Santa Clara University

Santa Clara Magazine

Mission Matters

 

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Students, active: The new Paul L. Locatelli, S.J., Center
Photo: Charles Barry

A 10-plus!

Welcome to the Paul L. Locatelli, S.J., Student Activity Center

More than two dozen buildings have been erected on the Mission Campus since 1970, but it's been 40 years since a new building was dedicated specifically for student use. Which makes the Paul L. Locatelli, S.J., Student Activity Center a welcome addition to Santa Clara. Completed this summer, the building was dedicated on October 10 as part of the Grand Reunion Weekend.

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Grand Opening: At the entrance of the new center are, left to right, Virginia Matthews, Sean Stevens, David Matthews, Samantha Stevens, Richard Matthews, Mary Matthews-Stevens ’84, Mark Stevens, Scott Stevens, and Lisa English.
Photo: Charles Barry

In a ceremony marked by applause and cheers, smiles and tears, some 350 folks—students and parents, alumni and faculty, donors and friends and staff—gathered to celebrate the building and honor its namesake, former President (1988—2008) and Chancellor of Santa Clara. Members of the Locatelli family were on hand for a joyful tribute to a man whose boundless energy and generous spirit inspired thousands of Santa Clara students. Onstage were Mary Matthews-Stevens '84 and husband Mark Stevens, whose $7 million gift made the building possible; their three children assisted SCU President Michael Engh, S.J., in blessing the ground floor with holy water.

Matthews-Stevens, a member of SCU's Board of Fellows, thanked her parents for the sacrifices they made in sending her to Santa Clara. She also noted that she and Mark, a partner in venture capital firm Sequoia Capital and member of SCU's Board of Trustees Finance Committee, insisted from the outset that the building be named for Fr. Locatelli. 

Observing the fact that the dedication took place on the date of 10/10/10, Matthews-Stevens enthused, “My experience at Santa Clara was a 10. This student building is a 10. And, most significant, Fr. Locatelli was a ten.” Then she corrected herself. “He was a ten-plus.”

A portrait of Fr. Locatelli based on a photograph by longtime SCU photographer Charles Barry was unveiled on the wall near the entrance. Nearby hangs a portrait of the Matthews-Stevens family as well. In the light that streams through the windows—and the very warp and woof of the place—are intimations of the extraordinary kept alive.
Steven Boyd Saum

 

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So cool: the new rooftop solar collector for the Ripple House
Photo: Charles Barry

Solar cooling? Here it comes.

Santa Clara’s Ripple House, which took third in the 2007 Solar Decathlon, was recently outfitted with a cutting-edge rooftop solar collector. The unit, the first of its kind installed in California, supplies space heating, hot water, and a feature that should ease the burden on the grid on hot summer afternoons: solar thermal air-conditioning.

The device, the Micro-Concentrator (MCT), is the work of Chromasun, a San Jose–based company with strong ties to SCU. The company has hired SCU student interns since 2008; in 2009, its founder and CEO, Peter Le Lievre, approached the engineering department to show off his solar collector, then under development. A team from SCU was then constructing a house for the 2009 Solar Decathlon, but Chromasun’s new collector wasn’t yet ready to meet competition requirements.

After the competition, where SCU again took third (see “Bending Light,” Spring 2010), a few SCU Solar Decathlon veterans went to work for Chromasun. One, Tim Sennott ’09, was tasked with overseeing the installation of the MCT, now a full-fledged production model, on the 2007 Ripple House. The upgrade was long overdue, says James Reites, S.J., MST ’71, an associate professor of religious studies who advised both Solar Decathlon teams. While the house’s overall environmental performance was impressive, three years later “the flat thermal panels were deteriorating and the thermal tank was losing too much heat at night,” Reites says.

Not any more. The MCT is similar to the traditional flat-panel solar collectors that have heated pools and showers in California for decades. But it uses a new type of concentrated Fresnel reflector panel. (Fresnel lenses are often used in lighthouses; they excel at concentrating light.) As a result, the MCT is able to supply much hotter water—up to 220 degrees Celsius (428 degrees Fahrenheit), hot enough to drive commercial air-conditioning absorption chillers, which are normally gas or steam fired. “We simply replace the natural gas with solar heat. The chillers do the rest,” says Le Lievre. The higher temperatures make the MCT far more efficient than traditional solar water heaters. “They’re actually 140 percent efficient,” says Le Lievre, “able to provide more cold water than the heat we provide them.” That’s because, like many air conditioners, the system also pumps heat from the inside to the outside.

Even before the installation, the house was off grid and produced more energy than it used, the surplus stored in batteries. The MCT should produce enough energy to completely displace the home’s peak air-conditioning loads. Seniors Ben Frederiksen and Nick Breska, who helped with the installation, are currently developing the computer code for monitoring and control of the house. They are also working with graduate student Sergio Escobar Vargas Ph.D. ’11 and Professor Mark Aschheim to develop a metering system to track carbon savings.
Justin Gerdes

 

What do the numbers show?

With the annual parade of college rankings bigger than ever, SCU scores high, especially when it comes to return on investment.

Every year parents and soon-to-be college applicants scour the lists of college rankings, trying to find the right match. Certainly “best of ” lists exude a certain attraction, but it helps to know what you’re looking for—especially these days, when the field of rankings-compilers has become considerably more crowded.

The proliferation of lists means that the lists themselves “have lost their misplaced position of importance,” SCU’s Vice President of Enrollment Management Mike Sexton told MSNBC earlier this year. “Every magazine has to have some slant on colleges, and everybody and their mother keeps writing books on college admissions,” he added.

Hear, hear! Acknowledging that there might not be simple answers to complex questions (like which college to choose, and why), there are some interesting assessments in the rankings this year.

Bang for the buck
At Businessweek, college rankings draw on research by Payscale on “What is your degree worth?” Santa Clara scores 33rd out of 554 schools nationwide for delivering the most “bang for your buck” upon graduation. The total cost of graduation is around $187,500; net return on investment over a 30-year period for graduates—$1,261,000. That comes to an 11.1 percent annualized net return on investment.

No. 4 among “colleges that will make you rich”
Over at Forbes.com, their ranking of the best schools nationwide saw SCU jump a few notches to No. 115 (up from 150 nationally). But Santa Clara becomes a true rock star when you flip to the list of “colleges that will make you rich” (or, in other words, “These schools do the best job of raising their students above expectations”). Sharing the stage with SCU at the top of the list: Williams, Dartmouth, and Stanford.

Quality of life
In the 2011 installment of Princeton Review’s The Best 373 Colleges, SCU gets a nod for being one of the best institutions for undergraduate education and lands on the list of “Best Western Colleges.” Among especially high marks: quality of life and commitment to sustainability. Only the top 15 percent of 2,000 four-year colleges in the United States are profiled in the book.

Freshmen come back
The granddaddy in the rankings game is U.S. News & World Report, which once again esteems SCU the No. 2 master’s university in the West. When it comes to graduation rates, SCU is in the top three in the country among master’s level universities. Other highlights: The School of Engineering is ranked No. 17; and SCU has the highest freshman retention rate—93 percent—among master’s universities in the West.
Kellie Quist ’10

 

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The 1970 challenge: How many bedframes can SCU undergrads stack on top of one another?
Photo: SCU Archives

Santa Clara Snapshot: 1970

  • 3 philosophy courses required to graduate

 

  • 4 days of classes (M-T-Th-F)

 

  • 31 buildings

 

  • 100 people at United Farm Workers Organizing Committee meeting to discuss union-only lettuce purchase for the campus dining services

 

  • 233 professors

 

  • 700 students boycott classes and join a teach-in to protest U.S. military action in Cambodia

 

  • $1,725 tuition per year

 

  • 5,902 students enrolled

Justine Macauley ’10 and Kellie Quist ’10

 

Corporate social responsibility: the bottom line

Many companies seek to keep (or regain) the public’s good graces by performing acts of corporate social responsibility, or CSR. But how does it affect the bottom line? When companies do good, do they do better? Or is CSR a necessary cost of doing business that takes a nip out of profit?

Professor of Finance Hoje Jo of the Leavey School of Business set out to answer those questions in a paper titled “The Economics and Politics of Corporate Social Performance.” With colleagues at Stanford and Pepperdine, Jo analyzed data from 3,000 companies during an eight-year period, under the Clinton and George W. Bush presidential administrations. The paper was recognized with the prestigious Moskowitz Prize for Socially Responsible Investing from U.C. Berkeley’s Center for Responsible Business. As for findings: Results are mixed.

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Jo compared companies’ financial performance with their social performance; and he took into account social pressures on firms from nongovernment organizations and activists. Generally, CSR measures were not shown to either increase or decrease the profitability of the companies in the study. (Though any one company still could see gains after taking CSR measures.) As for social pressure from non–government organizations and activists: It was shown to make a difference—though not across the board. And it could negatively affect the bottom line.

“Social pressure could have a direct effect on the financial performance of a firm if it causes consumers, investors, or employees to shun the firm,” Jo says. “Social pressure could also damage the reputation of the firm or a brand, and it could portend future problems arising from private or public politics.”

One interesting finding: Concerted social pressure was more likely to be directed at a company that markets directly to consumers—Starbucks, for example—and is perceived as likely to respond to that pressure. A company like ExxonMobil, on the other hand, might experience less social pressure if consumers expect it to ignore their complaints.

Ultimately, CSR matters most to companies that depend on individual consumers; industries that trade primarily with each other got little or no financial boost from social performance activities. But if a company’s customer is the public, the enterprise had better do something socially valuable: Jo and his colleagues demonstrate that investors expect it—and reward it.
John Deever

 

A letter from a young reader

A fifth-grader tells how stories by Francisco Jiménez helped her understand her own immigrant father.

The prompt: Write a letter to an author telling him or her how his or her book changed the way you view the world. To whom would you write?

Los Angeles fifth-grader Lara Bagdasarian chose to write to Francisco Jiménez ’66 after reading his stories in The Circuit. The task was part of the Letters About Literature program, an annual national contest held by the California Center for the Book with support from the Library of Congress.

Jiménez is the Fay Boyle Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures. The Circuit, first published in 1997, is a collection of historical fictions based on his experiences growing up as a son of migrant workers.

In young Lara’s letter to Jiménez, she describes how her father came to the United States as an immigrant and how she didn’t understand why he was always so hard on her about schoolwork and learning English. “Your book made me feel a lot better about my dad,” she wrote. “I am now sure that he cares about me and he is just trying to help me become a better person .… The Circuit has helped me understand my dad and realize his good intentions.”

Lara’s letter was selected as a national winner in the contest. As a reward, she received a $500 gift card from Target for herself and, for her local community or school library, a $10,000 grant.

Kellie Quist

Below is Lara's full letter to Professor Jiménez:

Dear Francisco Jiménez,

I used to think my dad was too hard on me. Whatever I did just wasn't good enough for him. I had no idea why he was being so critical of me, so I assumed he just didn't believe in me. After reading your book, The Circuit, I understand my dad better and what he has been trying to tell me.

My dad is an immigrant just like you. He came to the U.S. when he was 14 years old. He spoke broken English, his family had to sleep together in one room, and he had to work to help his family out. He had to earn everything he got.

My dad chastises me about not taking enough initiative to learn another language. He says that when he was a kid he had to learn English on his own. I used to not listen to him, but after I read your book, I started to think about what he said differently. I thought about when you chose to stay in for recess at school everyday to practice English and when, while you were working in the fields, you looked at your notebook and tried to memorize the English words that you didn't know. It must have taken a lot of initiative to do that all by yourself.

My dad also gets upset at me when I start asking for too much. My dad says that one Christmas he was hoping for a soccer ball. He got a tennis ball instead, so he used to pretend his tennis ball was a soccer ball. Your story, "The Christmas Gift," made me feel for the first time what it must be like not to get something that you want so badly that you would do anything for it.

My dad makes me do extra work even after I have done all of my homework. He says working hard is the only way to get far in life. The Circuit describes the importance of hard work much better than my dad described it. When you won a prize for your butterfly drawing, it made you feel like you were bursting out of your cocoon and you were flying away on your wings to become noticed. Before, your classmates had not paid attention to you. My dad told me that when he had just come to the U.S., he won a math prize. Now I understand how he must have felt. I think he is pushing me to work extra hard because he wants me to feel the same way.

Your book made me feel a lot better about my dad. I am now sure that he cares about me and he is just trying to help me become a better person. The Circuit has helped me understand my dad and realize his good intentions. Thank you for sharing your childhood memories with me.

With appreciation,
Lara Bagdasarian

 

Travers tops Tiger on the links

And he garners a glory unequaled in California golf since 1942.

At 6-foot-4, Scott Travers ’11 looms above most other golfers, but as a high school senior he was all but invisible to recruiters, barely getting a sniff from Division I coaches. He came to Santa Clara as a walk-on, knowing that even if he didn’t make the team he’d get a good education.

Four years later, Travers has surely made more than a few coaches at other schools throw their putters in frustration for missing a rising star. In 2009–10, the redshirt junior rebounded after a year lost to mono and turned in one of the greatest seasons ever for an SCU golfer.

Last season he had five top-5 finishes and nine top-10 finishes in his 11 tournaments, leading to an at-large entry into the NCAA Regional Tournament, where he finished 54th. The performances earned him honors as West Coast Conference Player of the Year.

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He chips, he wins: Scott Travers at the 2010 Southern California Amateur, where he took home the cup.
Photo: SCGA

But that was just a prelude to his summer success when he won the California State Amateur Championship in June and then rolled on to victory at the Southern California Golf Association Amateur Championship in July. It was the first time since 1942 that the same man held both titles, and Travers eclipsed a very elite name in the process. His 16-underpar 268 at the Southern California Amateur was the tournament’s lowest score ever, beating a record established in 1994 by none other than Tiger Woods.

In his final season for SCU, Travers, a finance major, is looking for added glory both for the team, which has its sights on making the NCAA regional tournament in June 2011, and for himself. He wants to vie for consideration as the best player in the country before graduating to life as a professional golfer.

Four years ago that would have been laughable. Now it’s a realistic goal. The college coaches who passed on the chance to recruit him didn’t see his focus and passion for improving his game, he says.

“If I’m not playing well, it’s going to make me even that much more driven to work my butt off to start getting better scores,” he says.
Sam Scott ’96


The goalie with the golden gloves

Bianca Henninger ’12 earns global glory

There’s no denying that the U.S. team fell short of expectations in the Under 20 Women’s World Cup last summer. They traveled to Germany in July hoping to raise the trophy and left after losing to Nigeria in the quarterfinals. But the early exit only emphasized how much respect goalkeeper Bianca Henninger ’12 gets from the rest of the world. After giving up just two goals in five matches, Henninger received the vaunted Golden Glove award as the tournament’s best goalkeeper.

Rarely do players who don’t make the semifinals get such distinctions, says SCU Coach Jerry Smith. But then, not every goalie maintains the kind of confidence and focus Henninger does—qualities that have helped establish her as one of the country’s best goalies, despite being only 5 feet 6 inches. In a position that rewards height, Henninger is 3 to 6 inches shorter than most other elite goalies, Smith says, but her ability to read the game makes up for it. She sees problems before they develop.

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Nice save: Bianca Henninger stops a shot against Cal.
Photo: Son Jedlovec

She also has the ability to step up when the spotlight is brightest. In November 2009, Coach Smith tapped Henninger to take the first penalty kick in a shootout against Oklahoma State, which had fought SCU to a 1–1 tie in the second round of the NCAA playoffs. There were good reasons to choose someone else. Henninger had never taken a penalty in a real game before. And if she missed, Smith risked distracting her from her prime duties—saving OSU’s shots. But the longtime coach says he knew from practice that she had deadly aim; even if she whiffed, it would only make her more determined.

She cracked her shot into the upper left corner. Then she got back to her regular job, thwarting two of OSU’s penalties and securing Santa Clara’s victory.

“If you want to talk about the player who is most directly responsible for getting a team to the Sweet 16, start with Santa Clara sophomore keeper Bianca Henninger,” the website ESPN.com soon wrote.

Her play has made her a candidate this season for the Missouri Athletic Club’s Hermann Trophy, the top award for a college soccer player, which is given out in January. The Los Gatos native, who grew up watching SCU soccer and going to Santa Clara soccer camps, is as outstanding in the classroom. As a sophomore at SCU, she was named to the WCC All-Academic Honorable Mention Team. She’s also a third-generation Bronco: Her mother, Marilyn Moreno ’79, uncle Jose H. Moreno Jr. ’83, and grandfather Jose H. Moreno Sr. ’51, J.D. ’51 all attended Santa Clara.
Steven Boyd Saum


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E pluribus Broncos

Basketball’s international reach

They carry the flags of their fathers (and mothers). They hail from around the world, but it’s Bronco red and white that brings them together. Read more about them here.

 

An app with real firepower

The first computer that John Judnich ’13 owned had all the memory capacity of a microwave oven, but for an 8-year-old the price was right: $1 at the local thrift shop. Judnich threw himself into making the ancient machine do his bidding, discovering a thrill in programming that surpassed even his interest in disassembling electronics like VCRs to make robots. With a computer, he had a license to invent that required no hard-to-find parts, just his own imagination.

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Mobility and firepower: Judnich and his tank handiwork
Photo: Charles Barry

A decade later, Judnich’s creativity is available for purchase on your iPhone and iPad. The computer engineering major spent last Christmas break putting final touches on “Tank Battle: Iron Warfare,” a shoot-’em-up video game that turns your phone into a roving tank hunting down enemies over rolling landscapes. The game rolled out this spring; as of September, Judnich says he had sold more than 3,000 games at $1.99 a copy.

Not bad for a freshman, but then Judnich has always been advanced for his years. He got his first programming job at age 11 and was developing games for free downloads just a few years later. Home-schooled in the mountain town of Sonora, Calif., Judnich chose SCU because of the intimacy of the classes.

His academic interests include math and physics, fields that he says dovetail with computer science and the technical areas he wants to explore like neural networks and data compression. Expect more games to come. They’re the perfect environment to explore the intersection of 3-D graphics and artificial intelligence, Judnich says. Among his other projects: the charting of whole planets for a new game, and the game-speed rendering of dense forests with millions of trees, bushes, rocks, and fields awash in individual blades of grass.
Steven Boyd Saum