Santa Clara University


Brutocao Family Foundation Award for Curriculum Innovation

The Brutocao Family Foundation Award for Curriculum Innovation recognizes faculty who have improved the quality of education at Santa Clara University through significant innovations in pedagogy or curriculum development--particularly when those innovations affect a significant number of students--and who have exhibited general excellence in teaching.

For nomination information click here.

2012 Award Winner

Kristin Kusanovich
Theatre and Dance

kusanovich210Kristin Kusanovich is an arts practitioner and teacher of the discipline. She has built two courses – from scratch – that significantly affect both her department and the University. The course for Theatre Arts majors functions as an integrative module for those preparing for professional work in the arts. The second course is the only one at the University that prepares the next generation of multi-disciplinary arts educators to understand how to teach music, theatre, dance and visual arts lessons to young people. Her practice and pedagogy along with her curricular imagination and commitment to the arts intersect with the lives of Santa Clara students in meaningful ways.

2011 Award Winner stephens

Craig Stephens
Biology (Biotechnology Program and Public Health Science Program)

Craig has been instrumental in founding and directing two cross-disciplinary programs. Working in collaboration with faculty and students from both the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering, he helped initiate an integrated program that allows new possibilities for course design and student learning in cutting edge technology and science. Not satisfied with the curricular innovation of helping establish one new program, he then went on to revitalize and reinvent another. Convening groups of interested faculty and local experts for extensive consultation and dialogue over the course of many months, he developed a proposal for an updated and, again, highly collaborative program, which challenges students to do integrative work in social and natural sciences in the context of Jesuit ideals, including inviting students into solidarity with those in profound material need. Integrating biomedical sciences, social sciences, mathematics, and statistics, he helped to build a curriculum on foundations of global engagement, community service, and social justice. His colleagues describe him as a “phenomenon,” noting his extraordinary intellectual energy, insight and creativity, along with his steady generosity of spirit to both faculty colleagues and students, as he moves between his NSF-supported research lab and the administrative work of leading and supporting colleagues in public health science.

2010 Award Winner

Dan Lewis
Computer Engineering

lewis 210This year’s award recipient has exhibited curricular leadership in three major initiatives. First, he created a new interdisciplinary Bachelor’s program. This program, which reaches across disciplinary, school and college boundaries to involve Computer Engineering, Communication, and Art and Art History, is attracting a growing enrollment, including a large number of women students, who remain underrepresented in engineering fields. Second, he has developed outreach programs to K-12 students to encourage them to pursue the study of computing. His innovative summer camps have reached more than 2,000 local K-12 students. To accomplish that goal, he secured about $700,000 in external grants, mostly from NSF. Third, he has led efforts to develop summer training programs for high-school computer science teachers, again with external funding and again extending opportunity beyond the University community in significant numbers. More than 200 local teachers have reinvigorated and updated their course offerings in computer science under our awardee’s guidance. For three years he has served as the campus coordinator for the Sally Ride Festival, attracting young women to science and engineering. His work in curriculum innovation and outreach exemplifies dedication to student learning and community service.

2008 Award Winner

Laura Nichols

Laura Nichols (Sociology) receives the 2008 Brutocao Award for Curriculum InnovationLaura Nichols is an excellent and creative teacher who not only has brought innovative pedagogies to her courses, but has played an important role in informing the campus community at large about the needs and contributions of first-generation college students at Santa Clara. Her research on first-generation students resulted in an edited volume of absorbing life stories by first-generation SCU students, as well as advising materials and presentations on and beyond the campus. In the classroom, she has played a major role in developing innovative experiential learning projects. Her “Hop on the Bus” project trains students in her Social Stratification class to apply the course content as participant observers. In her Applied Sociology course, students conduct projects for local community organizations, such as program evaluations, needs assessments, and the like. These projects call upon students to hone their skills in applied sociology at the same time that they help meet real community needs.

Printer-friendly format