Santa Clara University


The Inclusive Excellence Award for Staff/Faculty

The Inclusive Excellence Award for Staff/Faculty Award is presented to a current SCU staff or faculty member or a department that demonstrates dedication to innovative teaching and/or program development beyond his/her job responsibilities (or the department's mission) to encourage excellence through inclusion in the SCU community. For nomination information click here.

2013 Award Winner

Regina Davis-Sowers

davissowers210During her six years as a lecturer in the Department of Sociology Regina has taught courses on social issues, diversity, and family, using real-life examples that help students understand the intricacies of diversity issues. She encourages students to attend multicultural events on campus and to apply what they learn in class to what they learn at those events. She has been a keynote speaker at student-sponsored events, including the Take Back the Night event hosted by Every2Minutes/1in4, where she made presentations about sexual and domestic violence. Her contributions to the production of N*W*C in 2012 highlighted what the performance on the Santa Clara campus meant for our particular challenges concerning race and culture in this community.


2012 Award Winner

Elsa Chen
Political Science

chen210Elsa Chen has been particularly effective at supporting students of color in her department and in an interdisciplinary context as well. She has supervised more than 140 student internships in the last few years and has designed and directed the University’s Public Sector Studies Program. She supervised the Washington Semester Program through which Santa Clara sends students to American University in Washington, DC. In that role she observed that students of color who participated in the program often returned to Santa Clara transformed: students’ GPAs rose and their level of engagement in the University community and in broader civic life increased dramatically. Her careful work documenting the results of that program led to its further growth and greater impact. Elsa’s efforts extend to support faculty Inclusive Excellence as well. She facilitated and now serves as the Faculty Coordinator for the Faculty Women of Color Network, which fosters mentoring and support for women of color on campus. She personally serves as a mentor for faculty of color, and her colleagues report deep gratitude for her wisdom, perspective, and presence in their intellectual and professional development.

2010 Award Winner

Alma Garcia

garcia 210Alma Garcia served on the first President’s Diversity Committee, and  directed both the Women’s Studies and the Ethnic Studies Program, introducing into the curriculum some of the first courses on women of color, pioneering the development of a Women’s Studies minor, and reaching out to faculty across campus to create an interdisciplinary group of teaching scholars. She enriched the curriculum not only by introducing new courses and scholarship, but also by her significant work in faculty development—leading Women’s Studies Summer Curriculum Transformation Workshops and similar summer workshops for Ethnic Studies. She recently pioneered a minor in Latin American Studies and has been an important mentor to younger faculty and to students of color. Alumni of many backgrounds cite her influence as they go on to complete Ph.D.s and enter the professoriate. Alma is a nationally recognized speaker on curricular reform in Sociology, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Ethnic Studies. Her scholarship addresses goals consistent with her teaching and service, including a book of oral histories of Mexican American undergraduate women at Santa Clara, and another (coauthored with Francisco Jiménez), on ethnic community builders, which won the National Oral History Association’s award for outstanding use of oral history.

2009 Award Winner

Gerdenio "Sonny" Manuel, S.J.

scnny manuel_210Sonny was a co-founder of the Eastside Project, which became the Arrupe Partnerships, now a major part of the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education. The project brought the concern for social justice firmly within the University’s curriculum, giving students a chance to learn from and develop relationships with people most in need. The project also resulted in many community-based learning sites at schools, parishes, and agencies across Silicon Valley.  Through the Building Partnerships for Diversity and Leaders for a Just World grants from the Irvine Foundation, Sonny structured programs to promote, coordinate, and advance campus-wide multicultural initiatives. He was the founding director of the Center for Multicultural Learning, now the Office for Multicultural Learning, which works closely with the Provost and the University Council on Inclusive Excellence to promote diversity through partnerships across the campus community.  He established a scholarship fund for undocumented students as well as a comprehensive support program for their success, The Hurtado Scholars, who are among our finest students.

2008 Winner

Francisco Jimenez
Modern Languages and Literatures

Francisco_JimenezAmong his many accomplishments, Francisco designed a path-breaking course on Mexican-American literature in the early 1970s, at a time when very few universities supported scholarship in this field.  In 1985, he organized a University-wide, quarter-long, Symposium on Poverty and Conscience and brought to campus a number of national figures, including Cesar Chavez, Michael Harrington, and Julian Bond.

He was the  director of SCU’s first Irvine Grant, and he has encouraged and mentored faculty and students from all disciplines to engage in teaching, research and service that would enhance diversity.


Francisco is the author of three books – The Circuit (1999), Breaking Through (2001), and his newest book, Reaching Out (2008), that are used in classrooms across the country to educate students about the struggles and triumphs of farm workers and to deepen their commitment to social justice. To quote from one of his reviewers, “His personal stories are universal stories.”

Contact Us

Faculty Development Program

Eileen Razzari Elrod
Assoc. Vice Provost for Faculty Development
St. Joseph's Hall, #124

Administrative Associate
St. Joseph's Hall, #113

Fax: 408-551-1873

Download the Key Contacts PDF

Previous Honorees
2012 - Elsa Chen (Political Science)
2011 - Lulu Santana (Campus Ministry, staff award)
2010 - Alma Garcia (Sociology)
2009 - William J Prior (Philosophy)
2008 - Francisco Jimenez (Modern Languages and Literatures)
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