Santa Clara University

ELSJ Story Archive


Renee Billingslea

Renee BillingsleaRenee Billingslea's course, ARTS 151: Exploring Society Through Photography offers students the opportunity to explore social issues through the use of photography, augmented by weekly community-based learning (CBL) experiences. The focus of the course on both art and social justice provides a meaningful and personal learning experience. Read More


Vanessa DiCarlo

di-carlo-copyThe favorite part of Vanessa DiCarlo’s education came from working with younger students. Through the University’s community-based learning programs, the Arrupe Center intern worked as an elementary school volunteer, an academic counselor at a summer enrichment program for children, an early childhood education assistant, and an after-school tutor in San Jose. Read More


Alicia K. Gonzales

Alicia-Gonzales-p-2557_072_1 copyAlicia Gonzales says building houses in urban slums was the best part of her undergraduate experience at Santa Clara University. She traveled to Mexico twice on immersion trips for home construction projects. As part of a group of students and faculty, she shoveled dirt, carried boards, and connected with the low-income area's residents. Read More


Kristin Heyer

KristinHeyer22 copyIn her research as a social ethicist, Kristin Heyer focuses on topics such as the ethics of immigration and Catholic Social Thought. As a professor, she engages her students in conversations about the issues within the community. To do so, she integrates community-based learning (CBL) as an essential part of her courses. Read More


Shweta Kapoor

Shweta-Kapoor-p_2 copyFor Shweta Kapoor '09 Marketing, statistics about poverty, hunger, unemployment, and education rates are no longer just numbers. Having been on the El Salvador Business Immersion Program, Kapoor now relates differently to these facts and figures. "Now when I see these numbers, I think of the little boy playing with his worn fire engine toy on the side of an unpaved street," she says. Read More


Elizabeth Krishnan

ElizabethKrishnan21 copyAs a counselor in the Career Center, Elizabeth Krishnan regularly helps students to discover meaningful job opportunities. Through her course, ELSJ 23: Careers for the Common Good, she extends her guidance to the classroom, providing undergraduates of all majors and backgrounds the opportunity to explore their interests and possible career options while learning about social realities and injustices. Read More


Cynthia Leyva

2Cynthia Leyva first became involved with community-based learning in her freshman and sophomore courses. As a psychology and ethnic studies double major, she often enrolled in classes that took her outside of the classroom for two hours each week. She credits those experiences working in various nonprofit agencies and schools with sparking her interest surrounding community issues. Read More


William Mains

WilliamMains2 copyAs an Undergraduate Business Programs lecturer, William Mains teaches courses that focus on leadership competency and development. In addition, he leads the Contemplative Leadership and Sustainability Program (C.L.A.S.P.), a program designed to give business students the opportunity to learn about sustainability issues firsthand. Read More


Elliott Martin

Martin3Elliott Martin first became involved with Santa Clara University's Engineers Without Borders-USA (EWB-USA) chapter as a freshman when he joined the club on a water project in El Pital, Honduras. Three years later, he points to his experience with EWB-USA as a vital part of his education at Santa Clara. Read More




Jahayra Molina

JahayraMolina3 copyFor Jahayra Molina, involvement with the Santa Clara Community Action Program (SCCAP), the on-campus organization dedicated to service, activism, and leadership, meant more than just volunteer work. In both her participation as a volunteer with organizations such as Project Open Hand, an agency based in San Francisco that provides meals and groceries to people living with HIV/AIDS, as well as coordinating programs in her as the 2011-2012 associate director, she has discovered what it means to be a part of a community both on- and off-campus. Read More


Kyle Ozawa

Kyle copyKyle Ozawa '08 noticed that he and his friend Sam Baker '08 were frequently the only business students on Santa Clara's cultural immersion trips—and he felt that his business school classmates were missing out on a wonderful opportunity. So Kyle and Sam helped design a weeklong immersion trip to El Salvador. Read More


David Pace

DavidPace2 copyDavid Pace visited Burkina Faso for the first time in 2007 and fell in love with the place and people. Soon after, he and Santa Clara University Associate Professor of Economics Michael Kevane created the Reading West Africa study abroad program. The program combines academic work on developmental issues of West Africa with immersion and community-based learning in rural villages to give students a unique learning experience. Read More


Caroline Read

CarolineRead copyAs an incoming freshman, Caroline Read already knew that she wanted to study psychology and continue to graduate school. However, involvement with community-based learning (CBL) helped her realize that she not only enjoyed working with in the community, but that she wanted to make even deeper, longer-term connections with the community. Read More


Patrick Semansky

semansky-katrina copy"My first visit to New Orleans was for a weeklong immersion trip during my senior year at Santa Clara. It had been four months since Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. The chaos that ensued in New Orleans after the levees broke violated the image I had of my own country, of its abilities and its priorities....  Read More


Richard Trevisan

RichardTrevisan1 copyWhen the former Chair of the Management Department, Tammy Madsen, approached Richard Trevisan about designing an experiential learning course involving Habitat for Humanity, he welcomed the opportunity. As a regular volunteer with the Silicon Valley affiliate for the past 15 years, he had already imagined the potential of the nonprofit to provide learning both in and beyond the classroom. Read More


Krystal Wu

Krystal WuKrystal Wu spent four months her junior year studying at the Casa de la Solidaridad in El Salvador, a SCU center devoted to immersion experiences to promote intercultural solidarity. The experience gave her a global perspective on issues of economics, politics, and friendship. Read More