Did You Know?

An archive of the "Did You Know?" section of the weekly SMC Bulletin.

May 2016

• The California primary is Tuesday, June 7, and Saint Mary’s will have a polling place open at the Soda Center, 7 a.m.–8 p.m. Any Contra Costa resident voting with an absentee ballot can drop ballots off by 8 p.m. SMC will also be a polling place for the general election on Nov. 8. (May 31)

• The 680 graduates from the class of 2016 hail from 10 countries—including Australia, which is 8,000 miles away—with ages ranging from 19 to 57. Business Administration is the most popular major and 245 are the first in their families to attend college. (May 23)

• For the first time, the College will be live streaming the Undergraduate and Graduate and Professional Commencements. Sign up now to be notified when the pomp and circumstance officially kicks off and watch from the comfort of your living room. The Undergraduate Commencement begins at 9:30 a.m., May 21; the Graduate and Professional Studies Commencement begins at 10 a.m., May 22. (May 16)

• IT Services has just announced that its service and security alerts will now be an opt-in email service. Instead of sending email to everyone, IT Services will send only to those who have opted in to receive these alerts. For those who do not opt in, alerts will be posted on the ITS website on our IT Service Alerts page. The IT Service Desk is happy to answer any questions. (May 9)

• Saint Mary's is a Poetry Powerhouse with an MFA in Creative Writing program (happy 20th anniversary!) that features stellar faculty (Brenda Hillman and Matthew Zapruder), alumni (Gabe Gomez ’00, Lily Brown ’07, and Paul Ebenkamp ’09), and students. #PoetryPowerhouse (May 2)

April 2016

• On Wednesday starting at 8 a.m. on the Chapel Lawn, the campus community will take turns reading Homer’s Odyssey out loud. Readers will read as much or as little as they choose, in any voice or style. Creative interpretation is encouraged, as prizes will be awarded for the longest, funniest, and most dramatic readings. This is the second year for the event sponsored by the Collegiate Seminar Informal Curriculum. (Apr 25)

• Feeling creative? In celebration of De La Salle Week, send us your best and most inventive photos with the De La Salle statue. Strike a pose, take a selfie, or shoot the statue from an interesting angle. Be sure to tag your photos #DLSWeek16. (Apr 11)

• De La Salle Week kicks off Sunday, April 10 with the ninth annual Run 4 Hunger, followed by Monday’s campus-wide barbecue on the Chapel Lawn at 11:30 a.m. Make sure to attend the Convocation Wednesday, April 13 at 1 p.m. honoring Brother Thomas Johnson, FSC, Director of the Novitiate for the Lasallian Region of North America.(Apr 4)

• De La Salle Week kicks off Sunday, April 10 with the ninth annual Run 4 Hunger, followed by Monday’s campus-wide barbecue on the Chapel Lawn at 11:30 a.m. Make sure to attend the Convocation Wednesday, April 13 at 1 p.m. honoring Brother Thomas Johnson, FSC, Director of the Novitiate for the Lasallian Region of North America.(Apr 4)

March 2016

• Our activities—on campus and off—affect storm water quality in creeks, rivers, the Delta, and Bay through the storm drain system. Only rainwater belongs in the storm drain system (drains, gutters, pipes, creeks, and ditches) but pollutants enter it in many ways. For example, rain can wash pollutants from leaky cars, open dumpsters, or discarded trash into storm drains, reaching our rich Bay Area network of waterways, negatively affecting these resources and interfering with the habitat for fish, other aquatic organisms, and wildlife. Please be mindful and report suspect activities to the College's Storm Water Hotline number at ext. 8287. (Mar 29)

• We are down to the Final Four in Seminar Madness! Will Homer's The Odyssey be the winner the second year running? Or will Martin Luther King Jr.'s Letter from a Birmingham Jail, Machiavelli's The Prince, or Cervantes' Don Quixote prevail? You decide! (Mar 21)

• We are down to the Elite Eight of Seminar Madness! The Odyssey narrowly defeated Maus, while Don Quixote trounced On the Nature of the Universe. Who will make it into the semifinal? (Mar 14)

• After 5,000 votes, the Round of 16 of Seminar Madness has been decided. There were several tight races — only one vote separated the Bible from Dickens’ Hard Times. Did your favorite make it through? Be sure to vote in Round 2 beginning today through Sunday! Every vote counts. Also, everyone is invited to join in a one-day marathon reading of Homer’s Odyssey (last year’s Seminar Madness winner), which begins April 27 at 8 a.m. on the Chapel Lawn (Mar 7)

February 2016

• Camp La Salle, a private Christian Brothers facility, invites all employees of Lasallian organizations to bring family and friends to the Sierra National Forest at Huntington Lake at 7,000 feet elevation. Join fellow Lasallians this summer to explore mountains and lakes, boat, fish and swim, or simply read and rest in the High Sierra from mid-June through the end of July. (Feb 29)

• The new Saint Mary’s website is launching April 3. In preparation, Salli editor training has been scheduled for departments starting March 1. You can view more information about the new site and schedule, and learn what you can do to prepare now in Salli in the Salli Tutorials. Have questions? Submit them via the Web Request form. (Feb 22)

• The new EdTech Center, which offers technology support for faculty (accessible via the Library Tech Bar), opens Wednesday, Feb. 17, thanks to the collaboration of IT Services, the Educational Technology Group, and the Center for Teaching, Learning and Scholarship. Faculty can learn about multimedia equipment like classroom projectors, Apple TV, Moodle, Google Mail, shared interactive documents such as Google Drive, flipping the classroom, open educational resources such as free online textbooks, and more. There will be a question-and-answer session with campus technology leaders from 11:45 a.m.–1 p.m., including a light lunch. Faculty can also drop by for one-on-one consultations between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. (Feb 15)

The Career Development Center is offering new support for seniors this year by offering one-on-one 30- minute career chats with a counselor. Students can brainstorm job plans after graduation, including the kinds of positions, companies, and work environments they find most interesting and appealing. The Career Center is here to help. For an appointment, contact a counselor at ext. 4600 or at [email protected]. (Feb 8)

The 2015-2016 Fact Book highlights some impressive accomplishments for the College. For example, the 2015 entering freshmen class is the largest since 2010 and has the highest average high school GPA (3.64) on record. The proportion of traditional undergraduates that is minority (non-white) is a record-high 48.7 percent, with the graduate student figure of 38.2 percent also a record high. And the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded in 2014-15 (759) continued to set new highs. (Feb 1)

January 2016

Free Wi-Fi is now available on all County Connection buses with fixed routes, including the regular Saint Mary’s routes to Orinda and Lafayette BART. Part of an improvement project that began two years ago, the free Wi-Fi service is secured through the Sprint network. (Jan 25)

Thanks to Armando Martinez-Lopez ’12, low-income families received free tax preparation help (and saved more than $200,000) last spring through a volunteer program at the Monument Crisis Center in Concord. Martinez-Lopez, now working on his master’s in accounting at SMC, had done volunteer tax assistance through an SMC accounting class. He plans to offer the program again this year. (Jan 19)

Green Monday is happening every Monday this month in Oliver Hall. Students can pledge to observe Green Monday, which advocates for everyone to eat at least one plant-friendly meal that day. Plants require far less water, land, and other resources to grow meat. Also happening this month are Waste-Less Wednesdays, a program to educate the SMC community on the amount of edible food wasted in Oliver Hall and around campus. On Wednesdays in January, dining hall visitors can pledge to take only the food they plan to eat. Come to the kickoff Monday (there will be snacks and swag!) in Dryden from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Jan 11)

The winter 2015 issue of MARY: A Journal of New Writing, the online magazine run by M.F.A. in Creative Writing students, is out. This issue includes work by Cristina García, Sarah Manguso, and Meg Elison, whose novel won the 2014 Philip K. Dick Award. Since 2002, MARY has published contemporary poetry and prose from a diverse group of talented emerging and established writers. Congratulations to Managing Editor Tiffany Jimenez, M.F.A. Fiction ’16 and the rest of the graduate student staff. (Jan 4)