Kristin Kusanovich Recognized by the College of Arts and Sciences
Dean's Service Award
In recognition of exemplary service in support of the College of Arts and Sciences. By honoring such leaders, the College demonstrates its commitment to College, University, community, and/or professional service as essential to our mission, governance, and enhancing our community of teaching scholars, student advocates, and University citizens.
In her 20+ years at Santa Clara, Kristin has demonstrated a passion for collaboration in both her teaching and her research. Who else among us has worked with the Leavey School of Business, graduate programs in Education, Engineering and Pastoral Ministries, the Markkula and Ignatian Centers, and the Center for Arts and Humanities and many departments/programs in our own College, most notably the Child Studies Program? Today we honor for her most recent and arguably most important collaboration.
Kristin has drawn on her expertise in social justice, the environment, and the arts to organize the tUrn Project. For the past several years, she has choreographed two full weeks per year of programming on the Climate Crisis, connecting SCU students and faculty with climate leaders around the world. These events have been open to the public, initially at SCU and then via Zoom. The list of partnering institutions is both formidable and growing. The tUrn Project both challenges and inspires us to address the Climate Crisis now so that we can make a u-turn for the planet and future generations. It is a community-centered and spiritually-grounded endeavor that draws on the ideas Pope Francis put forth in his encyclical, Laudato Si’ (Praise Be to You), subtitled “Care for Our Common Home,” and shares that document’s hope and resolve.
Using her ability to make connections, Kristin has focused our attention on one of the world’s most pressing problems by bringing people together and establishing common ground among diverse individuals and communities. She offers us a valuable model of how to engage the public in reasoned analysis and humane understanding that touch both our intellects and our souls. tUrn provides the groundwork and a toolkit of strategies for a massive paradigm shift, and for her leadership in this important work, Kristin Kusanovich is so very deserving of the 2021 Dean’s Service Award.