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2017-18 Staff Senators in front of the Bronco statue

2017-18 Staff Senators in front of the Bronco statue

For some University schools and departments, the academic year started weeks ago; for others, it just took off. In either case, the Staff Senate welcomes the entire community, including our students, as we embark on this new academic period. May it be productive and enjoyable for all. 

Please enjoy our first monthly issue of the Staff Senate eNews. We hope it's an easy way to stay connected and up-to-date on Staff Senate happenings and to learn more about your Senators.

2017-18 New Senators

We welcome this year's new senators (in alphabetical order): Chad Cardinal, Laura Ceja, Andrew Chai, Cindy Cooper, Thomas DeGuzman, Miguel Flores, Ryan Holmes, Samantha Kibbish, Carly Koebel, Helene Lafrance, Maureen Muscat, Rima Nemechek, Rosalie Saladzius, Andrea Santillan, Michelle Schuette, Emma Wadiak, Kayla Wells


2017-18 New Senators

Key Priorities and Goals for 2017-18

  • Better communications with the campus at large (introduce a new monthly newsletter)

  • More cross-department collaboration and increase senator participation

  • Support initiatives and planning efforts from the Sustaining Excellence and Diversity & Inclusion committees

  • Advance goals set by the Staff Senate working groups and committees

  • Improve collaboration with key campus groups (e.g., Faculty Senate, Student Government, Staff Affairs)

  • Refresh and update the Staff Senate bylaws to provide more specific guidelines

  • Restructure the executive team to better align with the Faculty Senate structure

  • Create better transitional materials and processes from year-to-year to continue momentum

  • Improve meeting format to increase efficiency and promote more discussions

  • Increase attendance and participation at staff senate meetings 

*Sept. 21, 2017, meeting minutes are saved on the Staff Senate Google Drive

Attention SCU Runners!
Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot

Adopt a new tradition this Thanksgiving and sign up for the Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot, a 5K Run/Walk or 10K Run that benefits local charities that help fight hunger, homelessness, and promote healthy communities.

Walkers and runners of all fitness levels are welcome to enjoy the block party of the year at the most popular Turkey Trot race in the nation. Race registrants will also score a long-sleeve race shirt, bib, and professional timing chip.

In an effort to get to know each other better and to identify areas of collaboration, senators will take turns during every meeting to share three personal facts about themselves, and a highlight and challenge in their area or department. Here are this month's featured senators: 


Melissa Brotherton, Associate Director, Engagement & Analytics, Alumni Relations

President, Staff Senate 2017-18

Senator (Alumni Relations)

Three Things about Me

  • I have a 5-pound, 14-year-old toy poodle named Harley.
  • Both of my parents are Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA), so I practically grew up in a hospital.
  • I have a group of friends called the “Crazy 8” that I’ve been friends with for over 20 years and a few of them I’ve known since kindergarten.

Area Highlight

Area Challenge

  • We'd like more alumni activities and interests to be captured in the University database CLARA, so we can create customized targeted communications. We know that alumni are coming back and serving on advisory boards, attending and volunteering at events, speaking in the classroom and much more, but we don't have visibility into their activities unless it's saved in CLARA.


Cindy Cooper, Senior Administrative Assistant, Retail Management Institute

Communications Committee Co-Chair, Staff Senate 2017-18

Senator (Leavey School of Business)

Three Things about Me

  • I grew up in Santa Clara.
  • I attended Santa Clara High School.
  • I live on Santa Clara Street.

Area Highlight

  • The Class of 2018, which represents 30 retail studies students, just completed their summer internships at retailers such as Amazon, William-Sonoma, Levi Strauss, Nordstrom, Nike, Crate & Barrel, Cost Plus World Market in e-commerce, product development, and operations - just to name a few.

Area Challenge

  • No real challenges, only opportunities. We are going through a time of change and growth as the retail industry is changing and the institute has been operating much the same for 37 years and now there is the opportunity to re-brand and update.


Matthew Hendricks, Director, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Development Office

Vice President, Staff Senate 2017-18

Senator (Development, University Relations)

Three Things about Me

  • I moonlight as a violinist and occasionally play local gigs. Last year, I was part of the orchestra that backed up Il Volo when they sang at the San Jose Civic Center.
  • I will celebrate my 10-year anniversary at SCU this October.
  • I was an Eagle Scout and still have a love for the outdoors, especially backpacking, hiking, cycling, skiing, and camping.

Area Highlight

  • I work on a team that builds funded partnerships between SCU and corporate/foundation stakeholders. We are dialed into what is occurring off-campus in our Silicon Valley ecosystem and nationally. We're seeing the goals of institutional funders change rapidly, which is stretching SCU (and other universities) to think differently about our own operational models in the 21st century.

Area Challenge

  • Our ecosystem in Silicon Valley is very dynamic and moves quickly on bold ideas. Funders look for university partners to embrace risk and work collaboratively on multi-stakeholder partnerships. Companies and foundations operate on a global plane, and we are challenged to compete with larger global entities for attention and dollars from funders right here in our own backyard.


Samantha Kibbish, Assistant Director for Student Organizations, Center for Student Involvement

Events and Service Committee Chair, Staff Senate 2017-18

Senator (Student Leadership/Student Life)

Three Things about Me

  • I was part of a barbershop quartet in high school.
  • I am an auntie to 7 nieces and nephews, ages ranging 17 to 4.
  • I am afraid of windmills (the white ones).

Area Highlight

  • We are focusing on first-year/second-year programming and support across the Division of Student Life; there are some exciting new development/facilities changes coming to campus throughout the year as the campus grows including new sand volleyball courts.

Area Challenge

  • Our student organizations currently face funding challenges when hosting events. For example, the post-event custodial fee for larger spaces such as Benson, Locatelli, and others starts at $112 while organizations only receive $100 per quarter for an event. We're open to ideas on collaborating to support our student groups with their financial needs while supporting our Facilities team.
Staff Senate Calendar
Monthy Staff Senate Meeting
11 AM, Graham Commons Hall


All staff members are welcome to join our meetings!

Guest speaker: Mike Nuttall will provide an update on the Sustaining Excellence Phase 2 efforts. 


Questions? Please contact your area senator or email

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