Fishermen at Work
Art by Jerrika Shi, who won the 2014 international prize in the River of Words Poetry & Art Contest. Shi, 17, was one of 13 young poets and artists, ranging in age from 7 to 17, who won awards in the largest youth poetry and art competition in the world. River of Words (ROW) is part of Saint Mary’s Center for Environmental Literacy in the Kalmanovitz School of Education. ROW’s mission is to promote literacy, the arts and environmental awareness.
Letters on Fire
Brenda Hillman’s Seasonal Works With Letters on Fire has drawn remarkable interest and acclaim from readers, reviewers and awards committees in the past year.
Talented, financially needy Saint Mary’s students will benefit from two major foundation grants awarded to Saint Mary’s this year. A National Science Foundation grant of $613,477 over five years, the largest the College has ever received from NSF, will support 24 undergraduates majoring in science and mathematics. And the Fletcher Jones Foundation has awarded $500,000 to the College for a new scholarship fund that will help qualified undergraduates meet the costs of a quality education.
Saint Mary's Library by the Numbers
SMC students swarmed the library last year in person and online, proving that our professional librarians—real people with real answers—are more crucial than ever when it comes to navigating and synthesizing information.
The air was filled with song and a spirit of intercultural warmth and friendship at the World Choir Games in Riga, Latvia, in July. The competition was stiff among the 460 choirs and more than 27,000 singers from 73 nations, but two Saint Mary’s ensembles brought home the gold.
Adios Red Pen
If Professors Rebecca Carroll and Barry Eckhouse have their way, a teacher’s red pen may grow obsolete. In a recent article in Business Communication Quarterly, Carroll and Eckhouse argue that a better way to give feedback to students could be voice grading—which replaces standard handwritten comments on paper with audio files and video embedded in a digital document.
At Saint Mary’s monthly Fair Trade Fridays, it’s possible to buy the work of international artisans and speak to students who met them on study abroad and service-learning trips. By shopping at this event, the SMC community supports greater equity in international trade and sustainable development, and protects artisans’ rights. Such efforts have contributed to Saint Mary’s achieving Fair Trade status, the only Northern California institution of higher education recognized in this way. Fair trade also applies to the ethically sourced coffee we drink on campus—provided by Sodexo, SMC’s food service supplier and partner in campus sustainability efforts—in Oliver Hall and Café Louis, and at catered academic and athletic events. Fair trade, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, not only reflects the College’s Catholic and social justice mission, said Saint Mary’s President, James Donahue, “it also illustrates our ongoing commitment to promoting economic fairness globally and educating our students about the importance of fair trade policies.”
Learning to Lead
Larisa Genin, associate dean for Undergraduate Programs and Accreditation in the School of Economics and Business Administration, was named one of 31 emerging college and university leaders for the 2014–15 class of the American Council on Education Fellows Program.
Rec Center Rises
Construction on the $23.5 million Joseph L. Alioto Recreation Center—with a pool and climbing walls—is humming along, with the center on schedule to open by spring 2015. The exterior steel framework and red tile roof are finished, the pool has been framed, and the inside rooms are taking shape. Designed for the entire Saint Mary’s campus community, the center also includes three indoor courts for basketball, soccer and volleyball; a fitness center; and rooms for yoga, dance and spinning classes. To help complete the project—$20 million has been raised so far—contact Mark Chiarucci in Development at (925) 631-4168 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jousting for Jobs
While facing a still-recovering economy and looming college loans, members of the Saint Mary’s class of 2014 have risen to the occasion, impressing recruiters with their respectful communication skills—a direct result of the Saint Mary’s approach to liberal arts education. Make no mistake, the job market is still challenging for the 764 seniors who collected their diplomas May 24, said Patty Bishop, director of the Career Center, “It is still an uphill battle with barriers such as too many applicants and not enough jobs.”
75 Dedicated Years
In September, the Saint Mary’s College Guild celebrated its 75th anniversary with Mass, a social gathering and dinner on campus. The guild was formed in 1939 to further the principles of Saint John Baptist de La Salle, assuring education for all. The membership includes former students, Saint Mary’s faculty and staff, parents, community members, and friends of the College. This dedicated group of volunteers—who have at their heart the welfare and financial support of Saint Mary’s students—has raised more than $1 million for scholarships over its history.
On the Wild Side
Until you come face-to-face with a wild neighbor, it’s easy to forget that you’re sharing your urban space with a teeming, complex natural world. An app developed by Saint Mary’s science students for the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek is designed to help Bay Area residents become more knowledgeable about local wildlife, share their photos and experiences through social media, and connect with educational programs and services offered by the museum. You can download the free app, LWM Encounters, from iTunes.
More than 3,000 fans and some 100 former players and coaches packed McKeon Pavilion in June for the 2014 Gaels All-Star Classic & Alumni Game. The contest between the White Team (2000–09 players) and the Blue Team (2010–14 players) concluded with a thrilling 115-111 victory for the older players.
More students—1,176 total—visited the Museum of Art this year than in the past decade. “It is a real challenge for all museums to get the students in,” said museum Director Carrie Brewster. “Students are so focused on digital information that having to physically go somewhere is out of their consciousness.” The museum also experienced a 56 percent rise in total exhibition attendance over 2012, Brewster said. Sales in the Museum Gift Shop were also robust, and 89 objects worth over $220,000 were donated to the $11 million collection.
After missing the past two seasons while undergoing treatment for leukemia, Saint Mary’s men’s soccer forward Emmanuel “Morro” Sarabia was granted a rare additional year of eligibility and this fall rejoined the active roster for one more season as a Gael.
Grad Student Basketballers
With recent standout careers as undergraduates at Pac-12 schools—Stanford University and University of Washington—Aaron Bright and Desmond Simmons will join the Saint Mary’s men’s basketball program in the fall looking for one more opportunity to show their skills on the hardwood.