Santa Clara University

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The Faculty-Staff Newsletter, e-mail edition
Santa Clara University, May 1, 2007, Vol. 7, No. 14


Table of contents

SCU recognized as one of the Bay Area's Best Places to Work
Applied Materials supports SCU's Solar Decathlon team with $25,000 gift
Markkula Center for Applied Ethics celebrates 20 years
Web page dedicated to FAQs about campus safety
Sit down, you're rocking the boat
Tax preparation brings rewarding returns


SCU recognized as one of the Bay Area's Best Places to Work

Santa Clara University announced today that it was selected as one of the best places to work in the Bay Area. SCU was ranked No.11 in the "big companies" category, which is 501 to 3,000 employees. Other Bay Area employers in the top 15 in the big company category are Mills-Peninsula Health Services, Barclays Global Investors, Intuit, and Network Appliance. SCU is the only higher education institution in the top 15.

The survey “Best Places to Work in the Bay Area” went directly to 161,000 employees, asking them to evaluate their satisfaction with their workplace. Employees were asked 37 key questions about their workplace via electronic surveys. Survey questions asked employees about management practices and policies, benefit offerings, and how happy they were with the work climate and culture.

“Santa Clara University has attracted and is blessed by an exceptional community of faculty and staff, students and parents, trustees and other friends, alumni, and benefactors,” said SCU President Paul Locatelli, S.J. “I am proud that this community has voted our University as one of the best places to work in the Bay Area. My thanks and congratulations to the entire community—to the teaching scholars, to the staff, and to the supervisors, chairs, and department heads who make Santa Clara such a remarkable and welcoming community to work in and one of the nation's best and academically excellent Catholic, Jesuit universities."

The rankings are a joint project of San Francisco Business Times, Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, East Bay Business Times, and Deloitte. The rankings were divided into five categories based on size for equitable comparison. The categories are: 25 to 50 employees; 51 to 100 employees; 101 to 500 employees; 501 to 3,000; and companies with more than 3,000 employees. Surveys were completed by 464 companies.

Applied Materials supports SCU's Solar Decathlon team with $25,000 gift
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Mike Splinter, president and CEO of Applied Materials, presented SCU’s Solar Decathlon team with $25,000 on April 20. Splinter was the featured speaker for “Unlocking the Potential of Solar Energy; Silicon Valley’s Next Big Opportunity to Change the Way People Live,” a presentation sponsored by SCU’s School of Engineering and the Commonwealth Club of California.


Markkula Center for Applied Ethics celebrates 20 years

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For the past two decades, The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, named for Mike Markkula, co-founder of Apple Computer, has brought local and world leaders in business, politics, education, and health care to the university to examine and discuss some of the key ethical issues of our time. Students, faculty, and community members have benefited from these programs and gone on to share their experience with countless others. This week the center will celebrate its success with a reception on May 2.

"In a short 20 years, Santa Clara's Ethics Center has grown into one of the world's leading voices on ethics," said Kirk Hanson, executive director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. "Silicon Valley, starting with Mike and Linda Markkula, has rallied to support the exploration of the most important ethical questions of the day.

"Santa Clara University, benefiting from its Jesuit tradition of education, which enriches the whole person, has been able to address the thorniest ethical questions facing business, health care, schools, government, and other institutions."

How the center came to be
Mike Markkula had been concerned for some time that Silicon Valley was developing a generation of what he called ‘‘ethical agnostics.’’ In 1986, Markkula was the parent of an incoming freshman at SCU and while attending a parent orientation meeting he heard the dean of the college of arts and sciences talk about plans for an ethics center to enhance the role of ethics in the choices made by individuals and society. That sounded like it might just be a way to make a difference. Markkula walked up to the dean after the meeting and offered to get involved.

With a seed grant from Mike and Linda Markkula and the leadership of SCU management professor Manuel Velasquez, one of the pre-eminent scholars in the business ethics field, the Markkula Center was launched later that year. Markkula served as the first chair of the center’s advisory board.

The Ethics Center has become a nationally renowned resource for issues regarding business ethics, biotechnology and health care ethics, character education, global ethics, government ethics, technology ethics, and media ethics. Scholars at the center are frequently called upon by local and national media to comment on current events and ethical issues. The center also offers a number of campus programs and summer institutes or “camps” for politicians and teachers. Visit the Ethics Center's Web site for more information.

Web page dedicated to FAQs about campus safety

In the wake of the shootings at Virginia Tech last month, Santa Clara University has created a Web page devoted to addressing questions about the University’s safety polices and procedures. Visit the Web page.

Sit down, you're rocking the boat

David Letterman isn’t the only one asking “Will it float?” lately. Several SCU engineering students have been asking the same question while formulating, mixing, and testing different blends of concrete for the canoe they’re constructing.

Although it’s doubtful their creation will show up on the popular buoyancy segment of the late night talk show, the canoe did attempt to make an appearance at last weekend's preliminary regional competition for the 20th annual ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) National Concrete Canoe Competition. Unfortunately, the team's canoe did not float. Even so, the team was determined to get in the water, so they borrowed a canoe from San Jose State University and, according to Carolyn Sourek, a senior civil engineering student and one of the students working on the boat, "The rowers were fantastic!"

Although the team's boat didn't float this year, Steve Chiesa, chair of the civil engineering department notes, “A concrete canoe can float without any problem.  If you look at steel ships, steel is actually more dense than concrete and no one ever questions whether a steel ship will float. It’s just a matter of getting the right shape and making the right concrete mix.” But there are many specifications to take into consideration. The manual delineating the rules and regulations for the competition is 81 pages long, and not only delves into restrictions on materials used, but also on the size of the canoe, reinforcement materials, finishing, race regulations, and other pertinent information.

Formulating that winning mix of concrete—one that’s lightweight, yet strong and moldable—can be a challenge in terms of time and resources. “The challenge isn't necessarily the building of it. It's more finding the time to do it. Santa Clara’s engineering program is very time-demanding,” says Sourek.The half dozen volunteers putting in significant efforts in the testing and design process need to wedge all the work on the canoe in between class work and other obligations. “We do what we can,” she says. Read more.

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SCU engineering students paddle their way to the finish line in a concrete canoe. (Pictures from previous competition.)

Tax preparation brings rewarding returns
For the third straight year, Steve Wade, dean's executive professor of accounting at the Leavey School of Business, along with a team of SCU tax experts, volunteered their Wednesday evenings from February through April to help International Rescue Committee San Jose clients file tax returns. A total of 109 clients took part in the program receiving more than $100,000 in tax refunds.
 

SCU Events

37th Annual Senior Design Conference
May 3, 2-5 p.m.
Thomas J. Bannan Building

With projects spanning the spectrum from nanosatellites to dust mitigation, and from the use of sustainable materials in construction to dynamic server management, engineering students are doing exciting and important work-- putting theory into practice and working collaboratively across disciplines for the betterment of society. Come see them in action!


Human Resources Workshop: Tips for traveling internationally
May 8, noon – 1 p.m.
Loyola Hall, Human Resources
Are you thinking of traveling internationally this summer? Do you already have plans to do so? Have you thought about taking the "big trip" but you were not sure where to start planning? Barbara Coylar, director of Study Abroad programs, will talk about how to plan for such a trip. For more information contact Cheryl Johnson.

"A Piece of My Heart" by Shirley Lauro; directed by Elizabeth Dale
May 11-13 and 16-19
Wed.-Sat., 8p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.
Fess Parker Studio Theatre
Based on true stories, six women, four nurses, a Red-Cross volunteer, and a USO entertainer recount their vividly tragic, disillusioning, and life-altering experiences during the Vietnam War, as well as their struggles to redefine themselves and revive their shattered hearts upon their return to the U.S. Though one of many plays regarding the Vietnam War, "A Piece of My Heart" is considered by many to be alone in its ability to open eyes and hearts to the intense paradox of being human in the inhumane context of war. Tickets: (Sun.-Thur.) $14 general; $12 seniors 60+ and SCU faculty and staff; $5 students; (Fri.-Sat.) $16 general; $14 seniors 60+ and SCU faculty and staff; $5 students.

Friends, Lovers, Trust, Safety: The Present and Future of Social Networking
May 14, 5:30-7 p.m.
Benson Center, Williman Room
Panelists will explore key political, social, legal, and ethical challenges in the world of social networking. Admission is free. This event is sponsored by the Center for Science, Technology, and Society, the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, and the High Tech Law Institute. To reserve a seat, contact Sheril Dale.

More SCU events.

SCU in the News

Geoffrey Bowker (Center for Science, Technology, and Society) was quoted in a San Francisco Chronicle article about Google surpassing Microsoft as the most visited Web site and the most valuable global brand. Read the article.

Dale Larson (counseling psychology)was interviewed on NBC 11 in the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings regarding the psychological impact the incident may have on students and the campus community.

Eric Goldman (law) was quoted in the The Wall Street Journal about the legality of video-linking Web sites like You Tube. Read the article.

More SCU in the news.

SCU People

Russ Morris will join the Office of Marketing and Communications as the new Web marketing manager on May 7.

More SCU in the news.

Grants, awards, and publications

Jeffrey P. Baerwald, S.J. (counseling psychology), presented his paper, "Making Sense: A neuroscience perspective on Ignatian Contemplation," at the Institute of Applied Brain Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, on April 12.

Michael Carrasco (chemistry) has received $2,442 in supplemental funding from the National Science Foundation to Support "CAREER: Combinatorial Neoglycopeptide Arrays: Synthesis and Application Toward Creating Bioactive Peptides Resistant to Proteolysis." The award with this amendment totals $331,162.

Janice Edgerly-Rooks (biology) has received $17,611 in funding from the National Science Foundation to support "Collaborative Research: Phylogeny, Behavior and Silk Evolution of Webspinners (Embioptera), a Little-Known Insect Order." This is the final year of funding for the award, which now totals $78,170.

Ed Maurer (civil engineering) had an article published in the journal Climatic Change: Maurer, E.P., 2007, “Uncertainty in hydrologic impacts of climate change in the Sierra Nevada, California under two emissions scenarios, Climatic Change, Vol. 82, No. 3-4, 309-325.

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

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