Adventure in Her Blood

adventureBreeanne "Breezy" Jackson '04 can take the heat — and the mind-numbing cold. As an environmental scientist, Jackson has done everything from gather data in the blistering heat of a wildfire to her current job—teaching survival skills to research scientists in Antarctica.

New Leadership for the Alumni Board

aGetting graduate alumni more involved in Saint Mary’s will be a key focus of the Alumni Board for the next two years, under the leadership of J.P. Musgrove ’07, the board’s new president.

Service with DIRT

Dismantle, immerse, reflect and transform

dirtShawny Anderson’s Jan Term students aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. In fact, the acronym they use for their service-oriented trips is DIRT—Dismantle, Immerse, Reflect, Transform.

Making Saint Mary’s History in Tennis

With just one year of college left, women’s tennis player Jenny Jullien returned to campus this fall with one thing on her mind.

Make it count.

Last season, Jullien joined Alex Poorta as the only Gaels ever to be named West Coast Conference (WCC) Player of the Year. Jullien climbed as high as No. 17 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) singles rankings, making her the program’s highest-ranked player ever. And she joined Poorta as the only Gaels ever to compete in the NCAA Singles Tournament.

Mulvaneys Challenge Gaels

Meg Mulvaney, shown with a Rwandan boy named Cedric, is now a graduate student in the Teachers for Tomorrow program. After graduating in May, she plans to pursue service-related opportunities before she begins teaching.

Jane Purinton: Always Learning, Always Teaching

Jane Purinton

The wife of Saint Mary’s new president describes the enlightening and unpredictable journey her life, career and passions have taken

Technology and the Human App

headerLet’s get this out of the way first. What you’re reading is not a rallying screed for Luddites.* We’re cool with technology and everything it does to improve our lives.

In Our High-Tech World, Are the Liberal Arts Dead?

Tech3

Jason Shellen vividly remembers the moment when his life changed.

He had transferred to Saint Mary’s to pursue a degree in art and on a whim, he signed up for a Jan Term class in web publishing.

Understanding Empathy: Workshop Teaches Value of Understanding Emotions in Business

Maybe business can be personal after all.

Jessica Weatherford of Marble Arch hosted the workshop “Emotional Intelligence: Your Personal Competitive Advantage” at a School of Economics and Business Administration’s professional development workshop this month. During the morning-long seminar students and alumni learned how to better manage their emotions in the workplace and how to capitalize on increasing their professional self-awareness and empathy. 

Roundtable

Recently we learned that 90 percent of all the data in the world has been generated in just the last two years. Seems like all of it is jockeying for space on our smart phones, right? Not quite. But the average American consumes 34 gigabytes (GB) of information per day. To put that into perspective, one GB, according to Ben Patterson at heresthething.com, is equal to about 500 e-books or one 90-minute movie, 250 photos or 5,800 average-sized web pages. Get the picture? Chomping on all this data has its benefits, but how do you keep it from taking over your life?

Courtney

Courtney (Carmignani) Lohmann ’05, M.A. ’07

SMC Associate Director of Alumni Engagement

I prioritize by what’s most relevant to my life and what I care about—the causes or regions that are important to me, for example. I scroll pretty quickly through information, unsubscribe from e-mails and hide things I don’t want to see on social media. And in terms of what news to pay attention to, it seems like you really have to dig to find actual facts these days. So much of it concerns personal information or speculation, with very little that is actually useful. Sorting it all out actually requires a lot of intentional effort.

Carolyn

Carolyn Hunter '00

Community Involvement Manager, Tetra Tech Inc.

Technology does add a level of convenience to your life. Whatever you think about, you can get on your phone and Google it. But with all the information coming at us now, it’s too easy to lose that face-to-face human connection—the personal interactions that bind us together as coworkers, friends and family. Could be we’ve gotten lazy, and I’m guilty of this, too. Instead of picking up the phone or walking over to someone, we send them an e-mail or a text message. I feel like we’re losing that interpersonal touch and aren’t spending any time together anymore.

Sunny

Sunny Bradford

SMC Director of Learning/Organizational Effectiveness

I filter for my commitments and responsibilities in both work and my personal life. The first thing I look for is information about the people who are dear to me—their joys, their crises or sorrows. That will stop me in my tracks, and I will want to pay attention and respond, if even with a brief acknowledgement. To me, it’s a kind of presence I want to exhibit. And I pay attention to my passions—social justice issues, theater, writing, music and dance.350

Michael

Michael Kreizenback '87

Political Consultant

That flood will take your life, but your liberal arts may save you. Information technology annihilates time and space, making it necessary to impose basic categories of organization upon the torrent. The people I know who are best at this specialize. This new postindustrial demand for specialization extends beyond work and invades social and family life. I put entire categories of information and certain hours of the day off limits with prejudice. Even when that helps deal with the flood, it can make us appear inappropriately indifferent and impolite. Paradoxically, analog understanding and forgiveness are a necessary remedy.

Michael B

Michael Brisbin '84

Attorney and Partner at Wilson Elser

With the explosion of the Internet, 24/7 news cycle, social media and electronic access to practically any news source, it's difficult to find reliable information that is not sensationalized, slanted or simply wrong. I still receive home delivery from the San Francisco Chronicle five days a week and use it as a base for information. I also have a few go-to websites that I visit daily. I find it is important to be selective about the sources I reference and pick those that are objective, if I want objective analysis… or if slanted, to then understand the slant.

Clifford

Clifford Lee

Assistant Professor, Kalmanovitz School of Education

Regardless of the medium or the sheer amount of information I receive, I continually ask myself the five key questions from The Center for Media Literacy: Who created this message? What techniques are used to gain my attention? How might historically marginalized populations understand this message differently? What lifestyles, values, and points of view are perpetuated or omitted from this message? For what purpose was this message created/sent? Only by conscientiously dissecting the inherent biases in the information we receive, can we genuinely develop the type of democracy we want to achieve.

Sarah

Sarah Vital

SMC Reference and Instruction Librarian

There’s so much to look at. It’s taken time to find resources I trust. I want to be curious, learn new things, but also not be overwhelmed. I can’t follow or subscribe to everything, so I rely upon a few information aggregators I like. I might watch a magazine’s Twitter feed to decide what articles I want to look at. Then sometimes I tune them out and unsubscribe for a while because it’s just too much. It’s a balance between curiosity, critical thinking and just basic survival. And I don’t know if I have an answer to it all quite yet.

Rebecca

Rebecca Adam Teames '02

Currently in SMC's Teaching Credential Program

Because of my responsibilities as a full-time mom and my commitment to the teaching credential program, I really have to triage what comes my way. I make a conscious choice not to pay attention to information gathering while I’m with my kids during the day. I try not to be distracted by my phone, the computer or the TV. Then when I do have my limited time to do that— after the kids’ bedtime—I want to make sure that I get the cleanest, most efficient and accurate information possible, with the least amount of spin.

Brian

Brian Foley

SMC Interactive Media Specialist

My phone has become my No. 1 go-to for information. I use maybe six apps regularly for news and social media updates. I also have about a dozen podcasts for news, comedy, and sports I listen to while I commute, do chores or walk the dog. I shy away from broadcast news because it can be so depressing sometimes. And every now and again, I feel the need to turn it all off and go on a nice, quiet walk and admire the trees!

Joel

Joel Bahr M.F.A. '13

Marketing Specialist for School of Economics and Business Administration

This is scary to admit, but I manage through Twitter, and it’s a tightrope to walk. When defending it, I’ve called Twitter “my own personal newspaper,” and, you know, it really is. The people and news outlets I follow are tailored specifically to how I see the world. In a very real way, Twitter is giving me exactly the news that I think matters. There are times though when Twitter is an echo chamber, and my inherent follow biases limit my ability to see things in a nuanced way. I sacrifice hearing opinions that are challenging (or more accurate) for comfort.

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