Brutocao Award for Teaching Excellence
The Louis and Dorina Brutocao Award for Teaching Excellence recognizes outstanding faculty who promote intellectual curiosity and active learning; model and foster intellectual rigor and honesty and a zest for learning; develop connections between course material and life outside the classroom; are available to students, attentive to their needs, and enjoy the teacher-student relationship. This award honors those teachers who, over a period of years, have made a real difference: those who have served as exemplars in the Santa Clara, Jesuit tradition of service, who have challenged their students in ways that have forced them to look at the world afresh, who have exerted a major influence over the intellectual and moral development of their students, who have, in short, made an imprint that is still felt in some way years after graduation.
For nomination guidelines, please see below:
1. Only students and alumni/alumnae may nominate a faculty member for the Brutocao Award for Teaching Excellence.
2. All nominations must be completed through the Teaching Excellence Nomination Form
3. The following criteria are required for eligibility:
- 10 years or more at Santa Clara University (the year a faculty member joined the University is given in parentheses next to the faculty member's name in the back of the Undergraduate Bulletin)
- substantial teaching at the undergraduate level
- has not previously won this award (previous winners listed below and right)
5. Once nominated, a faculty member stays in the pool of candidates under active consideration for three years.
6. The deadline for nominations is Monday, April 23, 2018.
- Candidate's teaching promotes intellectual curiosity and active learning.
- Candidate models and fosters intellectual rigor and honesty and a zest for learning.
- Candidate develops connections between the course material and life outside the classroom.
- Candidate is available to students, attentive to their needs, and enjoys the teacher-student relationship.
- The candidate supports Santa Clara University's values, goals and tradition.
Simone is described as drawing the very best out of her students, and former students attest that they still use her mantra, "clear, concise direct prose, please." Simone's impact on students is not only a result of her teaching, but her guidance and encouragement throughout their time on campus and beyond. Simone is constantly revitalizing her curriculum, and most recently, she enrolled in a series of digital humanities workshops and was contemplating as a new student assignment. Over her 35 plus years serving the community of Santa Clara, students continue to declare her as "one of the best professors they ever had."
Silvia is widely praised for motivating and inspiring students and is described by her students as a “model for intellectual curiosity”. Silvia has had an impact on students from their earliest courses in programming to their senior projects and beyond. At every stage, she pushes her students to use their knowledge, skills, and talent in service of community. Students have recounted that she consistently takes time to encourage them to pursue competitive scholarships and internships, advised them on whether and why to attend graduate school, and helped them cultivate contacts in industry. She has also been a tireless advocate for women in engineering, creating opportunities for them on campus and promoting their involvement in national organizations and conferences.
Shannon's intense passion for her subject matter and clear interest in fostering a deeper student understanding of complex philosophical questions creates great interest and motivation amongst her students. Many of her advisees have gone on to excellent graduate schools, including Rhodes Scholar Noelle Lopez, who earned a doctorate from Oxford and now has a post-doc at Harvard. One of her students said she taught them to "judge less, think more, and never stop asking questions", and that "you leave the classroom with a new vigor and a sense of cognitive satisfaction".
A student who worked with Patti as both a research and peer educator wrote "her commitment to her research and her students has shown me what is possible as a professor an academic. I am going to work as hard as I can to try to match her dedication". Patti calls her students to action no only with academic rigor but to community engagement. In her Psychology of Aging class, her students study aging as they develop relationships with members of the Santa Clara Senior Center. The course culminates in a final project where seniors and their families view student-generated digital autobiographies of seniors. Students say "as a mentor, she offers a unique blend of push, guidance, and ultimate confidence in her students".
Jeff has earned a remarkable reputation among students. They say: “The coursework provided was challenging but did not seem like work because of how rewarding and enlightening it was,” and “The obstacles and frustrations that his students face are always fresh on his mind . . . his classes are always the first to fill in the English department because the students know: he is a master teacher.” One faculty letter writer, voicing support for the students’ nomination, notes that our honoree is admired not just by students but by his peers as well, calling him a true “’teacher’s teacher.’