Santa Clara University

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The Faculty-Staff Newsletter, e-mail edition
Santa Clara University, June 1, 2006, Vol. 6, No. 15

Table of contents

Pulitzer prize-winning author encourages law grads to use degrees to change the world
Tenure and promotion recognition
SCU grad wins Fulbright
Post-graduation survey of Class of 2005
SCU hosts international rugby tournament
Winners of fyi survey

Pulitzer Prize-winning author encourages law grads to use degrees to change the world

Samantha Power speaking at SCU School of Law commencement ceremony, May 20.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Samantha Power gave members of Santa Clara University School of Law’s Class of 2006 five lessons to ponder as they celebrated their academic success on May 20 in the Mission Gardens at the School of Law's 155th commencement ceremony.

Reflecting on personal stories, Power hoped her lessons would resonate with the 305 graduates. She shared stories of her experiences as a young war correspondent in Bosnia, working with U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and of her struggles as a law student at Harvard University. “Let reason be your tool, let justice be your cause,” she said.

She encouraged the graduates to get involved in politics, to never underestimate the power of friendship, and to ask the question, “Why can’t we?” “You have a degree that can help those who cannot help themselves,” she said.

Power, who received an honorary doctor of law degree at the ceremony, is a professor of practice in public policy at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard. Her book, A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, was awarded the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction and the 2003 National Book Critics Circle Award for general nonfiction.

“Samantha Power is one of this country’s leading thinkers and writers on the international human rights issues. She is a role model for lawyers—including new graduates—who have a commitment to the rule of law and are committed to the important work of social justice advocates,” said Donald Polden, dean of the law school.

At the ceremonies, 294 juris doctor degrees and 11 master of law degrees were awarded. Forty-six percent of the juris doctor degrees were awarded to women, and students of color made up 49 percent of the graduating class. The master of law degrees included three programs: U.S. law for foreign lawyers, intellectual property law, and international and comparative law.

As Power congratulated the class of 2006, she said, “It’s now official: You can change the world, and you must.” Read Power’s speech in full.

Click image to view image gallery


SCU School of Law graduates line up to receive diplomas in the Mission Gardens.

Tenure and promotion recognition

Earlier this spring, SCU President Paul Locatelli, S.J. ’60, announced the professors who have been granted tenure this year as well as those who have been promoted to full professor. The faculty was recognized at a special TGIF event at the Adobe Lodge on May 26.

The following faculty members have been granted tenure and promoted to the rank of associate professor:

  • John Birmingham (physics)
  • Silvia Figueira (computer engineering)
  • Leslie Gray (political science and environmental studies)
  • JoAnne Holliday (computer engineering)
  • Angel Islas (biology)
  • Shoba Krishnan (electrical engineering)
  • Scott LaBarge (classics and philosophy)
  • Laura Nichols (sociology)

The following faculty members have been promoted to the rank of full professor:

  • Paul Crowley, S.J. (religious studies)
  • Sanjiv Das (finance)
  • Elizabeth Radcliffe (philosophy)
  • Dennis Smolarski, S.J. (mathematics)
  • William Stover (political science)
  • Betty Young (physics)
SCU grad wins Fulbright

When Catherine Kilbane ’05 leaves in August on a Fulbright grant to monitor debt-for-nature transactions in Peru, she will be living out her dream. But that dream may never have reached fruition without the helpful prodding of some of her SCU professors—particularly Leslie Gray, assistant professor in environmental studies and political science, and Jane L. Curry, professor of political science.


Catherine Kilbane hiking the Inca Trail near Machu Picchu, Peru, fall 2005.

Although for more than a decade, Kilbane dreamed of working in conservation in Latin America, she never imagined applying for a distinguished award to make that goal a reality. Despite her success in the University Honors Program and her mastery of material in her double major in environmental studies and Spanish studies, she notes, “I never even would have considered applying for a Fulbright had Dr. Gray not first brought it up and then pushed me to go for it.” Curry’s help in crafting the application was also invaluable, she says.

The prestigious Fulbright Program for U.S. Students awards about 1,200 grants annually (from a pool of more than 5,600 applications this year) to enable recipients to undertake research projects, advanced study, or teaching opportunities for an academic year in more than 140 countries. Established in 1946 and administered by the U.S. Department of State, the Fulbright Program aims to foster international goodwill through cross-cultural interaction and education.

Kilbane’s is one of just 10 grants awarded for study in Peru this year. The debt-for-nature swap program, on which she will focus, has become an increasingly popular conservation tool. A creditor country (such as the U.S.) reduces the debt of a country (such as Peru) in exchange for the debtor country’s commitment to funding tropical forest conservation programs within its own borders. Ideally, it’s a win-win situation, Kilbane explains, but very little documentation exists on how effective the swaps are in attaining conservation goals. Read more.

Post-graduation survey of Class of 2005

How did our recent graduates fare in the workplace or in graduate school? Learn about what members of SCU’s Class of 2005 are doing now. Click here.

SCU hosts international rugby tournament

International rugby is returning to the Bay Area for the first time since 2003, and it’s coming here, to SCU’s Buck Shaw Stadium.

“We are excited to be hosting rugby’s Churchill Cup. It will provide an opportunity to showcase our campus and athletics facilities to an entirely new demographic, and will also bring in added revenues to help supplement our budget and make our programs better,” said Dan Coonan, SCU director of athletics and recreation.

USA Rugby will host Ireland “A” and the New Zealand Maori in the U.S. pool of the Barclays Churchill Cup. The games will be June 3, 7, and 10. More than 5,000 spectators are expected at each game. For tickets, call 408-554-4660. Learn more about the tournament.

Barclays Churchill Cup, Buck Shaw Stadium
Saturday, June 3 at 2 p.m.
United States vs. Ireland “A”
Wednesday, June 7 at 7:30 p.m.
United States vs. New Zealand Maori
Saturday, June 10 at 2 p.m.
New Zealand Maori vs. Ireland “A”

Winners of fyi survey

Thank you to all of those who took the time to fill out this year's fyi survey. Your feedback is very valuable. We had more than 140 responses. The three people who were selected at random to win $25 ACCESS gift cards are: Veronika Olah (business), Elizabeth Ford (business), and Ross Dykes (information technology). Please e-mail Karen Crocker Snell to receive your gift card.

SCU Events

“Once On This Island” fund-raising dinner
June 2, 6 p.m., Mission Gardens
This island-themed fund-raiser includes a three-course meal with Caribbean flair and tickets to the opening of the musical “Once On This Island.” Tickets are $66 and include play tickets. Main Stage subscribers simply add $50 to subscription price. For more information, contact Lisa Rademacher, 554-4015.

Commencement 2006:
Graduate ceremony
, June 16, 7:30 p.m., Leavey Event Center:
The graduate commencement ceremony is for those receiving advanced degrees from the: School of Education, Counseling Psychology, Pastoral Ministries; the Leavey School of Business; and the School of Engineering. Peter Steinfels, former senior religion correspondent for The New York Times and author of A People Adrift: The Crisis of the Roman Catholic Church in America, will speak at the ceremony.

Undergraduate ceremony, June 17, 8:30-11:30 a.m., Buck Shaw Stadium:
Thomas Reese, S.J., a widely recognized expert on the Catholic Church and former editor of America magazine, will address the graduates.

More SCU events.

SCU in the News

Geof Bowker (Center for Science, Technology, and Society) wrote an editorial titled “Public Too Tolerant of Intrusions” that ran in The San Jose Mercury News. Read the editorial.

Ron Hansen (English) was quoted in a San Jose Mercury News article about the newly released movie “The Da Vinci Code.” Read the article.

Kirk Hanson (Markkula Center for Applied Ethics) was featured in a Philadelphia Inquirer article about the incentives behind Barry Bonds’ effort to make baseball history. Read the article.

Chris Kitts (mechanical engineering) and students were featured in a San Jose Mercury News article about underwater robots the students built and used in a final exam. Read the article.

Kitty Murphy (religious studies) was interviewed by local television news reporters about the historical significance and accuracy of the movie “The Da Vinci Code.”

More SCU in the news.

SCU People

Jed Mettee was named Director of Media Relations for the Athletics Department in May.

Grants, awards, and publications

Andre L. Delbecq (business) will become the 15th recipient of the David L. Bradford Distinguished Educator Award from the Organizational Behavior Teaching Society at its 33rd annual conference at Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y., in June.

Fred Foldvary (economics) has a review of the book, Downsizing the Federal Government by Chris Edwards, in the May 2006 issue of CHOICE, a journal for librarians.

Francisco Jimenez (modern languages/ethnic studies) gave a lecture at Purdue University on “The challenge and joy of learning English” as part of Purdue’s 2005-2006 Literacy Network Project Distinguished Lecture Series in April. He was also a panelist on the “Writers on Writing” series at West Valley College.

Christopher Kitts (mechanical engineering) has received a one-year, $310,000 award from the NASA-Ames Research Center to support "Development of Small Satellite Design, Test, and Operations Technologies."

Frederick J. Parrella (religious studies) co-edited and wrote the conclusion for Trent to Vatican II: A Historical and Theological Investigations. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.)

Thomas Plante (psychology) had two articles published in May. “Psychological Benefits of Exercise Paired with Virtual Reality: Outdoor Exercise Energizes While Indoor Virtual Exercise Relaxes,” published in the International Journal of Stress Management, was co-authored by two SCU students. Plante also co-authored “Homosexual Candidates, the Seminary and the Priesthood,” published in The Priest.

Sunwolf (communication) presented a half-day trial advocacy seminar to attorneys in San Francisco in April.

The Ignatian Center was awarded a second grant of $500,000 from the Lilly Endowment Inc. The award is designed to support a proposal submitted earlier this year and will allow the center to continue and enhance many of the initiatives begun three years ago with the DISCOVER Project.

To submit grants, awards, and publication information, click here.

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