Honoring top educators

A few of the stellar SCU faculty recognized in 2012 for their scholarship, teaching, and leadership.

Honoring top educators
Engineering, law, and entrepreneurship: Terry Shoup, Lynette Parker, and Dan Aguiar. Photo by Charles Barry


Lisa Kealhofer, a professor in the anthropology department and the environmental studies and sciences department, has earned well-deserved recognition as an expert in the archaeology of Southeast Asia and Turkey. She studies microscopic archaeological remains and then links them to the big questions of how cultures develop and decline. Her research has influenced the questions asked in her field—and the methodologies used to provide answers. She has been awarded numerous grants from the National Science Foundation, the Australian Research Council, and the School for Advanced Research.

How could innovative federal legislation help fix the mortgage debt crisis? That’s the latest question William and Janice Terry Professor of Finance Sanjiv Das has tackled in his scholarship. A former Citigroup executive, he taught at U.C. Berkeley and Harvard before he joined the faculty of the Leavey School of Business in 2000. Along with scores of papers and book chapters, he has delivered more than 100 research presentations at conferences, workshops, and seminars, and he has given keynote conference addresses internationally and domestically. In 2010, Das published Derivatives: Principles and Practice, a 1,000-page textbook that took five years to prepare and is now used globally in academia and in practice.

Iron Age archaeology: Lisa Kealhofer at work in Gordion, in central Turkey. Photo by Peter Grave
Dance and philosophy: Kristin Kusanovich and Scott LaBarge. Photo by Charles Barry
Dance and philosophy: Kristin Kusanovich and Scott LaBarge. Photo by Charles Barry


Arts practitioner and teacher of dance, Kristin Kusanovich has developed two courses in particular that seek to broaden and deepen how SCU students carry an understanding of the arts with them beyond the Mission Campus. In the class Teaching the Performing Arts, students learn how to plan and execute developmentally and culturally appropriate lesson plans in music, theatre, dance, and visual art, while also studying funding and legislation for arts education. Defining the Performing Arts is a course in which students develop personal and professional skills in theatre and dance professions. Based on Ignatian spirituality, “This course serves as a testing ground to give students an opportunity to delve deeply into their multiple motivations for being in the arts,” says Kusanovich. That helps students discern whether a career in the arts really is for them—and, if it’s not, the course instills an understanding that serves students well in their work in other fields, as citizens, and perhaps as parents. (See more on Kusanovich in the Summer 2012 SCM article, “The Makers.”)


Know thyself, Socrates said. And the students, faculty, and alumni who nominated Associate Professor of Classics and Philosophy Scott LaBarge for this award would testify that this scholar of ancient philosophy does marvelous work in teaching moral and intellectual development. One student praises LaBarge for making “me a better thinker, a better writer, a better person.” In the classroom, LaBarge encourages an environment where tangential questions are redirected instead of ignored and abstract questions are made more concrete. His colleagues commend him for his skillful engagement of students. Outside of the classroom, he leads Cafe Socrates—a weekly discussion group hosted by the philosophy department—and serves as faculty director of ALPHA Residential Learning Community. (Read more from LaBarge on why everyone needs a hero and his personal hero, Henry David Thoreau, in his Markkula Center for Applied Ethics article “Why Heroes Are Important.”)


Elsa Chen, an associate professor in the Department of Political Science, works faithfully and effectively to support students of color in her department as well as in an interdisciplinary context. In addition to supervising 140 student internships in the last few years, Chen has led the Washington Semester Program, through which she has seen students of color return from Washington, D.C., transformed with their civic engagement (and GPAs) dramatically increased. She designed and directed the University’s Public Sector Studies Program. And she coordinates the Faculty Women of Color Network and serves as a personal mentor for faculty of color. Colleagues laud Chen for her wisdom, perspective, and presence in their intellectual and professional development.

Politics and finance: Elsa Chen and Sanjiv Das. Photo by Charles Barry
Politics and finance: Elsa Chen and Sanjiv Das. Photo by Charles Barry


Call him a CAPE crusader: Silicon Valley entrepreneur and SCU faculty member Dan Aguiar is helping the Leavey School of Business train the next generation of entrepreneurs through the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) and developing the new California Program for Entrepreneurship (CAPE). Aguiar taught in the MBA program in the 1990s. Since he took the helm of CIE and CAPE in 2010, he has expanded internships, developed new co-curricular programs, shepherded creation of a new minor in entrepreneurship, and developed new and important connections to the Valley.

Lynette Parker is a teacher and mentor at the Katharine and George Alexander Community Law Center, a lecturer at the law school, and an advocate for underserved populations such as recent immigrants, battered spouses and children, and victims of human trafficking. Her work at the law clinic has provided hundreds of lower-income residents of Santa Clara and neighboring counties with legal advice and representation; meanwhile, students practice becoming competent, compassionate, and ethical attorneys. The Victim Support Network for Santa Clara County awarded her an Unsung Hero Award in 2012.

Professor of Mechanical Engineering Terry Shoup served as the dean of the School of Engineering for 13 years and helped double the number of endowed professors and the number of donors to the school. He pioneered five “pipeline” programs to encourage underrepresented students to consider the engineering profession, and he created two advisory boards and established a special fund to promote student leadership. He has also served as interim dean of the School of Education, Counseling Psychology and Pastoral Ministries; interim vice provost for Enrollment Management; and interim executive director of International Programs.


Jane Curry has worn many hats throughout her career, including: Political Science professor at Santa Clara since 1986, Polish studies expert, author of many publications, and three-time recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to Poland. She has served the University as Faculty Senate President, and professionally she has served as President of the Polish Studies Association and chaired committees of the International Political Science Association and has consulted for the Helsinki Watch Committee and the U.S. State Department. On a personal level, Curry is passionate about global peace and equity and brings these issues to life in her classroom. Her scholarship on Poland spans the transition from Communism to post-Communism and has earned her recognition as one of the leading scholars on Poland in the United States.


Jim Koch is the inaugural recipient of this award, which honors an individual’s longstanding service and leadership contributions to the university. Koch, a professor in the Leavey School of Business, is a founding director of the Center for Science, Technology and Society and directs the Global Social Benefit Incubator program as well. He has served as Dean of the Leavey School of Business and Interim Dean of the School of Engineering. He models leadership and service for students and has been published in a number of journals for his work on socio-technical systems and high performance organizations.

First-Time Grads

Overcoming all odds due to the pandemic, the Class of ’24 finally get to experience the graduation that they have long been waiting for.

Drumroll, Please!

Santa Clara University’s renovated jazz studio gives music majors and non-majors more space to find their sound.

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.