation to teach students pioneering behavioral finance. Dr. Shefrin’s self-created simulation is giving students hands-on experience with business decision making to prepare them for challenges they will encounter in their careers.

  • Santa Clara students and faculty pursue new technology, encourage creativity, and share an entrepreneurial mindset. Chris Kitts, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of the Robotic Systems Laboratory, explains how he grounds engineering education in these principles, preparing students to take on challenges and produce solutions to benefit society.