Honoring top educators

Recognizing exceptional members of the SCU community for their scholarship, teaching, and leadership in 2011.

Honoring top educators
Ministry, history, chemistry: Left to right, they're Lulu Santana, Fabio López-Lázaro, and Craig Stephens. Photo: Charles Barry


Associate Professor of History Fabio López-Lázaro has produced two important books, five major articles, and numerous other book reviews and conference papers in the past five years, but what’s more remarkable is the 400 years of “common knowledge” that his most recent scholarship overturned. His latest book, The Misfortunes of Alonso Ramírez: The True Adventures of a Spanish American with 17th-Century Pirates (University of Texas, 2011), provides substantial evidence that Latin America’s first novel, The Misfortunes of Alonso Ramírez, is actually a distorted and propaganda-filled account of true events, and not a work of fiction as it’s always been regarded. (Read full review here.) His other research works deal with law, ethnobotany, history, gender, and early modern political theory.


Professor and former chair of the biology department Craig Stephens has profoundly added to the curriculum of the biology department and the University as a whole. He collaborated with other faculty and outside experts to create the Public Health Science Program—a cross-disciplinary program that pushes students to integrate natural and social sciences within the context of Jesuit ideals. Next up was the Biotechnology Program, remodeled and revitalized by bringing together faculty and students from the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering.


Campus minister and director of Faith Formation Lulu Santana is the first staff member to receive this award, and her sterling contributions to students, the University, and Jesuit organizations worldwide explain why. She oversees programs such as the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults and the Confirmation program, working closely with students who wish to celebrate the sacraments of initiation in the Roman Catholic Church. She serves as an inspiring mentor to Latino students, particularly through her involvement with Misa en Español, a Mass that allows native Spanish-speakers the opportunity to pray in their native language. She served briefly as the director of the Casa de la Solidaridad immersion program to El Salvador, a program she keeps close ties with today.

Management and sociology: From left, André Delbecq and Chuck Powers. Photo: Charles Barry
Management and sociology: From left, André Delbecq and Chuck Powers. Photo: Charles Barry

Sustained excellence in scholarship

André Delbecq, a J. Thomas and Kathleen L. McCarthy University Professor and former dean of the Leavey School of Business, received the University’s highest award for scholarly achievement. One of SCU’s most prolific scholars, he has more than 235 publications and has given more than 100 presentations at notable conferences and universities worldwide. His extensive and enduring work in the 20th century was focused primarily on executive decision-making, organizational design, and management in Silicon Valley. The past decade, he has been one of the most influential contributors to the emerging field of spirituality and business leadership. In 1998 he was named director of the Institute for Spirituality of Organization Leadership at SCU. His research led him to create an MBA course, Spirituality and Business Leadership, today taken by students, CEOs, and executives from across the country. In 2002, he was honored as a national leader in bringing contemplative practice to North American universities.

Louis and Dorina Brutocao Award for Teaching Excellence

Sociology department chair Chuck Powers received the University’s highest teaching honor thanks to nominations made by current students and alumni. Noted for being “a teacher for all students,” he inspired one discouraged first-year student who planned to leave the University with a transformative experience in his class. Other nomination letters reflect Powers’ “big-picture” attitude, leading one alumnus to write, “What I really took away was his belief that I should put the privilege of a Santa Clara diploma to work to improve the world.” Powers’ influence has helped the sociology department become one of only five in the country to receive the discipline’s major professional award for distinguished teaching.

President’s special recognition award

President Michael Engh, S.J., honored four scholar-teachers for promoting and exemplifying Santa Clara’s mission of competence, conscience, and compassion.

Susan Parker wears many hats within the Leavey School of Business, but what she is most recognized for is her continued commitment to the excellence of her department and her students. As associate professor of accounting, she receives glowing evaluations from students. As chair of the accounting department, she has sharpened the competitive edge of the curriculum by encouraging colleagues to incorporate the most recent developments in the field. She also recently served as the chair of the MBA Leadership Team.

Longtime professor of Spanish studies and literature Rose Marie Beebe has consistently raised the bar for curricular development within the Department of Modern Languages, as well as scholarly development of her field. She recently created and taught two new translation courses, providing practical applications and opportunities for students to assist in faculty research. Her recent scholarship focuses on making sense of the previously marginalized genre of early women’s writing in California, which culminated in her 2006 book, Testimonios: Early California through the Eyes of Women, 1815–1848—recognized with awards from the California Council for the Promotion of History, the California Mission Studies Association, and the Historical Society of Southern California.

Presidential Recognition: From left, Rosa Marie Beebe, Elsa Chen, Susan Parker, and Beth Van Schaack. Photo: Charles Barry1
Presidential Recognition: From left, Rosa Marie Beebe, Elsa Chen, Susan Parker, and Beth Van Schaack. Photo: Charles Barry

Political Science Professor Elsa Chen oversees the Washington Semester Program, a study-abroad opportunity with American University, and she has dramatically increased student participation. Chen observed that students of color who participated in the programs often returned to Santa Clara transformed: engaged, committed, and more successful academically. Chen tested this general observation with interviews and postgraduation data, then used this evidence to encourage the University to expand the program. Chen also designed and directs the University’s Public Sector Studies Program, which offers firsthand study opportunities of the history, purposes, and functions of government—providing students with experience and training for a career in the public sector.

Law Professor Beth Van Schaack is one of Santa Clara’s tireless advocates for international justice, providing Santa Clara law students with the tools they need to promote and defend human rights at any level. She serves as an advisor and mentor to students involved in the International Law Students Association and the Journal of International Law. She founded and co-directs the Institute of Redress and Recovery, which provides resources for cases involving the commission of grave international crimes. She is also thoroughly engaged in the international community of human rights and international justice lawyers, serving as an advisor to both the Center for Justice and Accountability and the U.S. Department of State. Her contributions to the field of international criminal and humanitarian law can also be seen in her ongoing scholarly work, including six books and more than 20 articles.

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A Plan For Tomorrow

Santa Clara President Julie Sullivan unveils a new strategic plan, Impact 2030, with a focus on increasing access and opportunity, and, of course, SCU’s Jesuit values and Silicon Valley location.