This academic year has brought some new names (and familiar ones, too) to high profile positions on campus. Here’s your new people primer.
When Monica Augustin took over as registrar on July 17, she didn’t have to implement a new information system as she did at her last three jobs, including her most recent at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, where she was registrar for seven years. However, she did have to learn a new system herself, which she considered a positive aspect of the job. “Coming here is a new experience for me. I love new experiences. It’s all about learning,” she says.
She had about two months to master the system before students arrived for the fall quarter. “With the quarter system, things turn over so rapidly, it’s like Groundhog Day—every 10 weeks, you’re starting over again!” she says with a good-natured laugh.
In her trek up the learning curve, she has already begun thinking of ways to improve things. “My personal goals are to make operations as seamless as possible. To grab other applications that are included in the tool that we’re using, enhance them, and roll them out to the community,” she explains.
She was drawn to SCU because of the strong tech support she felt she would be given in the position, the pleasant co-workers, the beautiful campus, and its proximity to her family in the Oakland area, where she was born.
Although Augustin loves most new experiences, she admits there’s at least one old experience she could do without. “I loathe flying, although I do. I take Amtrak. I’ve taken the California Zephyr six or seven times cross-country to Chicago. Then you pick up the Lakeshore Limited,” she says. “I read on the train. I have a sleeping car. I meet people who are traveling. I love it!”
Simone J. Billings
Assistant to the President
In her many roles both inside and outside the classroom, Simone J. Billings has accumulated a wealth of knowledge and experience that will serve her well in her newest appointment: assistant to President Paul Locatelli, S.J. In addition to matching her interests and abilities, the part-time position also allows her to continue teaching, one of her strongest passions. She currently teaches classes in composition, creative non-fiction, and argumentation and is working on the third edition of The Well-Crafted Argument with her co-author, Fred White.
In her previous 26 years on campus, the English department senior lecturer has held numerous positions in addition to her teaching responsibilities, including faculty senate president, director of academic advising for the College of Arts and Sciences, faculty moderator of the Sigma Tau Delta (the national English honor society), and vice chair of the Athletic Advisory Board, to name a few.
Her primary goal in her new position is to emulate her predecessor, George Giacomini, who held the title for more than two decades. “It’s a daunting prospect, when one knows that George had been doing this for so long. He’s so marvelous,” she says. “I want it still to be seen as the kind of position where people can go if they need something done or if they want some information.”
A word of advice: Don’t look for Billings in either of her offices if you need to find her at 8:00 on a Thursday morning. She’ll most likely be in the gym at the Malley Center, playing a pick-up game of basketball.
Lucia Albino Gilbert
When Lucia Albino Gilbert first read the job description for the position of provost at SCU, she felt that many of the qualities that they were seeking were ones she possessed—things like strong involvement with undergraduate education, leadership skills, attention to the growth of the whole person. But it was the social justice mission of the university that really ignited her interest.
“How to bring about change so that there’s greater justice in the world is very important to me,” says the new provost, who began October 2. Previously, she was Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She also likes the philosophy of “educating people for competence, compassion, and conscience—I just think that’s so important.”
She plans to put all that into action in her new position, but says “my very first job is to really learn the institution in a much deeper way than you can by visiting and reading.” So far, she likes what she sees. “Things at Santa Clara are already wonderful. It’s a fabulous undergraduate institution. It has excellent graduate programs. But I think they’re wanting, as all institutions are, to move to the next step.” What that step is should become apparent as she delves into her new responsibilities, she says.
Although Gilbert has never lived in California, she’s visited often. She hopes to get up to the zinfandel vineyards of the Russian River Valley more frequently than she could while living in Texas.
Richard P. Giacchetti
Associate Vice President for Marketing and Communications
While Rich Giacchetti was serving as AVP for Marketing Communications at Seattle University, he came to have a tremendous respect for the way Santa Clara cares for its students and tackles tough issues directly. The past few years, he’s also learned about the University as a parent: “I’ve been such a fan of Santa Clara that I encouraged my oldest daughter to enroll here,” he says. The result? She’s a member of the SCU class of ’07.
With a marketing background that covers international business as well as higher ed, Giacchetti welcomes the opportunity to bring greater visibility to the University on the national stage, to attract more resources to strengthen programs, and to build on the already high level of pride among alumni. “As a former resident of the Bay Area,” he adds “I was very, very happy to return.”
Coming from an Italian family and having lived in Italy for two years, Giacchetti also acknowledges a passion for cooking and food. A family favorite: spaghetti alla vongole. What was he doing in Italy? Pitching baseball for the Italian national team, of course.
Lester F. Goodchild
Dean of the School of Education, Counseling Psychology, and Pastoral Ministries
Becoming dean of the School of Education, Counseling Psychology, and Pastoral Ministries, says Lester F. Goodchild, was a unique opportunity to merge the educational and ministerial aspects of his life. The professor of education holds a master of divinity from St. Meinrad School of Theology in southern Indiana, and his doctorate in higher education from the University of Chicago. He came to SCU from University of Massachussetts Boston, where he was dean of the Graduate College of Education.
“It’s bringing it all together,” the New York native says. “This is a uniquely distinctive effort here at Santa Clara.”
Though his specific plans for the school will likely evolve over time with the assistance of the faculty and staff, in general he hopes to support new efforts in science and math education, to focus on improving and advancing classroom instruction through technology, and to increase community service activities both in San Jose and Santa Clara.
Central to these efforts, he says, will be SCU alumni. “One of the key things that I’m trying to work on very quickly is greater outreach to alums, to involve them more in the school,” Goodchild says. “We’d like to invite them to campus more to be involved with our current students as mentors, whether in teaching, counseling, or pastoral ministries. So we hope to be holding more activities and involving them much more than in the past.”
Kevin P. Quinn, S.J.
Executive Director of the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education
Kevin P. Quinn, S. J., the new executive director of the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education, jumped right into his new role this fall. His first official week on the job, he joined a delegation of SCU faculty and staff on a Center-sponsored immersion trip to El Salvador. The trip included time at the University of Central America in San Salvador, where the six Jesuits, along with their housekeeper and her daughter, were assassinated in 1989 by the Salvadoran military for speaking out in support of the Salvadoran people and against the government. “It was my first time there, so it was a pilgrimage,” he says.
The native New Yorker looks forward to figuring out what direction he will take the Center. His aim will be “to reflect on what it means to be a Catholic, Jesuit university in the 21st century,” he says, “But I’m just beginning. At this point, it’s a work in progress.”
For the last decade, Quinn taught at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. But he lived in California for ten years, three of them (1989-92) in Swig Hall as a resident minister while finishing his dissertation for his PhD in jurisprudence and social policy at the UC-Berkeley.
He recently moved into Nobili Hall as a Jesuit in residence. “I enjoy being with the students,” he says. “They keep me young!”
John “Jack” Treacy, S.J. ’77
Director of Campus Ministry
After a stint at the foggy Jesuit school just north of Santa Clara, alumnus Jack Treacy, S.J. ’77 returned to his undergraduate stomping grounds this fall as director of Campus Ministry as well as resident minister in Swig Hall, two roles he relishes. AF