Anchored in the Liberal Arts

Smaller, faster, better: A lifetime of work that helps make modern technology possible earns an SCU alumni top engineering honors.

“When I talk about Santa Clara, I always say that I got a very good engineering education but equally important to me was the liberal arts education I received,” says Hemant Thapar ’73, M.S. ’75.

He is also part of the 2019 class elected to the National Academy of Engineering, one of the highest honors in the field.

The Academy recognized Thapar’s lifelong work making the storage of digital information more efficient and its retrieval more accurate—ideas and technology that accelerated the speed of innovation, creating the ever smaller drives that made the first iPod possible, for example.

The ideas and mentors who shaped Thapar’s experience at Santa Clara act as an anchor for his career.

“You look up to some people who are accomplished, who have a certain discipline. You see how they approach problems and treat people around them.”

In engineering, one of his mentors was Professor Tim Healy—who saw Thapar return to SCU as a lecturer for more than a decade and join the advisory board for the School of Engineering, and saw Thapar’s daughter Pooja Thapar ’14 graduate.

Thapar and his wife, Suniti Thapar, have also become supporters of the next generation of students.

post-image Photo by Chad Riley
Kind of a Big Dill

This pickleball prodigy’s journey from finance to the courts is a power play.

New Tech, New Storytelling Tricks

In his latest book, educator Michael Hernandez ’93 explores alternative ways to teach by embracing digital storytelling.

From the Law to the Page

S. Isabel Choi J.D. ’02 planned on becoming a judge. Now she’s an author with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Cinematic Sisters

While sisters Malarie ’14 and Nia Howard ’15 always knew they’d be writers, Santa Clara’s communications department helped them discover their medium.