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Family Weekend 2019

Family Weekend was a huge success. The College of Arts and Sciences had a number of sessions which drew large attendance and great positive feedback.

There were two faculty presentations on Friday:

Neural Circuits, Systems, and Behavior Lab at SCU: researching brain circuits endcoding behavior.
Lindsay Halladay, Assistant Professor, Neuroscience Program and Department of Psychology

一道本不卡免费高清SCU's Neuroscience Program is in its second year, and already Neuroscience has become one of the fastest growing majors on campus. Dr. Lindsay Halladay will share the research being conducted in her lab - the Neural Circuits, Systems, and Behavior lab, which is focused on understanding how brain mechanisms mediate behaviors like compulsive alcohol seeking and social interactions. The NCSB lab is one of two neuroscience labs on campus, both of which provide opportunities for undergraduates at SCU to get involved in cutting edge research using animal models, advanced genetic tools, and biochemical assays to understand how the brain functions.

Lights, Camera, Social Justice: Working with the next generation of filmmakers at SCU
Nicole Opper, Assistant Professor, Department of Communication

The digital filmmaking program within SCU's Communication Department has a strong focus on social justice. We'll hear about how this approach has informed the work of Emmy and Gotham-nominated filmmaker & assistant professor Nicole Opper, and how she's integrating those principles in the classroom. Student filmmakers will also share their perspectives during this interactive, hands-on workshop


Emi Caprio headshot

一道本不卡免费高清Psychology and Anthropology Double Major

Affective Landscapes of the Past and Present in Santa Clara

Emi is a fourth-year student from Lafayette, CA and is majoring in both Psychology and Anthropology. She has conducted previous anthropological research in Costa Rica and Nepal but decided to move her focus closer to home for this project. After graduating this quarter, she will be attending the University of San Francisco doctorate program in Clinical Psychology and is looking forward to continuing to pursue research interests within the bay area.

Paloma Contreras headshot

Psychology Major

¿Read Conmigo?: Does Code-switching in Storybooks Affect Comprehension of New Words?

一道本不卡免费高清Paloma Contreras was born and raised in East San Jose, CA and is passionate about using her education and skills to support healthy socioemotional development in young children and adolescents. She is currently involved in two research labs: Dr. Kirsten Read’s language learning lab and Dr. Sonia Rubens’ child and adolescent sleep lab. Aside from research, she is also a LEAD Scholar and an inaugural member of the new Psychology Honors Program. After graduating, she plans on obtaining a master’s in counselor education and PPS credential from San Jose State University so she can become a school counselor and administrator in an elementary school district. 

Maggie Debrovner  headshot

一道本不卡免费高清English and History Double Major

Co-Editor of Santa Clara University's 2018 edition of Historical Perspectives

一道本不卡免费高清Maggie Debrovner is a senior from Seattle, Washington. She works as the Music Director for Santa Clara University's radio station KSCU 103.3, and hopes to pursue a job in radio next year before applying to graduate school. She is passionate about learning and wants to continue her education after graduation in spring.

Claire Dixon

一道本不卡免费高清Religious Studies and Marketing Double Major

Are Young Adults Over Traditional Religious Rituals? Maybe not as Much as You Think!

Claire Dixon is from Placentia, CA studying Marketing and Religious Studies at SCU. As the Living Religions Collaborative Communication Fellow, she is the social media assistant for Bearings Magazine where she has also contributed in her article, "Are Young Adults Over Traditional Religious Rituals? Maybe Not as Much as You Think!" Additionally, she has facilitated the Exploring Living Religion class and assists on the LRC website and social media pages. Claire is passionate about faith and is the president and co-founder of the Catholic women's group at SCU. Her plans include joining the workforce in the Bay Area in either the marketing or fundraising/development field.

Natalie Elam art

Studio Art and Anthropology Double Major


Natalie Elam is a sculptor primarily known for her work with laminated wood abstractions. She grew up in Alamo, CA and is a senior at SCU. As an artist, she uses her knowledge of anthropology and art to explore nature’s relationship with the human body. She favors laminated wood because of its aesthetics and sensory details. She often pairs her work with concrete embellishments to juxtapose a rugged, hard material with a finished and soft sculpture. After graduation, she plans to take the year off to work and consider a future doing User Research for tech companies in Silicon Valley or in an Art business program in London or New York.

Bailey Fairbanks headshot

History and Women's and Gender Studies Double Major

Co-Editor of Santa Clara University's 2018 edition of Historical Perspectives

Bailey Fairbanks hails from Chico, CA and is a senior at SCU pursuing a double major in History and Women’s and Gender Studies; she has relocated to Campbell since attending SCU. Alongside Maggie Debrovner, Bailey co-edited the History Department’s academic journal Historical Perspectives一道本不卡免费高清. Outside of school Bailey works for Apple Retail and enjoys cooking and reading. She has applied to Santa Clara’s Master of Arts in Teaching and Teaching Credential program.

一道本不卡免费高清Accounting and Spanish Double Major

Taking Hold Translation

一道本不卡免费高清Mike Gomez is a senior at SCU and is currently in the process of finalizing his degree in Accounting and Spanish. As the son of two immigrants, Mike, who is from San Jose, CA will soon be the first member of his family to graduate from college and the first to venture into the professional business world. While he will be working as a Tax Associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers immediately after his graduation, he aspires to obtain a Master’s in Education and use the knowledge acquired as a professional to become a teacher in the future.

Emma Hmelar headshot

Sociology Major; Music and Japanese Double Minor

Community Connections: Building Skills Towards Independence

一道本不卡免费高清Emma Hmelar is a Junior from Palo Alto, CA. Emma has been studying the violin for 16 years, and is rewarded by pursuing her interests in her minors in Music and Japanese. She has been inspired to pursue a career in public policy, specifically working with the disabled because of her younger brother who has severe Cerebral Palsy. Upon graduating from SCU this coming fall, Emma will be applying to graduate school in hopes of continuing her education in both Sociology and Public Policy.

Morgan MacKenzie headshot

一道本不卡免费高清Biochemistry Major

Adsorption of Water-Soluble Peptoids to Synthetic Phospholipid Membranes Monitored by Second Harmonic Generation (SHG)

Morgan is a senior from Sammamish, Washington, who is passionate about biochemistry and hopes to develop therapeutics for disease one day. She loves to travel and experience new things and intends to do this as much as possible throughout her life. In her free time she loves to read thriller/mystery novels, snowboard, and play games with her friends. Following graduation she hopes to acquire a job in biotech in the Bay Area with the possibility of going to grad school the following year.

Hector Martinez headshot

一道本不卡免费高清Psychology and Spanish Double Major; English Minor

Taking Hold Translation

一道本不卡免费高清Héctor was born and raised in San José, CA. Growing up, he developed a love for reading and learning at school, which transferred over to middle school and high school. In high school, he learned the value of brotherhood, being of service to others, and learning about the world. After graduating high school, he came to SCU where he studies Psychology, Spanish, and English. As the oldest of three and the first in his family to go to college, coming to SCU has been both a challenge and a blessing, and one that he wishes to cherish with his family. Now, as a senior, he looks forward to applying the knowledge and skills gained in college in a future career. Héctor is interested in going to graduate school, but has not decided on whether to pursue a Master’s in Spanish, or pursue a Master’s program for a career as a counseling psychologist. For the next year, he is currently searching for jobs, and is applying to “Teach for America.”

Nicholas Nagy

一道本不卡免费高清Political Science and Religious Studies Double Major; Arabic, Islamic, and Middle Eastern Studies Minor

Living Religion Collaborative: Religion as Everyday Practice

Nicholas was born in Taiwan and raised in Zionsville, Indiana, a suburb of Indianapolis. Having been born outside of the country and having been raised in the Midwestern U.S., both impact his way of thinking and his interest in differences between cultures, politics, and religions in various settings. This is why he chose to study Political Science and Religious Studies. As one of two religious studies majors he is dedicated to helping the Living Religion Collaborative grow because, although not religious himself, he believes people should not ignore religion or disregard it as an unimportant field of study in today’s time. He finds that religion or religious thinking is present in everyone’s lives on a daily basis and the confluence of religion and politics all over the world is undeniable. He hopes to leave a lasting impact on SCU and the Religious Studies Department before he graduates by bringing these elements of religion out through the Living Religion Collaborative. Nicholas is waiting on feedback from the Peace Corps regarding his application if selected for this position he would be teaching English in Zambia following graduation. If not, he will likely try to find another way to work abroad for an international aid and development organization, or perhaps teach English in a Middle Eastern country and improve his Arabic language skills.

Bella Rios headshot

Political Science and Spanish Double Major

Indigenous Land Rights and Environmental Policy in Peru

Bella, who hails from Pasadena, CA, as a senior has committed herself to organizations and causes that promote human dignity and the common good. She’s a former reporter for The Santa Clara一道本不卡免费高清 newspaper, an experience that informs her decision-making as a Markkula Center Hackworth Fellow, where she writes case studies focused on journalism ethics. She is an Immersion Student Coordinator for the Ignatian Center and will be leading a trip to the Arizona border during spring break, accompanying migrants and refugees and delving into the complexities of immigration policy. As a former Global Social Benefit Fellow, She is passionate about social entrepreneurship as a sustainable way to eradicate economic and social injustices. When she’s not studying, she enjoys reading, listening to NPR podcasts, working out, and spending time with loved ones. Following SCU Bella plans to work for a public advocacy organization or social enterprise in the Los Angeles area or the Bay Area. During this time, she will prepare for her application for a Fulbright Fellowship to conduct research in Peru focused on women’s economic empowerment.

Avery Rissling headshot

一道本不卡免费高清Dance and Political Science Double Major; Women's and Gender Studies Minor


There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children.

- Nelson Mandela

一道本不卡免费高清The intersection of art and social justice is what drives Avery’s creativity. She choreographs, moves, and performs because she must because dance is a deeply authentic form human expression. Her work draws from technique in order to both utilize and break from it. She is a storyteller and political activist, seeking the physical embodiment of today’s joys, hopes, and humanitarian crises. Her passion for civic engagement, interest in sustainable social impact, and background as a visual and performing artist have inspired her to pursue opportunities in innovation for social justice, whether it be in public policy, business, or the arts. She is a strong believer that the personal is political, and that art has the power to transform communities and bring people together. She is currently in the process of vocational discernment; exploring options to work in the field of social entrepreneurship, and seeking to keep the arts in her life in some form after graduation. Although she calls Laguna Niguel, CA home, she is tentatively planning on working in the Bay Area for at least one year after graduation, while dancing with “For Change Dance Collective,” before applying to grad school.

Public Health Major; Spanish and Bioengineering Double Minor

Occupational Health and Access to Health Care of Costa Rican Plantation Workers

Calling Azusa, CA home, Madison is extremely passionate about fitness and public health. She is a CrossFit and dog fanatic! She loves the outdoors, especially backpacking, and hopes to do the Pacific Crest Trail some time in her lifetime. SCU has given Madison the opportunity to discover her passions and amazing people to surround herself with. She aspires to be a doctor working in an emergency room and being an activist for an equitable health care system. Following graduation she plans to apply to medical school and travel.

Anthropology Major

Bitter Fruit: Occupational Health in Costa Rican Agricultural Workers

Riley Scherr is a sophomore Anthropology major from San Juan Bautista, CA. He is a member of Santa Clara’s EMS squad, and has been a Program Coordinator for SCCAP’s Sunol Program. Outside of EMS and SCCAP, Riley is a member of the SCU Honors Program and the Johnson Scholars Program. This summer Riley plans to continue his research on the occupational health of agricultural workers with communities in the Salinas and Pájaro Valleys of California under the direction of Dr. Robin Nelson and Dr. Michelle Bezanson; following graduation, he plans to attend medical school.

Christian Wilburn headshot

Theatre & Dance Major with Theatre Emphasis


Christian Wilburn is a senior in the SCU Theatre & Dance Department. He came to SCU from his home in San Francisco to pursue his education and passions. Christian appreciates the many opportunities afforded him at the school. While at SCU, Christian earned academic scholarships, made The Dean’s List, appeared in four SCU Main Stage productions, three Playwright Festivals and had two original plays read in Playwright Festivals. This year Christian is the lead writer for the Main Stage production love_stories. He is also a Peer Health Educator on campus. Off-campus, Christian has performed at Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s Playground, Marin Theatre Company’s workshops, and worked with young artists at the Marsh Theatre Youth Conservatory. Following graduation, Christian plans to immediately pursue an MFA in Creative Writing (Fall 2019), while continuing to write and act professionally. Additionally, he intends to work with young writers and actors through Bay Area school and theater programs.