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Santa Clara Mag Blog

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

  •  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

  •  Flashback Friday: Sultan of Swat at SCU

    Friday, Nov. 5, 2010
    The legendary Sultan of Swat pays a visit to the then University of Santa Clara.

    In 1931, legendary slugger Babe Ruth visits the University of Santa Clara. Here the Sultan of Swat poses with Guido Joseph Simoni ’30 in the SC sweater. That season the Bambino hit .373 and slugged 46 home runs.

    Babe Ruth visits the then University of Santa Clara


    Liz Carney '11, editorial intern, Santa Clara Magazine

  •  Everything Everywhere: A postcard from Kyiv...and Kharkiv

    Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2010
    A retrospective analysis of modern Ukraine from Steven Saum's recent visit to Kyiv and Kharkiv.

    Statue of the Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko

    It’s a between time in Ukraine—a country whose name itself means Borderland. Traveling here at the beginning of November, one has the sense of things being on edge once again; there’s not a sense of nervousness exactly, but more a sense of things slipping from golden autumn into gray winter, a time to hunker down. The days are still warm but they are short and there are still weeks that will grow shorter.

    It’s a time I know well. I spent a few years in the 1990s in this country, teaching at a university in western Ukraine as a Peace Corps volunteer and then directing the Fulbright program and other academic exchanges for the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv. In Ukrainian, the name of this month is Listopad, which translates as leaves fall. Indeed they do. Sometimes hope does, too.

    Across the country (except for in Kyiv, which held them two years ago), local elections were held on October 31. The result? The ruling Party of Regions, headed by President Viktor Yanukovych, seems to have consolidated power further. That wasn’t a great surprise. Is it a good thing? As in much of politics, that depends on where you stand.

    Yanokovych was the candidate defeated in the Orange Revolution six years ago. I came back to Ukraine for the first time in nearly a decade to serve as an election observer during that tumultuous time. A feeling of optimism swept much of the country like a tidal wave.

    (Full disclosure re. my revolutionary sympathies: Sashko Polozhynsky, a Ukrainian student I knew from my days a Peace Corps volunteer, had since become a major pop star, fronting the Ukrainian band Tartak. They headlined the victory concert in Independence Square the night after the election in 2004 when the Orange coalition of Viktor Yushchenko and Yulia Tymoshenko triumphed. Like Sashko, I was rooting for the orange wave of change. So was another former student of mine, Roman, but even before the election, he sagely quoted to me a Ukrainian proverb: “We wanted better, but it turned out the way it always does.” Indeed it did.)

    The Orange coalition floundered far sooner than it should have. Blame infighting and corruption, in part. The once-vanquished Yanukovych was elected president in February. He’s promised stability and now, after Sunday’s election, further economic reform. This cheers the folks at the Wall Street Journal, who await a wave of massive liberalization. I’m more of a skeptic. I recall vividly that, back in 1994, the newly-elected Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma warmed the hearts of folks in Europe and the U.S. by talking the talk of economic reform. What Ukraine got instead was entrenched corruption, a blurring of the line where organized crime ended and government began, and a journalist’s headless body found in the woods.

    It helps to remember at times like this that the national anthem of this country is “Ukraine Is Not Dead Yet.” As I write this, I’m in an apartment on Lenin Avenue in Kharkiv, in eastern Ukraine. I spent the day with doctors at an orphanage, Baby House No. 1, which some faculty and graduates of Santa Clara have worked with in recent years on a number of projects regarding the care of orphans and children with special needs. It’s heartbreaking, soul-stirring work. And as in politics, there is much reform needed in medicine here.

    Kharkiv boasts the largest plaza in Europe, with a statue of Lenin, arm outstretched, commanding the center. Nearby is another square, with another statue, this one of the Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko. At the statues feet are figures emblematic of the oppressed peoples of Ukraine. Those are some of their faces in the photograph above. There’s no mistaking the fierce dignity.

    This weekend brings the 113th anniversary of the Great October Revolution, but that’s no longer a holiday in Ukraine. Halloween wasn’t a holiday, either, but in Kiev that didn’t stop throngs of teenagers from roaming the main boulevard, Khreschatik, some wearing little red horns and face paint.

    Steven Boyd Saum, Editor, Santa Clara Magazine





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