Applications set record
Facts and figures show the faces of SCU
For the first time in school history, SCU received more than 7,000 applications (7,649 to be exact). That was an increase of nearly 1,300 from the previous year. “The last increase we saw that would be even close to that was from ’96 to ’97, when applications went from 5,000 to 5,800,” Kevin Lum Lung, associate dean of undergraduate admissions at SCU, told the Los Angeles Times.
Nearly 4,400 of the applicants were accepted and approximately 1,200 students enrolled at Santa Clara, which has a total of 8,213 students enrolled this year. This year’s freshmen—The Class of 2008—had a average high school grade point average of 3.59 and 72 percent finished in the top 25 percent of their high school class. The average SAT verbal score for the freshman class was 614 and the average math score was 593.
More than half of the freshmen are Catholic and nearly 20 percent have alumni ties to the University. Ninety percent live in residence halls.
More than six in 10 students are from California and the student body comes from 35 states and 11 countries.
SCU’s Alumni Office reports that there are nearly 69,000 Santa Clara alumni spread across all 50 states and 90 countries. Nearly 70 percent of alumni live in California and more than half of all alumni live in the Bay Area.
For more information about SCU, see www.scu.edu/about .
Professors earn recognition
SCU Chemistry Professor Michael Carrasco received the Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award for 2004. He was one of nine recipients chosen by the board of directors of the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, which is dedicated to the advancement of the chemical sciences. Carrasco works with SCU chemistry majors to study the effects of attached molecules on peptide structure and function. Their research could eventually aid in the discovery of simple derivatives to be added to protein pharmaceuticals to better control the digestion or activation of a drug.
Mathematics Professor Gerald Alexanderson is this year’s winner of the Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching in Mathematics. Alexanderson is the third SCU faculty member to win the award, following Paul Halmos in 1994 and Leonard Klosinski in 2001. Alexanderson has taught at SCU since 1958 and was chair of the Department of Mathematics for 35 years. He has been president of the Mathematical Association of America, chairman of the board of the American Institute of Mathematics, and has written 14 books and more than 100 articles.
Francisco Jiménez, professor of modern languages and literatures at SCU, will be featured in an April Public Broadcasting Service program on multicultural literature. The program will also be available on the Web as an aide for teachers who discuss Jiménez’ book, The Circuit, in class. Jiménez, an award-winning author, in 2002 was one of four college professors named a U.S. Professor of the Year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. An excerpt from his book, Breaking Through, was featured in the summer 2003 issue of Santa Clara Magazine.
SCU joins tsunami relief effort
Through late January, more than $133,000 had been raised at SCU to augment relief efforts in the wake of the Dec. 26 tsunami in Asia.
In an e-mail address to campus, SCU President Paul Locatelli, S.J. praised the campus for its “generous response to the call to donate money for tsunami relief efforts. The results have exceeded all expectations.”
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Left to Right: Phil Kesten, Dane Skilbred , Audrey Kyu, Fr. Locatelli, BillGreenwalt.
Gifts included $20,000 from the Jesuit community, $10,000 from the President’s Fund, and nearly $10,000 from Sunday collections at Masses in the Mission Church.
“The bulk of the funds, more than $90,000, has come from the individual contributions of faculty, staff, students, trustees, and regents,” Locatelli said.
From the donated money, the University sent $20,000 each to Catholic Relief Services and the Jesuit Provincial of Sri Lanka. The balance of the money was sent to Jesuit Refugee Services “because they were already on the ground in two of the hardest hit areas—Sri Lanka and the Aceh province in northern Sumatra,” Locatelli said. “They know the needs first-hand and are poised to effectively fund relief services, especially for the thousands of displaced people in the devastated areas.”
Also, the School of Law teamed with the law firm Tilleke & Gibbins International to adopt a Muslim fishing village in Ranong Province, north of Phuket. Donations will go toward rebuilding homes, purchasing new fishing boats, and reconstructing and rehabilitating the village, where more than 40 people died as a result of the tsunami.
A school bus becomes a mobile computer lab
Santa Clara alumni Ross Dykes ’99 and Arsen Ovanessoff ’02 decided there had to be an easier way to bring computers to school kids. In the past, on-site maintenance problems had cropped up after they’d donated machines to a local school.
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(From L to R) Senior Diane Tiu, Ross Dykes of SCU’s Information Technology Department, Associate Professor Manoochehr Ghiassi, and President Paul Locatelli, S.J., inside the Mobile Computer Lab.
So they bought a used school bus on eBay for $2,500. With an additional $15,000 from SCU and support from the Operations and Management Information Systems (OMIS) Department, Dykes, Ovanessoff, and their friends refurbished the bus by adding 10 computers, desks, and chairs to turn the vehicle into a rolling classroom. Now the computers can be maintained on campus, and the University can offer drive-up community service.
The bus was blessed at a ceremony on campus in December, and has been given the official name of the SCU-OMIS Mobile Computer Lab.
When the red and white vehicle arrives at Cory Elementary School in San Jose, students from seven kindergarten classes eagerly hop on board for beginning lessons in computer operations. With the help of SCU student volunteers, the elementary students learn how to use the computers and they read books about software. Future stops are planned for other schools in Santa Clara and San Jose.
“We love having [SCU] bring the bus over,” says Cory kindergarten teacher Sue Oreglia. “The kids feel special, they love going to the bus, and it really gets them turned on to technology.”
The bus is driven by a member of the University’s maintenance department and staffed by volunteers organized by the OMIS Student Network, a campus club.
Dykes, who works on campus in the information technology department handling student tech support, got the idea for the lab after reading about a similar bus transformation done by IBM. The SCU bus had previously been used to transport school children in Maryland, so Dykes and Ovanessoff flew to Baltimore and picked it up after the purchase.
Back in Santa Clara, Dykes asked his former college roommates to pitch in and help renovate the bus. On weekends, former engineering students Lance Beddawi ’00, William Green ’00, and others pitched in. A generator was added as a power supply, the bus was painted, and carpet was installed on the floor and interior walls.
Manoochehr Ghiassi, associate professor and department chair of OMIS, says he’s excited about the project.
“Using technology fits right in with the mission of our department,” he says. “It gives SCU a way to reach out and provide something that Santa Clara is good at, which is to provide educational services. It also gives our students the opportunity to volunteer for a tangible project.”
Ten SCU students are currently involved and more will be sought as volunteers.