Santa Clara University


Santa Clara Mag Blog

Santa Clara Magazine's blog, updated whenever the writing goblin visits the editorial staff of the magazine.

  •  Solar Update: Chromasun gets a boost from the Land Down Under

    Friday, Dec. 17, 2010
    The Micro-Concentrator developed for the Ripple House is now slated to produce heat, cooling, and electricity.
    The rooftop solar collector for the Ripple HouseIn the Winter 2010 SCM we reported on the new rooftop solar collector that was installed on the Ripple House. As that story noted, the new Micro-Concentrator (MCT) is a first-of-its-kind unit that supplies heating, hot water, and air condition.
    What would make Chromasun’s MCT even better -- the cleantech equivalent of a five-tool, can’t-miss outfield prospect? Give it the ability to produce electricity.
    Indeed, within days of the winter issue of SCM going to press, Chromasun announced it and a few partners had been awarded a $3.2 million applied research grant from the Australian Solar Institute (ASI) to do just that.
    Chromasun, the Australian National University, the University of New South Wales, and the Commonwealth Scientific Research Organisation will use the grant to develop a next-generation unit, the MCT Hybrid HT, capable of delivering high-temperature solar thermal heat and solar electricity.
    The high temperatures required to cost-effectively deliver solar cooling and industrial process heat (above 150 degrees Celsius) exceed the optimal operating temperature for typical electricity-generating photovoltaic cells. But Chromasun’s solution would use “spectral splitting to thermally decouple the photovoltaic cells from the 150 degrees Celsius circulating fluid,” according to a statement. 
    "This new research and resulting module will be disruptive because it will deliver high-grade heat yet allow the photovoltaic cells to operate at a cooler and more efficient temperature," says CEO Peter Le Lievre.
    The ASI grant will cover three years of research, with field trials expected in 2012-13. 
    In addition to the Ripple House installation, Chromasun is also building larger showcase projects, says Le Lievre.
    Test installations are in the works for the East Coast of the United States, Abu Dhabi, Germany, and India. In 2011, Chromasun will make the MCT publicly available through a network of HVAC specialists.
    Justin Gerdes
  •  A void unfilled: Alejandro Garcia-Rivera (1951-2010)

    Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2010
    A tribute to Alejandro Garcia-Rivera, faculty member at the Jesuit School of Theology, who passed away on Dec. 13.

    Alejandro García-Rivera, faculty member at the Jesuit School of Theology, passed away on Dec. 13 after a long illness.

    He inspired many to think freely, inquire uninhibitedly, and believe wholly. Originally from Cuba, his life path took many twists and turns – from a Boeing engineer trained in physics, to Lutheran minister and social activist, to esteemed scholar and author who embraced the Jesuit way of life.

    García-Rivera joined the faculty of the Jesuit School of Theology in 1993 as a professor of systematic theology. His scholarship as a theologian bridged the disciplines of science and religion.

    “I believe wholeheartedly that we must begin to see the interconnectedness of the world, to grasp its complexity, even if our intellectual traditions have conditioned us to seek a different type of grasping,” he said.

    Alejandro Garcia-Rivera, pictured with his wife Kathy, receives the President’s Special Recognition Award from Fr. Michael Engh

    He often used the term “interlacing,” which he described as the artful weaving of various perspectives across disciplines to gain an insight greater than any of its components. “Everything is interconnected, and I believe God gave me such a broad journey in life so I could see the connections,” he said.

    García-Rivera was one of the founders of a joint JST-SCU colloquium on science, art, and religion with colleagues from JST, the SCU School of Engineering, and the SCU College of Arts and Sciences.

    Earlier this year, García-Rivera received the GTU’s highest honor presented to a teacher, the Sarlo Excellence in Teaching Award, as well as a President’s Special Recognition Award at Santa Clara.

    He was also one of the most important voices in the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States. Beloved as a teacher at the JST’s Instituto Hispano summer training institute for Hispanic ministry, he dedicated much of his life to supporting marginal communities.

    García-Rivera always started a course he taught in Theology and Human Suffering by saying, “It’s hard to teach a class where everybody’s an expert…because who hasn’t suffered?” For García-Rivera, however, suffering wasn’t all about gloom, unpleasantness, and pain.

    He saw beauty in suffering. Because if you can’t see that, he said, “there’s just one alternative left … and that’s despair.”

    Here is one of García-Rivera’s favorite poems, written by Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.

    Pied Beauty

    Glory be to God for dappled things—

    For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;

    For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;

    Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;

    Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;

    And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

    All things counter, original, spare, strange;

    Whatever is fickle, freckled, (who knows how?)

    With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;

    He fathers-forth whose Beauty is past change:

    Praise Him.

    Photo caption: Alejandro Garcia-Rivera, pictured with his wife Kathy, receives the President’s Special Recognition Award from Fr. Michael Engh, president of Santa Clara University.


    Mansi Bhatia, University Writer/Editor

  •  Wordless Wednesday: Make Way for the Groom!

    Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010
    Two Santa Clara alumni tie the knot, with an elephant-led wedding procession being the highlight of the celebratory weekend.

    An 8,000 pound elephant. One couple. Two memorable weddings. And a city that came to a standstill.

    Read all about this showstopping celebration in the winter edition of Santa Clara Magazine.


    Mansi Bhatia, University Writer/Editor

  •  Flashback Friday: Victory is ours (1992 edition)

    Friday, Dec. 3, 2010

    In a special soccer moment 18 years ago, Cameron Rast '92 and Alberto Cruz '94 celebrate their quadruple overtime victory over Stanford -- which advanced the team to the second round of NCAA playoffs. (Photo by Randall C. Fox '93, courtesy The Redwood.)

    Cam Rast had another stellar season this year -- racking up his 100th win as coach of the SCU men's soccer team. The team went unbeaten in 13 out of 14 games, and they won the West Coast Conference (WCC) title with a record of 7-1-4 in conference play. Rast was honored with WCC Coach of the Year accolades -- his fourth time, for those keeping count.

    As a sophomore at SCU, Rast was part of the unbeatable team that went on the win the NCAA championship. Read that story here.

    Liz Carney '11, editorial intern, Santa Clara Magazine 

  •  How would you like your eggs?

    Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010
    Providing food for the trolls: SCM's know-how related to food safety.

    Saving Bounty







    On Nov. 30 the U.S. Senate passed the most sweeping food safety legislation since the Great Depression. It’ll be interesting to see whether House and Senate bills are reconciled and legislation actually makes it through.

    We know from tracking online readership that current headlines will send folks trolling through the SCM archives, so here’s a suggestion for the trollers: Last year we kicked off the redesigned Santa Clara Magazine in summer 2009 with an issue on food — including an exploration of food safety in “Saving bounty,” which looks at some of the successes and failures in the food safety system.

    One of the voices you’ll hear there is that of Drew Starbird ’84, an expert on food safety and now dean of the Leavey School of Business. (Starbird is also involved in tackling hunger in communities in the Bay Area; another feature in that summer ’09 issue offers ideas for solving hunger in our lifetime.)

    The legislation that is (or isn’t) working its way through Congress does not address, however, the alphabet soup of agencies that remain responsible for ensuring food safety. For our piece on food safety, writer John Deever offered a primer on the agencies and their acronyms and who’s in charge of what.

  •  What is missing in our leadership?

    Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2010
    Adolf Nicolas, S.J., the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, talked at about the Jesuit philosophy of leadership at the Shaping the Future conference in Mexico City earlier this year.

    “What is missing in our leadership?”
    That was one of the questions posed by Adolf Nicolás, S.J., the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, at the Shaping the Future conference in Mexico City earlier this year. One of the presenters at the conference Chris Lowney, author of Heroic Leadership: Best Practices from a 450-Year-Old Company that Changed the World, and now the president of the Jesuit Commons. In assessing some of the challenges facing the Society, Fr. Nicolás shared a story from the Philippines when he and Lowney both delivered talks in Manila. “After Lowney’s brilliant presentation of how good we are in leadership,” Fr. Nicolás said, “a Jesuit asked: ‘Can you tell us also something about what is missing in our leadership?’ Lowney very kindly went around the question. But the Jesuit insisted, ‘Tell us what is missing, because we need to know that also, not only what is good.’
    “Lowney said, ‘Well, since you ask, what is missing sometimes in Jesuit leadership are two things. One is a sense of urgency. And second is the ability and the willingness to go through evaluations and measure those evaluations.’
    “A confirmation of that,” Fr. Nicolás said, “is that I receive many proposals for projects in Rome, and very seldom do they come with a budget. Jesuits are very good at thinking. They want to do things. They are very generous. But the challenge is to be realistic and to be able to follow up our work with some form of measurement—which is not mechanical measuring. It’s always human and often spiritual fruits that we have to measure.
    “Whether our students are being transformed—this also has to be evaluated. How do they perform later? Not only if they keep praising the Jesuits, but do they collaborate when we get involved with faith and justice? Do they collaborate when some of the issues in which we are involved bring conflict with the government, when this might bring some weakening in the profits they make in the companies?”
    All that is just one of the asides in Nicolás’ talk, featured in the Winter 2010 issue of SCM. An edited version of the speech appears in the print edition, with more available online—including a downloadable PDF that contains the speech, sidebars, and more.


    Read more about the Jesuit Commons
    Read the full Shaping the Future story

    Steven Boyd Saum

    Editor, Santa Clara Magazine

  •  Winter SCM Update: Near the summit

    Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2010
    The winter SCM is on its way next week - with a stunning image of Mt. Everest on the cover.

     Megan Delehanty on her way to the Mt. Everest summit

    Putting together a 48-page magazine isn’t something that happens overnight. As for the actual printing, that’s another matter. It in fact can happen pretty much overnight. 

    Twelve hours on the presses in Portland, Ore. (where we have our lovely SCM printed four times a year: winter, spring, summer, fall) and the ink-onto-paper part of the marvelous project is complete. Then comes the trimming and binding and addressing and getting more than 80,000 copies of the mag in the mail to the alumni and friends of Santa Clara.

    There are a few folks who have a hand in every page of SCM. Yours truly is one of them; another is Linda Degastaldi-Ortiz, our creative director, who is just coming up on her fourth anniversary in that capacity. (Before that, she was at San Jose’s Tech Museum of Innovation.) She had the pleasure of accompanying our designer, Jane Hambleton, on the press check this time around. And they had the pleasure of press checks throughout one long night. Because, of course, presses run pretty much around the clock.

    All this means you can expect to see the winter SCM in your mailbox as early as Nov. 30. Keep an eye out for the gorgeous wraparound cover featuring clouds, mountains, sun, and sky — and alumna Megan Delehanty MBA ’90 and an intrepid band of mountaineers scaling the highest peak on this planet: blessed Mt. Everest itself. 

    Steven Boyd Saum
    Editor, Santa Clara Magazine



  •  Wordless Wednesday: Connecting two worlds

    Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010
    The Cloister doorway in St. Joseph's Hall.

    St. Joseph's "Cloister" doorway


    The Cloister doorway on the first floor of St. Joseph’s Hall. It opens to the stairway leading to the second floor, reminding those passing through it of St. Joseph’s original use as a Jesuit residence.
    Jon Teel '12, editorial intern, Santa Clara Magazine


  •  Everything Everywhere: A Postcard from Lucknow, India

    Monday, Nov. 15, 2010
    University Writer/Editor Mansi Bhatia visits her hometown and discovers that, despite traffic jams of epic proportions, it's possible to find calm amid chaos -- and keep moving.

    For the first time in two weeks I am able to comfortably lounge in the backseat of my dad's Honda Civic. Cyclists appear from nowhere, but I don’t shriek, “Watch out, you'll hit him!” I do not curse the motorcyclists. I turn a blind eye toward the rickshaws. Cars drive so close alongside ours that I can roll down my window and touch them without having to ever so slightly stretch my arm. None of this makes my heart pound with terror.

    A glimpse of traffic in India

    It’s taken awhile, but I have learned how to navigate the streets of my hometown again, though they’re not at all the same streets I once plied on my scooter or drove in my mother’s car. The Lucknow I knew no longer exists. In eight years, this peaceful Nawabi town has become a metro-wannabe bursting at its seams. It's only a matter of time before it explodes.
    In the meantime, the “relax, this is India” attitude has rubbed on me. The roads may have come to a standstill, but life goes on. Though perhaps not as expected.
    Yesterday we were stuck in a traffic jam for an hour, though I weathered the experience without cringing. I made light of the fact that we headed out at 4 p.m. and were back home at 5:30 p.m. without having reached the store we were headed to. The hour and a half in between was spent stuck in a jam on a side road (ironically, we avoided the main thoroughfare for fear of being stuck in a jam), taking a U-turn after three failed attempts, getting stuck in another jam, using an alternate and much longer route to return home (owing to a third traffic jam on the main road), getting stuck in a Saturday bazaar on the street when taking a U-turn again, and lots and lots of high-pitched arguments between drivers and street vendors.
    On another shopping expedition last evening (yes, we are resilient), I was almost spat on, my posterior was attacked by a cow's snout, and my arm was swatted by another cow's tail. On foot, I had to push my shoulders past fellow pedestrians in an attempt to keep up with my parents -- who, somehow, sashayed effortlessly through the traffic jam, avoiding vehicles, people, and cow dung.
    While everyone continues to acknowledge, and be aggravated by, the traffic issues, it doesn't stop them from adding to the street chaos. And whether people buy cars out of necessity or as a status symbol, more and more are being added to Lucknow's streets every day.
    The result: With 10 lakh registered vehicles on the roads (one lakh is equal to 10,000, so that means 1 million cars) and 200 more being added every day; with 300 traffic personnel on the streets instead of the required 6,000; with an average of two vehicles per home in multi-storeyed apartment complexes mushrooming throughout the city; with roads being dug everywhere and street side parking constricting already narrow roads; with cyclists, pedestrians, and animals waltzing willy nilly on the streets; with everyone wanting to squeeze in their foot, hoof, or vehicle into any spot they can, the streets in Lucknow city are sheer anarchy.
    Bicyclists weave in and out of traffic in Lucknow
    According to an August 2010 report in India Today: “Compared to the mollusc, our cities have super speed records -- Bangalore's peak traffic speed is 18 kmph, while Delhi's and Mumbai's are 16 kmph. Indian thoroughfares host over 48 modes of transport, with 40 per cent of commercial vehicles plying illegally. Forty-one percent of streets are taken up by parking. Most Indians drive 10 km on an average daily; one in four spending over 90 minutes every day; 32 percent of the country's vehicles move on urban roads. India has 50 million two-wheelers and rising. Despite this, national car sales have grown by 38 percent; 2009–10 was the pinnacle with 1.95 million cars sold. The cheapest car in India is about 12 times the annual per capita income of a citizen, while in the U.S. it is about one-third the average income. Urban India's love affair with the automobile is scandalous: the country's five mega metros have over 40 lakh cars out of a total vehicular population of 10 crore” -- that’s 100 million – “its auto market growing by 26 percent last year. India is paralysed by its traffic."

    I couldn’t agree more. And yet, when the chaotic movement froze and we found ourselves stopped dead on the road, my parents' remained relatively calm. The car's engine was turned off, their necks were craned, they talked about daily hassles like these in subdued tones. As soon as the rickshaw in front moved half a foot, they got excited at the prospect of reaching their destination.


    Mansi Bhatia, University Writer/Editor

  •  Wordless Wednesday: Tattoo Woman Returns

    Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2010
    An extraordinary exhibit documenting California's cultural heritage opens at the de Saisset.

    A print of Lyn Risling's "Tattoo Woman Returns" 

    One of the dazzling pieces in the exhibit now showing at SCU's de Saisset Museum, "Sing Me Your Story, Dance Me Your Home: Art and Poetry from Native California." The show opened with an evening of performance and storytelling in early October, and it runs through Dec. 5. Above: Lyn Risling's Asiktavanthúkirar Tu’ ípak, Tattoo Woman Returns, 2003, giclee print, 36 x 28 inches.


    Lindsey Nguyen '13, editorial intern, SCU Stories

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