Brutocao Award for Curriculum Innovation

The Brutocao Family Foundation Award for Curriculum Innovation recognizes faculty who have improved the quality of education at Santa Clara University through significant innovations in pedagogy or curriculum development--particularly when those innovations affect a significant number of students--and who have exhibited general excellence in teaching.

For nomination information and guidelines, please see below:


Nomination Guidelines

1. Nominations for the Brutocao Family Foundation Award for Curriculum Innovation are invited each Spring by the Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Development. Any Santa Clara University faculty member may nominate a colleague at SCU for the award.

2. All nominations must be completed through the Curriculum Innovation Nomination form.

3. A current curriculum vitae of the nominee must be emailed to in order for consideration

4. The following criteria are required for eligibility:

  • The nominee has developed significant innovations in pedagogy or curricular development.
  • The innovations have affected a significant number of students.
  • The nominee's curricular innovations have improved the quality of education at Santa Clara University.
  • The nominee exhibits general excellence in teaching.
  • The nominee has not previously won this award.

5. Once nominated, a faculty member stays in the pool of candidates under active consideration for two years, and may be nominated again any number of times.

6. The deadline for nominations will be announced annually by the Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Development. The deadline is Monday, April 22, 2019.

7. The recipient(s) of the Brutocao Family Foundation Award for Curriculum Innovation will be determined by the Provost in consultation with the Brutocao Award Committee.

  • 2017 Winners Michael Kevane and Bill Sundstrom


    Michael and Bill first piloted a dramatic change in the Economics department that changes the way econometrics data analysis is taught to its majors. Using R software for statistical computing, Michael and Bill revamped classes, change syllabi, made YouTube videos and design a new lab class. With this new curriculum in place, students are able to emphasize real world data, turning them into job-market-ready graduates. The success of this innovative program is now being shared across campus, from the business school to social sciences to humanities.

  • 2016 Winner Dan Ostrov

    Mathematics and Computer Science

    Dan has led sweeping changes in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science’s calculus curriculum through collaboration with colleagues not only in his own department, but across departments and Schools to more meaningfully connect the teaching of concepts to their applications in different fields. He has co-created and co-taught a leading-edge Mathematical Finance class that teaches undergraduates, MBA students, and masters students in Engineering to utilize applied mathematics to solve a wide variety of modern financial problems.

  • 2015 Winner Shoba Krishnan

    Electrical Engineering

    She has designed several courses that bring Santa Clara students to the community in innovative ways and has dramatically shaped the Electrical and general Engineering curricula. Some of her innovative courses include "Engineering Projects for the Community" providing students with hand-on experience working with non-profit clients in need of technical expertise. Her course "STEM Outreach in the Community" provides students opportunities to work with local schools, and "Emerging Areas in Electrical Engineering" gets students in touch with real world practitioners.

  • 2014 Winners Tonya Nilsson and Sally Wood

    Civil and Electrical Engineering

    Tonya and Sally developed a significantly revised freshman “Introduction to Engineering” class and lab. This very successful redesigned course incorporates novel components that are aligned specifically with the University’s vision of educating students to build a more humane, just and sustainable world. A primary objective is to introduce students to the technical and social aspects of the engineering profession and its role in addressing current challenges such as reliable supplies of clean water, sustainable energy, problems of high density urban living, and making improvements to health. At the end of the course, students engage in a competition to demonstrate their solutions to a design problem that is expected to showcase their engineering design skills.

  • 2012 Winner Kristin Kusanovich

    Theatre and Dance

    Kristin Kusanovich is an arts practitioner and teacher of the discipline. She has built two courses – from scratch – that significantly affect both her department and the University. The course for Theatre Arts majors functions as an integrative module for those preparing for professional work in the arts. The second course is the only one at the University that prepares the next generation of multi-disciplinary arts educators to understand how to teach music, theatre, dance and visual arts lessons to young people. Her practice and pedagogy along with her curricular imagination and commitment to the arts intersect with the lives of Santa Clara students in meaningful ways.

Previous Honorees

2011 - Craig Stephens (Biology)
2010 - Dan Lewis (Computer Engineering)
2008 - Laura Nichols (Sociology)
2006 - Leilani Miller (Biology) & Margaret McLean (Religious Studies)
2005 - Edward Schaefer (Mathematics and Computer Science)
2004 - William Stover (Political Science)
2003 - Henry Demmert (Economics) & Steven Wade (Finance)
2002 - Russell Skowronek (Anthropology and Sociology)
2001 - Cynthia Baker (English) & Jill Goodman Gould (English)
2000 - Paul Soukup, S.J. (Communications)
1999 - James Sepe (Accounting) & Douglas Sweet (English)
1998 - Brian McNelis (Chemistry)
1997 - Ronald L. Danielson (Computer Engineering)
1996 - Catherine Bell (Religious Studies)
1995 - William S. Greenwalt (Classics) & Helen Moritz (Classics) & William J Prior (Philosophy)
1994 - Claudia Mon Pere McIsaac (English)
1993 - Charles Powers (Anthropology & Sociology)
1992 - Lawrence R. Iannaccone (Economics)