News for the Campus Community
Table of contents
Traces of ourselves
Like it or not, aware of it or not, we increasingly leave electronic traces of ourselves. Whenever we buy something online, e-mail, or participate in online communities, games, or blogs, this data lives on, typically stored in databases. Similarly, information obtained through financial records and official data such as Social Security numbers are warehoused and often used illegally. It can be, and is, compiled, re-sold, or used by government and private industry to profile preferences, attitudes, and behaviors. “Companies are profiling us down to the last pencil bought online,” remarked Geoffrey Bowker, executive director for SCU's Center for Science, Technology, and Society.
But how do we balance the need to protect individual privacy with the need to share this information for the “public good,” to decrease suffering and harm, and protect public safety? Can the state reasonably ask for all of the information, all of the time, about its inhabitants? These critical issues are among those that will be debated at “Traces of Ourselves: The Ethics and Politics of Databases,” on May 16 from 5:30-7 p.m. in the Wiegand Room in the Arts and Sciences Building.
Panelists include Mitch Kapor, founder of Lotus Development Corp. and president and chair of Open Source Applications Foundation; John Arquilla, professor of Defense Analysis at the Naval Postgraduate School; and S. Leigh Star, senior scholar at SCU’s Center for Science, Technology, and Society. The event will be moderated by Kirk Hanson, executive director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. To register, contact Sherrill Dale or call ext. 6027. Admission is free. This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Science, Technology, and Society and the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.
Day without immigrants rally
When a documentary film crew showed up at the 2005 American Crossword Tournament, Byron Walden, a math and computer science professor at SCU, did not think much of it. If anything, he thought, the crew would make a DVD that would be on sale at the next year’s tournament. Well, it didn’t exactly turn out that way. The film the crew made was “Wordplay,” one of the most talked about documentaries at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and one that is expected to draw big audiences this summer.
Will Shortz, editor of the New York Times crossword puzzle, asked Walden to create the final challenge for the 2005 tournament. Little did Walden know that challenge would put him and his puzzle on the big screen. “The big climax in the film involves my puzzle,” he said.
Walden likens the film to “Spellbound,” which follows eight students on their quest to win the 1999 National Spelling Bee. In both films, the life stories of the individual participants are told and their passion for crossword puzzles and the tournament are shared. “Wordplay” has a celebrity element, as well, with Bill Clinton, John Stewart, and the Indigo Girls trying their hands at crosswords. “John Stewart really knows his crosswords,” Walden said.
Walden has just a few lines and he makes just as many on-screen appearances, even so, he says, the experience of being a part of something so big and unexpected is enough of a thrill. “It is definitely fun to see your name in the credits and see the puzzle and say, ‘Hey, that’s my puzzle.’”
“Wordplay” opens in New York City on June 16, in Los Angeles on June 23, and will be in wide release July 4.
Summer camp for public officials
Call it the anti-Abramoff genome project. In an effort to prevent the next big government ethics scandal, mayors, city managers and other public officials from around the country will spend two days in June dissecting ethical dilemmas — including the lobbying scandal now rocking Washington—and trying to engineer a new, ethically enlightened public servant for the 21st century.
It’s summer camp for politicians. Judy Nadler, senior fellow in government ethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and the one who devised this first-of-its-kind ethics training camp at SCU, says it’s vital in an age of government and corporate scandals that dominate the national consciousness.
“With the kinds of problems we’ve been seeing on the national level, citizens and lawmakers are starting to say we’ve got to do something to defuse these land mines,” says Nadler, who is also the former mayor of the city of Santa Clara.
On June 21 and 22, Nadler will gather 30 elected and appointed officials from around the U.S. for an “ethics summer camp,” where campfire tales will include ruminations on how to devise a workable values-based ethics code in local government.
Scary ghost stories will include such based-on-fact case studies as “Bonnie Blackburn,” a city council member taking expensive gifts from a prominent landowner; and “One Stop Shopping,” about a city official who lures a Wal-Mart-like retailer to a struggling city, at the expense of local business owners.
“The idea of a summer camp is that you’re away from your regular environment, and you enjoy what you’re doing,” Nadler says. “When you get back to the office, you have things about the experience that you remember and cherish. It’s an atmosphere that’s hard-working, but collegial and confidential.” Read more.
Historic house move
"Requiem for the People"
“Requiem for the People,” a new work by SCU Composition Professor Pamela Layman Quist, will be premiered by the Santa Clara Chorale, the SCU Choral Ensembles, and the Mission Chamber Orchestra at 8 p.m. June 2 in the Mission Church. This 25-minute work for chorus and orchestra was commissioned by the Santa Clara Chorale following an invitation from the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra to perform in the Dvorak Festival in Prague, Czech Republic.
“It’s a thrill to be premiering this marvelous work here and in Europe,” said Thomas Colohan, director of both the Santa Clara Chorale and the SCU Choral Ensembles, who will be touring with “Requiem for the People” later in June. “The work is sophisticated and gorgeous, and the singers absolutely love singing this piece. Quist has made a significant contribution to the choral repertoire.”
Starting with an accompanied soprano solo, “Requiem for the People” developed into an intricate, six-movement form inspired by personal events combined with the public tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001. “‘Requiem for the People’ addresses a range of universal spiritual thought and human emotion, and I intend for this work to have meaning for a diverse listening audience,” Quist said. “Each movement contains a dedication to a different group of people whose lives and deaths have held great significance for us in varying ways.” Read more.
Alumni Association celebration success
The Alumni Association celebrated its 125th anniversary with a weekend filled with festivities April 28-30. “Our 125th Anniversary Weekend recognized the very best of the Santa Clara family. Our Alumni Association has a rich tradition of community, camaraderie, and connection, and I am so proud to say it has only grown stronger since 1881,” said Kathy Kale ’86, executive director of the Alumni Association.
The weekend kicked off with a barbecue in Kerr Alumni Park where more than 100 Broncos and their friends and family gathered for good food and great weather. Following the picnic, the group walked to Schott Stadium to cheer for the Bronco baseball team while they battled the St. Mary’s Gaels. The national anthem was sung by alumna Ivy Depner ’02 and the first pitch was thrown by Alumni Association President Joe Goethals ’99, J.D. ’05.
Saturday began with a special luncheon and reunion for about 30 members of the first female classes to graduate from SCU in 1962-1965. The women enjoyed a lively reception and lunch and reminisced about their time at SCU. They were joined by University archivist Anne McMahon, who gave them some insights into the current archival collection at Santa Clara and how they could contribute their photos and memorabilia to help grow and improve the collection. Read more.
SCU Fulbright scholarCatherine Kilbane '05 was recently awarded a Fulbright grant and will go to Peru to study environmental science. Kilbane's project is called Monitoring Debt-for-Nature Transactions. Look for an in depth story about Kilbane and her project in the June 1 issue of fyi.
fyi end of the year survey
Tell us what you think about fyi and your name will be entered to win one of three $25 ACCESS gift certificates to be used anywhere the ACCESS card is accepted. Simply click on the survey link, answer the 12 questions, and submit your survey by 5 p.m. May 26. The winners will be announced in the June 1 issue. The fyi staff thanks you for your feedback and comments. We look forward to hearing from you.
Asian/Pacific/American Heritage Month Event Series
Center for Multi Cultural Learning Intercultural Speaker Series, "The Dialogic Research Approach: The Power of Collaboration and Conversation, "Tuesday, May 23, 3:30 p.m., Mission Room:
Michael J. Eames (accounting), co-author of a study that found stock analysts maybe swayed by earlier ratings, was mentioned in an article about the study in the Salt Lake Tribune. Read the article.
Eric Hanson (political science) wrote an editorial for the San Jose Mercury News about making sense of the 21st century by understanding the role of religion in the world. Read the editorial.
Linda Hylkema, assistant campus archaeologist, Jim Reites, S.J. (religious studies), and Paul Soukup,.S.J. (communication) were interviewed by local televsion news reporters regarding the historic house move from 644 Franklin to the new Jesuit residence.
Christopher Kitts (mechanical engineering) has been named the director of the Silicon Valley Space Technology Center. Consortium members include Santa Clara University, Stanford University, San Jose State University, and NASA Ames Research Center.
Christine Bachen and Chad Raphael (communication) published “Portrayals of Information and Communication Technology on World Wide Web sites for Girls" in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Vol. 11, No. 3, May 2006. The article was co-authored with former student Kathleen M. Lynn and current students Jessica Baldwin-Philippi and Kristen McKee.
Edwin Maurer (engineering) had two articles published recently: Maurer, E.P. and C. Mass, 2006, “Using Radar Data to Partition Precipitation into Rain and Snow in a Hydrologic Model,” J. Hydrologic Engineering 11(3), 214-221; and Doten, C.O., L.C. Bowling, J.S. Lanini, E.P. Maurer and D.P. Lettenmaier, 2006, “A Spatially Distributed Model for the Dynamic Prediction of Sediment Erosion and Transport in Mountainous Forested Watersheds,” I Vol. 42, No. 4.
Christopher Kitts (mechanical engineering) was elected to senior member status in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics based on his longstanding contributions to the development of spacecraft and robotic technology. Kitts also received continuation subcontract funding from the San Jose State University Foundation on an award they received from NASA. The amendment provides an additional $18,180 to support “Space-Based Testing Environments.” The award with this amendment totals $240,060.
Chad Raphael (communication) won the Frank Luther Mott–Kappa Tau Alpha Research Award for the best book of original research on journalism/mass communication for his book, Investigated Reporting: Muckrakers, Regulators, and the Struggle Over Television Documentary (University of Illinois Press, 2005) from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.
Sunwolf (communication) published a book chapter in May titled, “Facilitating Death Talk: Creating Collaborative Courtroom Conversations about the Death Penalty between Attorneys and Jurors,” in Studies in Communication Activism. (Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press). Sunwolf was also a featured speaker in April in Palm Springs at the California Public Defender Association Annual Conference, discussing her upcoming book, Juror Competency Juror Compassion (LexisNexis).
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