Fear Fighters

Santa Clara seniors use virtual reality as a means for therapy.

Virtual reality gear is cool for games. But these young innovators show that it can also be used to help people overcome phobias.
For their Senior Design project, Bryce Mariano ’15 and Paul Thurston ’15 put the hardware of virtual reality video games into play in a slightly different way: developing a simulation tool to help people overcome phobias. Trained therapists can use the VR tool that the two students designed for the Oculus Rift to guide patients through a controlled world of exposure to potentially terrifying things, such as heights. As the patient with acrophobia takes in a 360-degree view from atop a building, the therapist can alter the virtual height and the resultant view—backing off or increasing exposure as needed according to the patient’s emotional response. Mariano studied Web design and engineering and minored in studio art, and Thurston studied computer science and engineering. They hope to work in the video game industry.

post-image Photo by iStock
Taking a Seat at Café AI

With the rise of ChatGPT and generative AI on college campuses, SCU faculty reckon with what it means for the future of education.

A Message in the Wind

Every year, SCU faculty and students gather beneath the trees and listen to the teaching of Laudato Si’.

Commence: 2023

As the class of 2023 graduates, speakers urge them to create lives of love that can change the world.

The Gentlewomen of SCU Rugby

Santa Clara’s women’s rugby team has a reputation for bringing brutal competition and being a safe haven.