Honoring teaching and scholarship

SCU commends faculty for their excellence.

The University welcomed new faculty to the community and celebrated the achievements of its finest teaching scholars at the Faculty Recognition Dinner in September.

The Brutocao Award for Teaching Excellence

Eileen Elrod
Eileen Elrod
Photo: Charles

Associate Professor of English Eileen Elrod was honored with the Louis and Dorina Brutocao Award for Teaching Excellence, Santa Clara’s most esteemed accolade for teaching—and one for which alumni and students nominate candidates. The win reflects Elrod’s commitment to work in the classroom where she creates an environment, as one grad noted, “for students to take risks, ask questions, voice opinions, and thus work to their highest capacity.” How does that affect students after they graduate? “She gave me different lenses to view the world,” says Jill Yamasawa ’03, now in the graduate English program at the University of Hawaii.

“It’s a privilege to do what I do,” Elrod says, “and to do it here, in the company of so many extraordinary colleagues and wonderful students.”

This February saw publication of Elrod’s most recent book, Piety and Dissent: Race, Gender, and Biblical Rhetoric in Early American Autobiography (University of Massachusetts Press). The book meticulously explores the religious autobiographies of six early Americans and grapples with issues of racism and domestic abuse.

At SCU since 1992, Elrod teaches courses on gender studies, multicultural literature, religion and literature, and U.S. literature up to 1900. She has also been a contributor to the academic plan for the Bridge/LEAD program, which assists students of color and first-generation college students attending Santa Clara.

Award for Sustained Excellence Scholarship

Nam Ling
Nam Ling
Photo: Charles

Professor Nam Ling joined the Santa Clara computer engineering faculty in 1989 and has established himself as an internationally recognized authority in the area of video coding and emerging technologies for the transmission of digital video over the Internet and wireless networks. He has an extraordinary record of 130 research publications, many of them in top-tier refereed journals and conference proceedings.

The University Award for Sustained Excellence in Scholarship is SCU’s most prestigious honor for scholarly or creative work and is presented to someone who has been a member of the faculty of Santa Clara University for a minimum of 10 years. SCU faculty submit recommendations of colleagues who have shown exceptional dedication to their research field.

In addition to his teaching and research duties, Ling serves as associate dean of research and faculty development for the engineering school. He is the chief author of Specification and Verification of Systolic Arrays, and a consulting professor and honorary advisor to the National University in Singapore.

Award for Recent Achievement in Scholarship

Sanjiv Das
Sanjiv Das
Photo: Charles

In the past decade, Sanjiv Das has become a leading international scholar in the field of finance, applying sophisticated mathematical modeling and statistical analysis to understanding financial markets and investment behavior. He came to SCU’s Leavey School of Business in 2000, after holding positions at Harvard and UC Berkeley. His research appears in the very top journals in his field. He also serves as an editor or on the editorial board of some 10 scholarly journals.

Currently serving as chair of the Department of Finance, Das has also repeatedly been recognized as one of the business school’s best and most challenging teachers. That may have something to do with his philosophy of education: You’re never finished with it. Or, as he puts it (borrowing from the Eagles), “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”

The Award for Recent Achievement in Scholarship recognizes a tenured faculty member or senior lecturer whose scholarly or creative work over the previous five years at Santa Clara University represents a major contribution to a field of knowledge or to the arts.

President’s Special Recognition Award

This year’s President’s Special Recognition Award was presented to a group of seven faculty members who played a key leadership role in developing the new Core Curriculum. “They worked diligently and patiently,” Locatelli said, “to reconcile deeply held and sometimes conflicting views; they melded these views into a revision of our Core Curriculum with a common mission, a comprehensive set of learning goals, and a creative structure of requirements.”

Michael Kevane, chaired the committee until leaving for Burkina Faso on a planned research trip last January. He teaches courses on African Economic Development, the Economics of Emerging Markets, International Economics, and has taught the Environmental Studies Capstone course. He conducts research on economic institutions and growth in poor countries, focusing on Africa. His research focuses on the importance of libraries in promoting reading, and the impacts on societies of a reading public. He has also served as President of the Sudan Studies Association, and President of Friends of African Village Libraries, a non-profit he co-founded in 2001.

Chad Raphael, associate professor of communication, assumed the chairmanship of the Core Revision Committee in January 2007. He teaches courses on new media technologies, mass communication, media law and ethics, the news media and politics, and environmental communication. His research interests include investigative reporting, public deliberation, and the use of new media for civic engagement. His book Investigated Reporting: Muckrakers, Regulators and the Struggle Over Television Documentary won three “best book” awards in the fields of media history, media policy and ethics, and research on journalism and mass communication.

Juliana Chang, associate professor of English, came to SCU in 2001 after teaching previously at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and at Boston College. She teaches courses on Asian American women, Asian American literature, American literature, and poetry. Her journal articles, and her current book project, focus on Asian-American literature, psychoanalysis, and critical race studies. She served as Director of Ethnic Studies from 2005 to 2007.

Paul Crowley, S.J., professor of religious studies, was founding director of the interdisciplinary Catholic studies minor. He is currently the chair of the department of religious studies. Specializing in topics of systematic theology, his research interests include the theology of Karl Rahner, hermeneutics and ecclesiology, theologies of suffering and sexuality, religious pluralism, and the nature and methods of theology.

Leilani Miller, associate professor of biology, has been a member of the faculty since 1994 and teaches courses in molecular and cell biology, genetics, and ethical issues in biotechnology and genetics. The latter course was an innovative interdisciplinary course team taught with Margaret McLean from the department of religious studies and the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. The long-term objective of her research is to contribute to our understanding of how different cell fates are specified during development.

Michael Zampelli, S.J., associate professor in the theatre and dance department, teaches courses in performance and culture, gender and performance, and theatre history His research has focused on the evolution of the professional actress and on the 17th-century commedia dell’arte in relationship to religious anti-theatrical prejudices.

Aleksandar I. Zecevic, professor of electrical engineering and associate dean for graduate studies, has been teaching at Santa Clara University since 1994. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the area of electric circuits and control, and has also developed an interdisciplinary course on science and religion entitled “Chaos Theory, Metamathematics and the Limits of Knowledge: A Scientific Perspective on Religion.” His technical research has focused on robust control and computation of large scale systems. Zecevic has published more than 30 journal papers in these fields and is a Senior Member of the IEEE.

Also recognized were 16 members of the SCU faculty who are celebrating 25 years of service at the University: Professor of Education Ruth Cook; Professor of Sociology Alma Garcia; Professor of Economics Alexander Field; Professor of English Richard Osberg; Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science Dennis Smolarski, S.J.; Professor of Art and Art History Kelly Detweiler; Professor Operations and Management Information Systems Charles Feinstein; Professor of Counseling Psychology Dale Larson; Senior Lecturer in Mathematics and Computer Science Peter Ross; Professor of Counseling Psychology Jerrold Shapiro; Associate Professor of English Phyllis Brown; Professor of Classics William Greenwalt; Senior Lecturer in English Claudia McIsaac; Senior Lecturer in English Susan Frisbie; Associate Professor of Accounting Neal Ushman; and Professor of Operations and Management Information Systems Stephen Smith.

– AKG and SBS

post-image Eileen Elrod Photo: Charles Barry
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