Menloâ€™s Many Voices
Menlo College: Conversations Crossing Boundaries Menlo College is a small campus with a large personality. One reason for its outsized presence is its diversity. Walk across the quad and you will hear a student from Poland discussing recent events with someone from France; in a political science workshop, the conversation ranges from differences of ethnic background to attitudes of class; and in business seminars, faculty members describe their experiences in various fields around the globe. Students at Menlo encounter new people and new perspectives in the classroom, on the playing fields, and in the residence halls. In this issue of Advantage Magazine we celebrate all the voices of Menlo College. For example, our provost Grande Lum brings his experience as a mediator to Menlo. He describes the inside story of defusing inflammatory situations by helping clashing groups find a common ground. Professors Jodie Austin and Melissa Poulsen bring to this issue a moving portrait of the voices lost at Manzanar, one of the internment camps for Japanese Americans during World War II— and how those voices are being regained. Professor Lowell Pratt tells in moving detail of the ways that texts from around the world have influenced students in his Global Literature class. Students at Menlo are encouraged to find their voices and to listen to those they haven’t heard before. Our Menlo club presidents describe their events, places where students can explore their identities and just have fun. In our feature on international students, we listen to all the fascinating perspectives they bring to Menlo. Diversity is rightly upheld as a path toward social justice. But diversity also “improves the way people think,” according to researchers Sheen S. Levine and David Stark in a December 9, 2015 New York Times article. After conducting a rigorous study (of different groups pricing simulated stocks), the authors conclude that the improved scores of the mixed groups rose not from anyone’s special skills, but from the fact that diversity itself “prompts better, critical thinking. It contributes to error detection. It keeps us from drifting toward miscalculation.” The authors state their conclusion in their title: “Diversity Makes You Brighter.” Fall Club Fair on the Menlo lawn, September 12, 2018. On the cover: Many thanks to all who participated in our cover photo, including Julie Ccaihuari ’19, Richard Ekong, Cindy Garcia Garcia ’22, Ngozi Harrison ’19, Isaiah Holguin ’19, Sion Hovsepian ’22, Ra’Vein Jones ’20, Anna Schobel ’22, Fei Qu ’18, Ruinian Wang ’20, and Yufan Wu ’19. A special shout-out to Brandon Young ’22 for so ably chairing this meeting. Photo by Andrey Poliakov
In this issue you will see why Menlo has a bright presence. Go Oaks--all our wonderful Oaks! Pamela Gullard, Editor
A DVA N TAGE M AG A ZINE | WIN TER 2019
Menlo’s Many Voices
MANAGING EDITOR Caroline Casper
In this issue, we invite you to meet many of the people behind the robust, interesting, multi-layered voices of Menlo College.
In This Issue 1 Message from the President 2 Letters to the Editor 2 My Menlo Pride
Features: Menlo’s Many Voices5 7 3 Trustee Spotlight 5 Libraries Change the World 6 Startups in U.S. vs. Europe 7 Extreme Political Speech 8 Case Study 11 Images of Manzanar 13 International Voices 16 History of Rights 17 World Literature 19 Curriculum Changes 21 Critical Thinking
Faculty and Classroom 4 First Year Orientation 9 Business Valuation Challenge 23 Faculty News 24 Georgetown Approach 33 Center for Real Estate 54 Hawai’i and the Pacific
Student Life 8 Menlo’s $1.8 Million Grant 25 Hate U Give 22 Finance Club at Bloomberg 34 Rising Scholars 35 Time of Renewal 38 TechStars 41 Three Clubs, Many Voices 44 Hispanic and Latino Club 53 Hawai’i Send Off
Alumni 51 52 56
EDITOR Pamela Gullard
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Aaron Gillespie Jaagriti Sharma ’18 Jodie Austin Erik Bakke Pamela Besteman Caroline Casper Ashlee Hunt ’20 Melissa Eriko Paulsen Ngozi Harrison ’19 Isaiah Holguin ’19 Lauren John Ra’Vein Jones ’20 Grande Lum Kate McQueen Margaret McFarland Valeria Molteni Tarryn Orial ’19 Mike Palmieri Sean Pradhan Lowell Pratt Angela Schmiede Annika Steiber Steven Weiner DESIGN Marsha Gilbert
McLeods at Menlo Gaubert-Carlson Family In Memoriam
Art 39 Art as Action Athletics Athletics 57 New Rowing Team 59 Fall Athletics in Images 61 New Coaches 62 More Than a Field of Dreams
Internships 27 Google Internship 28 Focus on Interns 30 Preparing for a Career 31 Email Etiquette
PHOTOGRAPHY Andrey Poliakov Brian Byllesby - Oakssports.com EDITORS Lauren John Linda Teutschel CHAIR OF THE BOARD Micah Ka-ne ’91 BOARD OF TRUSTEES Thomas (Tom) Byers Alma Clayton-Pedersen Andrea (Andy) Cunningham Howard (Howie) Dallmar ‘74 James (Jim) A. Davlin Chris Garrett ‘94 J. Michael (Mike) Gullard David C. Irmer, Sr. ’58 Micah Ka-ne ’91 Jordan Long ’09 Larry Lopez ’84 Roxane Marenberg Laurie Shaw Shireen Udenka Benjamin (Ben) Wagner EMERITI TRUSTEES John Henry Felix ’49 Julie Filizetti Charles “Chop” J. Keenan III ’66
The Menlo Advantage, published by the Menlo College Office of the President, brings news of the college and its community to alumni, parents, and friends. 1000 El Camino Real, Atherton, California 94027-4301 Tel: 800-55MENLO, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.menlo.edu
A Message from Menlo College President Steven A. Weiner As the 2018 calendar year comes to a close, we have many reasons to celebrate at Menlo College. Initiatives we launched months ago increased our fall semester enrollment to 775 students; five new faculty joined our ranks; we recruited a new provost and other key personnel; we invested in the renewal of key academic programs; two faculty members published books; and we launched three new co-educational athletic teams. Forty-seven years after women were first admitted to Menlo, they now comprise a record-high 43% of all students. Almost half of our students claim a heritage that has been traditionally under-represented at college campuses. Twenty-eight percent of our students are the first in their families to enter college, and a record-high 19% of our students come to us from overseas â€“ from 36 different countries. Within the U.S., we now attract students from 29 different states, and Hawaiâ€™i is now the second-most often represented state (after California). Retention and graduation rates are climbing. Also this fall, we concluded a two-year capital improvement campaign that collectively brought about more improvements to our campus facilities than has likely taken place in any single period in our 91 year history. While we have many people to thank, one individual, who wishes to remain anonymous, gets the lionâ€™s share of the credit. We are indebted to him for his generous commitment to his alma mater. It is a great time to be at Menlo, and our future is going to be better yet. In nine years, we will celebrate the centennial anniversary of the founding of this exceptional school, and we are confident that efforts we are making now will give our community much to celebrate in 2027. We look forward to the continued renewal of Menlo College in the years to come. On behalf of the students, staff and faculty, my most sincere thanks to everyone who supports our mission. Steven Weiner with Convocation speaker, Max Stossel, at the ceremony on September 4, 2018. Stossel is the Head of Content and Storytelling at the Center for Humane Technology.
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Letters to the Editor For me, Menlo was a formative experience in my life. Though I was there only two years (graduating from Santa Cruz), all of my lifetime friends from college were from Menlo. Menlo creates a unique experience for all of its students. It nurtures them. I am proud that what made Menlo superb for me 54 years ago is still extant in Menlo today. Michael A. Lilly ’66 Ning, Lilly & Jones Honolulu, HI
a ’stunning ’It is truly issue!
Lauren John, Adjunct Professor, English, Menlo College Just finished reading my Menlo Magazine, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The best one I’ve seen--great articles, great layout, new binding and lots and lots of pictures! My mother, who was the Women’s/Society editor of the L.A. Times in its heyday, would have critiqued it favorably. Again, congratulations on a great publication. Bill Hopkins Rancho Mirage, CA
’’onCongratulations another classy,
currently relevant, and impressive Advantage Magazine!!
Arthurlene Towner, Adjunct Professor, Ph.D, Humanities, Menlo College
Thanks for the photo of S.F. 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice! I met him while waiting for a client at the SFO Marriott in the late 1990s. What a thrill to have won five championships! After attending three tennis camps at Menlo as a ten-year-old, I proudly competed on the Menlo College 1978 Men’s Tennis Team! Robert Cavalier ’78 Tigard, OR
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Email: email@example.com Or write to: Editor, Advantage Magazine Menlo College, 1000 El Camino Real, Atherton, CA 94027
My Menlo Pride By Micah Ka-ne ’91 Chair of the Menlo College Board of Trustees
Thirty-one years ago, I first stepped onto the Menlo College campus. To now serve as Chair of the Menlo College Board of Trustees is a great honor for me. It’s an especially fitting time, as I see my daughter Ili, class of 2020, grow and learn here at the College just as I did so many years ago. I believe my life’s purpose is to make a difference in people’s lives. The Hawaiian word kuleana is loosely translated to mean responsibility, and my kuleana is to elevate the lives of others. That is what was done for me at Menlo College, and that’s what I mirror through my service to the school. Prior to enrolling at Menlo College, I had only left my home state of Hawai’i once before. Attending the school did so much for me. It broadened my view of the world, which up until then was focused on the Hawaiian Islands. I was determined, though, to bring the knowledge I gained back to Hawai’i. Since then, I have been fortunate to enjoy many challenging and fulfilling roles. I served in our Governor’s cabinet as Chair of the Hawaiian Homes Commission and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. I also held active roles in many other community-based organizations. Currently, I serve as Board Chair of the Kamehameha Schools, and CEO and President of the Hawai’i Community Foundation, one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the nation dedicated to improving communities across the islands. Through all of my experiences, kuleana continues to inform the way I lead in each of these roles, much as it does my role with Menlo. Helping the College to improve is a time-honored tradition at Menlo. I know that everyone who came before me made Menlo better, and my hope is that, together with my fellow alumni, we can do the same. As alumni, we have the privilege of being part of that great tradition, in that we can make the value of a Menlo diploma even greater. If you seize it, we all benefit. I hope you will join me. MENLO COLLEGE
Andy Cunningham Markets Menlo College By Jaagriti Sharma ’18, Marketing Manager
This past September, Menlo College was thrilled to welcome Andy Cunningham as the newest member of our teaching faculty. Cunningham is a renowned marketing expert with more than thirty years of experience bringing innovations to market in and around Silicon Valley - starting with the launch of Apple’s Macintosh in 1983, and continuing with the launch of NeXT and Pixar. Cunningham describes brand positioning as the “articulation of your overall business strategy.” She shares that many companies are innovators, on their way to disrupt a market and change the world, but they aren’t quite sure how to position their journey. Cunningham designed the curriculum of a new course to engage students in this approach to marketing. Along with a select group of students, staff, and faculty, Cunningham has embarked on a yearlong initiative to explore and build a substantial and indelible digital marketing footprint for Menlo College. When asked about her commitment to sharing her time and knowledge with Menlo College, first as a trustee and now as a professor, amongst her responsibilities as president and co-founder of her company, speaker and author, Cunningham said that “Menlo College is a hidden gem. It’s a great school that teaches students, in a variety of ways, all they need to know about being successful in business. There is no other school like this, no other school like Menlo, so we need to be all over everything.” A mother of two children now in their twenties, Cunningham explains that she learns something new from her children almost every day. “Young people can approach things from a non-traditional view. Likewise, the Menlo students aren’t prejudiced in business and bring a lot of value to the table; I look forward to learning from them as well,” she said. Cunningham hopes that the future success of this initiative can lead to more opportunities for both students and companies in Silicon Valley. The long-term vision is to evolve into a self-funded, student led marketing agency that will consult locally, creating mutually beneficial business relationships that will help to spread the Menlo College name.
In September Menlo College hosted Menlo Meets Silicon Valley, a panel discussion featuring current Menlo trustees Andy Cunningham and Tom Byers, alongside two Menlo alumni, Bob Uttenreuther and Carol Hague, each of whom illustrates a very different path to success in the area Menlo students aspire to make their mark. Photo: Andrey Poliakov
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First Year Students Find their Menlo at Orientation 2018 By Andrea Peeters, Ph.D., Dean of Student Affairs Over 200 new Oaks participated in Student Orientation in August. The class of 2022 gathered on campus to interact with faculty and staff, learn about essential resources, and immerse themselves in our close-knit community. And then they left. Following orientation, new students were whisked up to the 1,700-acre Walker Creek Ranch, located just inland from the Point Reyes National Seashore in West Marin County. They took part in team building activities. They participated in discussions about character building, overcoming challenges, and diversity. And they had time to engage with each other. The students spent three days immersed in nature and wildlifeâ€”an environment many of them had never before experienced. No internet, no phones, just connecting. Photos by Andrey Poliakov, Jaagriti Sharma and Esther Funez
Faculty Bring International Experiences to Menlo
Education and Libraries Change the World By Valeria Molteni, Dean of Library Services
The Bowman Library is the campus hub where students gather daily in virtual and physical levels to create new knowledge and consolidate intentional learning processes. My long navigation to the Menlo campus has been shaped by a sense of curiosity and my belief that education and libraries change the world. Every day I work towards the creation and improvement of services and resources to support Menlo students’ journey of discovery.
A NEW VOICE AT MENLO: Meet Valeria Molteni
HOMETOWN: Mar del Plata, Argentina
The journey that brought me to Menlo College started in an ocean city called Mar del Plata, Argentina, 25 years ago. My professional voyage has been shaped in different hemispheres, countries, environments, languages, institutions, and cultures. My educational explorations in Argentina, Spain and the U.S. have provided me different points of view that enriched my understanding of libraries and services. Libraries have been an intrinsic element in the development of civilizations, acting as evolving dynamic organisms aligned with the information platforms and the populations they serve. At the beginning of my career, we were transitioning to the electronic world; space was based on the book-centered paradigm, where stacks reigned. Since then, I have worked and studied at many libraries and academic spaces. I have written about how revolutionary the Panizzi’s British Library Reading Room was back in the 19th Century, and I have presented on student engagement and the transformation of library spaces. In the current learning-centered paradigm, academic libraries are the spaces where students learn not only through library electronic and print resources, but also through collaboration and socialization with their learning communities. Meeting and study rooms, interactive labs and classrooms, and user-centered designs are the paths that libraries apply to enlarge student educational experiences and nurture their academic success. 5 WINT ER 2019
PATH TO MENLO: My path to Menlo started in Argentina, took me through Spain, and then into the U.S. I was licensed in Librarianship and Documentation at the National University of Mar del Plata, Argentina. I received a Master of Science in Information Studies from the University of Texas at Austin, and I completed PhD coursework at the University of Granada, Spain. I worked at the Benson Collection at University of Texas in Austin, as the Multicultural and Outreach Librarian at CSU Dominguez Hills, and as Academic Liaison Librarian and interim Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship at the MLK Library, SJSU. I have published journal articles, book chapters and conference presentations on the analysis of scientific production, on the evaluation of university research systems, on electronic journal collections, on library instruction and services for international and bilingual populations, and on spaces in academic libraries. INTERESTS: Outside of work, I continue with my explorations of different cultures, sounds, tastes and languages. I love to spend time with my 6-year old daughter and my husband, swimming in the ocean, traveling, cooking, exploring the Bay Area, reading in Spanish and English, practicing yoga, and walking in my California hometown, Palo Alto. MY PERSPECTIVE: I chose Menlo for many reasons, but one of them was its diverse population. I have a strong commitment to diversity because of my personal history: l am bicultural, bilingual and a Latina librarian; in my multicultural home, we speak three languages. Diversity has shaped my professional career and has changed my perspectives. Throughout my career as a librarian, I have been exposed to a multitude of experiences, and nurtured by students’ perceptions, comprehension levels, and points of view. Given Menlo’s size, I have the grand opportunity to interact with all students, and to observe their changes throughout the arc of their Menlo experiences.
The Strategic Role of Start-ups:
Silicon Valley vs. Europe
By Annika Steiber, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and Management
Increasingly, the world’s largest companies can be divided into two camps: those clinging to an outdated form of management, and those that have found a better way. Most firms, by far, are still in the outdated category. They may employ progressive new tools and techniques, but their basic nature is that of an industrial-age bureaucracy. They have command-and-control structures, elaborate rules and procedures that dictate how things should be done, and corporate cultures to match. The command-and-control model is good for carrying out well-defined tasks. But like the steamship Titanic, it is not designed for changing course quickly. That can be a major drawback in today’s fast-changing world. In order to move beyond improvement of existing products and services, a company must pursue different strategies to cope with both the present business and innovation. Growing numbers of business scholars and executives have voiced the need for new models that are fundamentally more dynamic and flexible. The models they seek must deliver continuous innovations, and therefore growth. Such models are emerging. For several years, my colleagues and I have studied large companies that remain entrepreneurial and innovative, even as they grow quite large; they are accomplishing that feat by buying or in another way, leveraging startups, which affords them the opportunity to “exploit” and “explore” simultaneously, called ambidexterity. The approaches companies use to leverage startup capabilities fall into two different broad strategies. Silicon Valley companies such as Google, Facebook, and other innovation giants have used tech startups as part of their innovation strategy for years. European large companies have also started to realize the strategic importance of startups as an important enabler for their own long-term survival in an increasingly global competition. There are, though, geographic differences in the strategies most often deployed for using tech startups to accelerate a large firm’s speed and innovation. Silicon Valley firms frequently acquire smaller tech startups while strategically using corporate venture capital as a tool to speed up the their own technical learning process, as well as to secure access to new, potentially important technologies. In contrast, European firms tend to invest heavily in corporate accelerator and incubator programs to which they invite carefully selected tech startups to join. The large-small firm collaboration seen frequently in Europe is not made possible by an acquisition of the small firm, and in many cases not even by acquiring an ownership stake in the small firm. Instead, it is most often structured as a commercial arrangement through which the startup also secures the ability to innovate and grow internationally alongside the large firm. There are American examples as well of this kind of large-small firm innovation collaboration. One is AT&T, which has adopted a similar model and established several AT&T Foundry Innovation Centers around the world. In addition, companies such as Google (Google for Entrepreneurs) and Microsoft (Microsoft StartUp and ScaleUp) both use a similar model, which they undertake in order to build an ecosystem for the companies’ core products. For the last seven years, I have focused on large-small firm innovation collaboration. I have identified eight models most commonly used to accelerate large-firm innovation by leveraging startup capabilities, and have written extensively on a new management paradigm based on patterns among innovation giants headquartered in Silicon Valley, China, as well as in Europe. My findings can help large companies everywhere solve the ambidexterity challenge by better utilizing startups, thereby becoming critically needed contributors to further innovation and to a healthy pool of growing startups.
A NEW VOICE AT MENLO: Meet Annika Steiber
HOMETOWN: Gothenborg, Sweden PATH TO MENLO: Menlo is an opportunity for me to bring to the classroom my 18 years of experience as an executive and over 20 years as a researcher within the field of management innovations. My executive experience has included roles in startups, mid-sized and multi-national corporations; my research has been focused on entrepreneurship and innovation. RESEARCH INTERESTS: Management for speed, adaptability and constant innovation; new management models for a volatile, uncertain, connected world.
MY PERSPECTIVE: Life is short and I want to make a footprint in science as well as in business. I view Menlo College as a platform to achieve both things, and thus I will be able to contribute value to our community and to the world. My personal beliefs have been shaped by my background in Sweden. I strongly believe that everyone has the same right to higher education and that anyone can become the next star - in business, science or other sectors. Success is not due to high grades and attendance at the best schools, but on mindset, personal characteristics and perseverance. I believe in a culture built on respect for each other, independent of levels and titles, and in the importance of diversity in order to better understand our world. I also believe in the importance of daring to dream for higher achievements in life, but also that nothing comes for free. You always have to do your best, be a good team player and networker, and be persistent. Finally, I want my students to feel we are a team. I can provide new knowledge to them, and they can provide a willingness to learn, but also new insights that I can learn from! MENLO COLLEGE
International Experiences (cont)
Kate McQueen Studies Extreme Political Speech on German Social Media By Kate McQueen, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor of English I spent the summer researching the influence of social media on political behavior in Germany. There are a few reasons why the rest of the world—including U.S. college students—should be interested in what happens on German-language Facebook and Twitter. Like in the U.S., online mobilization by the German political far right played a key role in recent election outcomes, and continues to drive public debate over controversial political issues. Also like their American counterparts, extreme political groups in Germany amplify their message by trolling. In other words, they use aggression, vitriol, and satire to provoke opponents and drive online traffic. What makes this mobilization interesting is the speed with which it has narrowed the space between publicly acceptable political expression and hate speech. While concern over this issue may not be a particularly animating issue for Americans, it is for Germans. This year Germany became the first country to legislate speech on social media platforms. The new law will determine the boundaries of acceptable online speech globally, by requiring online platforms to monitor and eliminate offending posts. The form of speech most resistant to such policing is humor. As such, satire has become increasing popular as a form of political activism. My continuing research examines how online satirical advocacy is being used in Germany, to both promote and counter extremist agendas. 7 WINT ER 2019
Social media is a truly global phenomenon (Facebook now has over two billion users!), and we’ve only just started to understand how online activity affects offline communities. Now and going forward, it will be vital for institutions of higher education to equip students to be critical consumers of online information.
A NEW VOICE AT MENLO: Meet Kate McQueen
HOMETOWN: Urbana, IL PATH TO MENLO: After finishing a Ph.D.in German Studies at Stanford, I worked several years as a freelance writer, editor, and translator in Germany. This time spent abroad allowed me to develop additional expertise in composition, the subject I now teach at Menlo College. RESEARCH INTERESTS: Central European literary and press history, literary journalism and other genres of fact, narratives of crime and justice, critical and cultural theory MY PERSPECTIVE: The most important skill you can cultivate in college is curiosity. Knowing how to ask questions is more important than having all the information at hand!
Menlo College Receives $1.8 Million Grant to Support Student Success By Angela Schmiede, Vice President for Student Success In recognition of the college’s success providing strong personalized academic support for students to succeed, Menlo was recently awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Education to further scale student success efforts. The $1,818,252 grant, “Bridging the Achievement and Retention Gap through Tutoring, Technology, and Advising,” is funded through the Title III Strengthening Institutions Program. The project will include four activities: expanding the Menlo College Rising Scholars Program; implementing Intensive Math and Writing Labs for introductory math and English classes; implementing ePortfolios to assess student writing; and utilizing an advising and retention platform for academic advising. “This funding greatly improves our capacity to strengthen students’ math and writing skills, which are critical for success both during and after college. This program will increase retention and graduation outcomes,” said Angela Schmiede, vice president for student success and project director. “Menlo College is grateful for the award from the U.S. Department of Education, which will fund 97% of the total project costs.”
A NEW VOICE AT MENLO: Meet Frank M. Wasilewski
POSITION: Vice President of Finance & Administration and CFO HOMETOWN: Redwood City, CA PATH TO MENLO: After graduating from Sonoma State University with a degree in Accounting I went on to work for Deloitte in their Audit practice. I worked there for approximately five years before accepting the Assistant Controller role at the University of San Francisco. During my tenure at USF I obtained my CPA license and MBA while working in various positions culminating as Associate Vice President for Accounting & Business Services. MY PERSPECTIVE: When I saw the Menlo College CFO position open up, my interest was immediate. The position presented the opportunity to be involved in many more aspects of life on a college campus while also offering a dream commute from my home in Redwood City. I love the close-knit, family feel of Menlo and really enjoy engaging with the diverse set of students. When not at work, I love sports of all kinds, the outdoors, and spending time with my wife and two daughters, whether it’s coaching their soccer teams, watching ballet, or just cooking dinner together at home.
Menlo College Team Selected as Finalist in Business Valuation Challenge Competing against undergraduate as well as MBA students from colleges and universities across the U.S., a team of five Menlo College finance and accounting students was selected as one of eight finalists for the 2018 Business Valuation Challenge. Menlo’s team included (left to right) Albin Andersson, Julie Ccaihuari, Adam Fenyvesi, Maheen Jawaid, and Lukasz Nowosielski – all members of the class of 2019. The group’s faculty sponsor was Professor Dima Leshchinskii, and additional guidance was provided by Professors Soumendra De and Manish Tewari, as well as by David Hern, CPA. The finalists were selected by a panel of 21 experts based on a video submitted by each team in which the students presented their valuation of a company that was modeled by the organizers of the competition. The Menlo team traveled to Atlanta, Georgia, to compete for the top prize: the “Kierulff Cup” trophy. While they didn’t come home with the trophy, they succeeded in bringing recognition to Menlo’s finance program with their top-eight finish. MENLO COLLEGE
A Case Study in Mediating Explosive Situations By Grande Lum, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
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One theme throughout my career has been to work with people on opposing sides of an issue, finding ways for them to speak constructively with each other. Recently, from 2012 to 2016, I served as director of the Community Relations Service (CRS) agency within the Department of Justice. CRS was created by the 1964 Civil Rights Act to help resolve racial conflicts in the country. During my time at the helm of CRS, we helped bridge differences in communities in crisis like those of Sanford, Florida after the shooting of Trayvon Martin and Ferguson, Missouri after the shooting of Michael Brown. At times of polarization, CRS mediators were able to reduce tensions, facilitate constructive dialogue, and help work through solutions. In many situations, CRS was able to bring peace and problem solving to many communities that never make the headlines or go viral on social media. My key approach at CRS was to find a common denominator between opposed groups. In the midst of what tears people apart, we worked hard to get factions to move forward together. One situation in particular highlights both the challenges of human frailty and the opportunities of being in this together. I was working with a staff member in a small city on the East Coast. I am not sharing the city name and certain aspects of the situation to respect confidentiality. A video went viral of a police officer striking a suspect in custody. A civil rights organization protested and demanded change on a broader set of issues regarding the police department. Talks ensued between the protestors and the police, but worsened dramatically and a civil rights leader openly criticized the police chief in front of the media. CRS was asked to intervene. To find common ground, the first thing we as mediators did was to immerse ourselves in understanding. How did each side see the situation? What was the underlying problem? Why did conversations spin out of control? To do this meant to have honest conversations with opposing parties. It meant showing the other side we understood how they saw what was going on. In this situation that meant overcoming a trust barrier. The protest leader had openly criticized the police chief after an agreement had been reached by the two behind closed doors. The police chief felt that the leader had gone against his word in the press conference. The chief no longer trusted the individual. We learned that the protest leader had constituent pressures on him and needed to show he was not caving in to the police, but felt badly he did not give the chief the heads up. We coached both individuals on how to deal more constructively with their conflict. As mediators we got an agreement to raise the issue between them. It allowed the civil rights leader to say that the mediator was raising the issue, not him. Once we raised it, the leader apologized not for criticizing the chief, but for not giving him a heads up that he was going to do so. This was a pivotal moment, and we could see this allowed the mediation to move forward much more quickly after this. From there, we helped the parties on the shared interests of better communication, and improved community-police relationship. This led to a hotline for each side to communicate with each other regarding inflammatory issues, police officer training, and increased minority police officer recruitment. This mediation technique of finding the common denominator of improved community-police relations was accomplished through probing for understanding, increasing trust, and brainstorming solutions, and can be used in any situation when trying to defuse polarization to increase collaboration. At Menlo, I look forward to sharing more of my experiences. Students already know the importance of working on teams in the classroom and as interns. I invite everyone to stop by and share with me your experiences navigating between people who do not always agree. Grande Lum and President Barack Obama at the United States Department of Justice, January 17, 2014. Photo: The Department of Justice
HOMETOWN: San Francisco, CA
A NEW VOICE AT MENLO: Meet Grande Lum
PATH TO MENLO: Just before I joined Menlo College, I was the first director of the Divided Community Project at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, where I also served as a Distinguished Practitioner in Residence. I had the opportunity to help launch the Divided Community Project with some fabulous colleagues from Ohio State. We created tools to help communities throughout the country deal with increasing polarization and division.
In 2012, prior to my role at Ohio State, President Barack Obama had nominated me, and the Senate confirmed me by unanimous consent (which does not happen that often!) as the Director of the Community Relations Service (CRS), an agency within the Department of Justice. CRS did important work preventing and responding to hate crimes based on religion, sexual orientation, and disability. I guided the agency when race and law enforcement also reemerged as an ongoing national priority. Prior to joining CRS, I was a clinical professor at the University of California Hastings School of the Law, where I directed the Center for Negotiation and Dispute Resolution. MY PERSPECTIVE: I view the Provost position at Menlo College as an incredible opportunity to make a difference. Menlo College has such a rich history of changing lives â€“ I talked to numerous students and alumni who shared terrific stories of the value of their Menlo College experience. I love how the College is a student-centric community that provides exceptional learning, support and opportunity for each and every student. Itâ€™s a place where one class, one professor, one coach, or one staff member can substantially alter the life path of a student for the better.
Images of Manzanar
By Melissa Eriko Poulsen, Ph.D., Professor of English and Jodie Austin, Ph.D., Professor of English
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In 1942, following the bombing of Pearl Harbor during World War II, Americans witnessed the installation of posters around their neighborhoods mandating the “evacuation” of “all persons of Japanese descent.” The mere fact of their ethnic Japanese identity was seen as a threat to U.S. security; in all, over 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry were told to give up most of their belongings, leave their homes behind, and report to a relocation center. From there, they were sent to so-called internment camps, where they remained until after the war had ended. In addition to those who were detained in the internment camps, there were over 2000 issei, or first generation, men imprisoned at separate facilities and falsely accused of being enemy aliens. Meanwhile, thousands of Japanese Americans fought in the war itself. The nisei who enlisted in the 100th Infantry Battalion/442nd Regiment adopted the motto “Go for Broke.” They would become the most decorated military unit of
its size in U.S. history. Still other Japanese Americans became crucial to the efforts of the Military Intelligence Service. Almost seventy-seven years have passed since Executive Order 9066 was signed. Yet, in our current political climate, it is more crucial than ever to remember this history. In 2016, Professors Melissa Poulsen and Jodie Austin gave a talk on their families’ experiences in the camps while showcasing the work of J. Mitsu, whose paintings provide an intimate and strikingly vivid illustration of the camps as monuments to a shameful point in American history. The paintings featured here, part of a larger series that documents all ten of the internment sites, invite all viewers to imagine this moment in history. As we bear witness to the internment experience, and to the stories of all those affected, we are also reminded of all the stories that we may never recover. In the face of these silences, both intentional and unintentional, how do we remember?
The authors: Melissa Eriko Poulsen’s research focuses on Asian American literature and Critical Mixed Race Studies. J. Mitsu is an oil and watercolor painter whose work has been displayed at the Sonoma County Museum, Santa Rosa City Hall, and the Sebastopol Center for the Arts. Melissa and J. Mitsu, who were the inaugural artists-in-residence at Manzanar National Historic Site, are at work on a book about their family’s internment experience. Jodie Austin’s research focuses on the history of medicine, early modern literature, and popular culture. Her grandparents and great-grandparents were interned at Manzanar before being transferred to Tule Lake for their refusal to sign the infamous “loyalty questionnaires.”
Paintings by J. Mistu
International Students on Campus:
Bringing Diverse Voices to the Table
By Caroline Casper, Adjunct Professor of Literature and Creative Writing
The number of international students attending U.S. universities has increased dramatically in recent years, shifting the culture on college campuses nationwide in significant and noteworthy ways, according to the Association of International Educators (NAFSA). Menlo College is no exception. 2018 marks our highest number of international student enrollment ever. Today 19% of our students are international, drawn from a total of 36 different countries around the world, and more than a quarter of the full-time faculty (32%) are from countries other than the U.S. These statistics make us incredibly unique. According to U.S. News & World Report, with 19% of our students registering as international, we match that of universities such as University of California San Diego and New York University. And locally, within the San Francisco Bay Area, we have higher percentages of international students than neighbor schools such as Stanford, the University of San Francisco, and the University of California, Berkeley. But why are international students so attracted to Menlo? According to Manasi Devdhar-Mane, Director of International Students at Menlo College, our location certainly helps. International students, like students from the U.S., are drawn to the networking opportunities we offer here in Silicon Valley. Devdhar-Mane also said our mandatory six-unit internship program is especially attractive to international students looking for job connections when they graduate. “We’re a small school,” she said. “We offer personalized attention, small class sizes, and professors who know our students by their first names. Here international students aren’t just part of a statistic. We cater to their needs and make sure they are happy.” While Menlo is certainly aware that our community lacks representation from many important countries and cultures of the world, it seems that most of the faculty here would agree that the international students are one of the school’s most treasured assets. Teaching our students about global competency, the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to communicate and succeed in today’s interconnected world, is more critical than ever before. This year more than half of the 34 students in my Introduction to Literature class are international, and while it may be necessary for me to change my teaching styles and approaches to accommodate this shift, I have always found that what I do for the benefit of the international students has also been helpful for those who are from the U.S. For once the students engage in discussions and share their personal stories and opinions, the previously timid and divided classroom suddenly becomes vibrant with a sense of connection and creativity that didn’t exist moments earlier. One of my international students, Pericles Tsangrides,’19, from Athens, Greece said it best. “I truly believe that there is not a comparable source of knowledge to that of interacting with people from other countries and cities around the world.” But how do the other international students feel about life at Menlo? I spoke to students from fourteen countries for this article. While most of them mentioned Menlo’s location in Silicon Valley and its small, intimate culture as the college’s most attractive offerings, they also said that studying abroad has enriched their education in invaluable ways. Continued on page 15 13 W INT ER 2019
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I N T E R N AT I O N A L C O N V E R S AT I O N S < Salome Cordinier ’22, (right) from Carros, a small city in the South of France, said she likes the diversity at Menlo College because it reminds her of home. Cordinier, a basketball player who was recruited last summer, said, “The fact that I am part of a team here helps a lot because my teammates did everything they could to make me feel good when I first got here, which is very important when you are far from your family.”
MORE VOICES Libero Guerrera ’22, from Rome, Italy said he ultimately chose to study here because of Menlo’s reputation as a great business school and because of its location in Silicon Valley. “I feel very comfortable at Menlo, and I love the fact that there are so many people from so many different countries,” he said. “I’m not the only foreign student.”
Ruinian Wang ’20, from Wuhan, China, said she chose Menlo because it is small and she knew Emmanuelle (Sophie) Seigning ’18,(left) from Yaounde, Cameroon in West Africa, said she she’d miss home. “I can make true friends here and professors will remember me. I can ask them for help. was also recruited to join the basketball team but ultimately chose Menlo because of its diversity You don’t need to worry about discrimination.” and because she wanted to study accounting, an acclaimed and popular program here. “Menlo
provides a platform for students to express their cultures,” Seigning said. “I am very proud to represent my culture because it’s an opportunity to let people know about Cameroon.” Pedro Almeida ’22, (right) from the city of Belo Horizonte in Brazil, was recruited to join the men’s volleyball team. And although he is one of only four Brazilians on campus, he said he feels like he has found another home here at Menlo. “Representing such an enormous country is a big responsibility.”
Sambhab Thapaliya ’20, from Bharatpur, Nepal, said he came to Menlo because he was offered a scholarship and wanted to be in Silicon Valley where “things are happening.” He said the diversity at Menlo is “awesome,” but he believes that the college could do a better job of developing entrepreneurship opportunities for immigrants. Bastian Barsoe ’20, is from a small city called Espergærde just outside of Copenhagen. Although he attended a business school in Denmark for three years, he said Menlo’s location in Silicon Valley was what lured him to transfer his studies overseas. “I love the diversity of the American culture, and it creates many opportunities for people that believe in themselves and want to do something extraordinary with their lives.” Sion Hovsepian ’22, from Hamburg, Germany, said he chose Menlo because of the location in Silicon Valley. Hovsepian, whose family is Armenian, not German, also said, “It feels great to represent Germany and my Armenian roots [on campus], to let people know about my culture and heritage.”
really appreciate how students and professors at Menlo treat international students.”
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Zishen (Alvin) Yu ’21, (left) an accounting major from Chongqing, China, said he chose Menlo because he too was offered a scholarship and has always wanted to study in the San Francisco Angelo Willi ’20, from Heiligkreuz, Switzerland, Bay Area. He also said that being an international student and “catching up with everyone else” said he came to Menlo as a transfer student to join can be hard. To help ease the transition, he suggested that the Menlo cafeteria offer the men’s soccer team. “I feel very welcome here…I more foods from Asia. “For example, more dumplings,” he said, laughing. Moris Khoudari ’19, from Bogota, Colombia, said that “the diversity at Menlo is good because the college allows freedom of expression without any problems, which is something I value.” Photos: Andrey Poliakov
History of Rights for the Disabled By Mike Palmieri, Academic Advisor and Disability Services Specialist Imagine for a moment you were not allowed to wear glasses (or contacts) in class. Perhaps your brain required a bit longer to process words and instructions, but all your work is time-limited to the exact same length as everyone else. Or what if your motor skills were such that writing was nearly impossible for you, but using a computer for notetaking was not allowed? Those hardly seem fair or just, right? While the first example may be extreme and unlikely, the others are actually fairly common challenges for millions of college students across the country. The first anti-discrimination law protecting people with disabilities was The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, prohibiting discrimination in any program or activity receiving federal funds. This included institutions of higher education, and the part specifically addressing students is Section 504: “No otherwise qualified handicapped individual shall, solely by means of handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” Another protection came in the form of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), signed into law in 1990 and updated in 2008. The ADA defines disabilities as physical or mental impairments that substantially limit one or more major life activities such as caring for yourself, performing manual tasks, walking, speaking, hearing, seeing, breathing, learning, or working. These can all be affected by physical, sensory and healthrelated disabilities, psychological disorders, and learning disabilities. “Title II” and “Title III” of the ADA require that institutions provide reasonable accommodations, with the intent of ensuring that students with disabilities have equitable access to the educational experience. To accomplish that might include modifications to practices, policies, and procedures. What does all that mean? What kind of modifications do schools use, and how are they implemented? How does this work? At Menlo, students with disabilities first connect with the relevant office on campus, and discuss appropriate accommodations. Accommodations are how we level the playing field, so that students with disabilities are guaranteed equal access and opportunity. That might include things like: additional time on tests, a distraction-free testing space, sign language interpreters, audiobooks, screen-reading software, note-takers, course substitutions, or classroom location changes. This list is not exhaustive, as accommodations plans are developed in collaboration with students (and potentially doctors, specialists, and family) to address their specific individual needs. Menlo College welcomes everyone, and we work diligently to ensure that the 40 - 50 students who need special accommodations each semester experience an inclusive environment. To learn more, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. MENLO COLLEGE
To Hear, Feel, and to See
By Lowell Pratt, Lecturer, Literature and Humanities Menlo College emphasizes the importance of education aimed at preparing students to participate in and contribute to the global community. Our vision statement speaks of helping students “make a positive impact on the world.” An increased understanding of the world we live in will help inform what that impact will be. One of the ways Menlo students learn more about the global community is through the study and discussion of world literature. Modern World Literature, a class that I have taught for the past twenty years, is devoted exclusively to literature from around the globe. In designing this course, the humanities faculty specified that beyond delving into literary aspects of works, the course should “focus on specific contemporary problems as well as ways in which different countries and cultures have addressed them.” It has not been difficult to find literature that does just this. In my current Modern World Literature class, we picture what Marjane Satrapi, author of the graphic memoir Persepolis, faced as a child with the mandate of veiling during Iran’s 1980s Islamic Revolution. Our next novel, To Live by Yu Hua, describes the harrowing effects of the wanton brutal madness of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. In the following week, reading Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions, students will be introduced
to the narrative of thirteen year-old Tambu coming of age in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in the 1960s. And so the tour continues as both students and instructor have the opportunity to participate imaginatively in the issues, concerns, and problems of different cultures through what novelist Joseph Conrad identifies as the power of the written word by which a writer is trying to make us hear, feel, and above all, see. The insight into the peoples, culture, and history that studying world literature offers is enlightening, which I see during the vibrant discussions that arise in class. With Menlo’s diverse makeup, we all benefit from hearing many perspectives. Particularly valuable to a world literature class are the voices of international students who can comment with such authenticity on works from their own countries and cultures. I will never forget the moment when a student from Buenos Aires shared with the class the tragic story of the wounding of her uncle by a letter bomb during the “Dirty War” of Argentina in the 1970s. She made the compelling point that there were victims on all sides of the conflict. Another student from Pakistan, the niece of Mohsin Hamid, a renowned author I often teach, offered the keen observations of an insider about her own country as well as neighboring India. It was certainly a delight to have a Latin American perspective from our Dean of Enrollment Management, Priscila de Souza, a Brazilian who took my class some ten years ago. About that time, I also received a gratifying email from a Saudi Arabian student of the
1990s, who at the time he wrote was managing director of the largest private company in his country. Crediting reading as a big part in his development, he thanked me for teaching him to analyze everything he read to find deeper meaning. I should thank him—and hopefully his fellow students feel the same way—for offering a regional perspective on The Journey of Ibn Fattouma, Nobel Prize winning Naguib Mahfouz’s parable of a journey of discovery set in the Middle East. Two years ago, when I ran into a former student who had moved from Japan to the U.S. at an early age, she shared with me that reading and discussing the novel In the Country of Men, whose nine year old protagonist emigrates to Egypt from his native Libya during the perilous Gaddafi years of the 1970s, inspired her psychology thesis: “The Effects of War Related Trauma and Stress on Refugee Families: Growth and Resistance.” Beyond recognizing the diversity which characterizes our world and which its literature reveals so intimately, my students and I find many commonalities in the human experience. People are more alike than they are unalike, as the saying goes. The growing pains of children and the anxieties of their parents, for instance, have been, are, and will be a constant around the globe even though the expression of those pains and anxieties may be different. Studying and discussing world literature teaches students to respect and learn from our differences as well as take comfort in and celebrate the humanity we all share.
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Menlo Strengthens Curriculum to Emphasize Critical Thinking By Grande Lum, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Menlo College is continuing to enhance its curriculum to improve the intellectual lives of the students in the college. As the new Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, my top priority is to ensure that Menloâ€™s curriculum reflects best practices for preparing students for working and living in the 21st century. Critical thinking is key. Menlo College emphasizes the importance of a solid liberal arts foundation before students branch into their psychology and business specialties. Both the general requirements and upper division courses are designed to strengthen critical thinking. Our new emphasis is to increasingly make humanities and quantitative courses dovetail so that students see issues from many perspectives. This improves critical thinking and will prepare students for all the shifting perspectives of the Silicon Valley ecosystem. To me this is such an exciting opportunity. In recent decades we have seen how business organizations have been at the forefront of social transformation. To ready our students to be successful in that world, with an attentive eye towards our ethical responsibility and a multicultural frame, is a daunting and exhilarating challenge. A course we have added to our curriculum is Genetics and Human Evolution, taught by Professor Evan Lau this fall. The class has been discussing biological issues associated with the biotech industry, especially in Silicon Valley, as well as broader issues in science. In the U.S. alone, the output of the biomedical industry exceeds $200 billion. With the focus on sustainability and business organization driven social change, the newer course Social and Environmental Entrepreneurship has also been popular. This course was designed to teach students that the concepts, tools, and practices of business can be used as a vehicle for social change, and that efforts to erect such change are not the sole responsibility of government and non-profit organizations. Courses approved by the Curriculum Committee this year include Digital Transformation in a Changing Market. Companies across a wide
spectrum must compete in the new digital world and that can mean fundamental reworking of their business. Another new course, Big Data Analytics for Managers, looks at the shift in decision-making as more and more decisions are driven by the mountains of data now available; the ability to insightfully comprehend and process that evidence is now more crucial. A new course on Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Literature has also been approved and should be popular given the strong historical Pacific Island Menlo College connection and the number of current Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students Margaret McFarland, our new Director of The Real Estate Center (TREC), will teach the course, Reading, Writing and Real Estate Literature, thereby enhancing our real estate concentration. Our LinkedIn data shows that 14% of our alumni work in Real Estate, and given the continued importance of real estate in the Bay Area, we are concentrating on preparing professionals for that field. Sean Pradhan, a recent Ph.D. graduate of the University of Michigan and the top ranked sports management program in the country, has recently arrived at Menlo to expand our curriculum in that important area as well. Whatâ€™s in the works? We are taking a hard look at the core curriculumâ€” the general education requirements that are typically taken during the first two years. A working group of faculty and staff are taking a deep dive into the general education requirements, focusing on making the core curriculum more cohesive. This will build on integration that is already happening. For example, the Math and English department are working together and using the same book, The Martian, to analyze complex problems from two disciplines. Menlo will also be seeking input from students, alumni and industry thought leaders through existing advisory committees and a new Provost Community Leadership Council. This is an exciting opportunity to advance the intellectual and developmental atmosphere for our students, a cohesiveness that will serve them well as they launch into their careers.
What Does Shakespeare Have to Do with Buying an iPhone? By Lauren John, Writing Center Instructor and Adjunct Professor, English
At the Menlo College Writing and Oral Communications Center (WOCC), critical thinking begins before students hit the keyboard to write a paper or create notes for a talk. In fact, writing may be the last step in a half hour meeting—and some students don’t start writing until after they leave the WOCC. Instead, when students come to us for help with an argumentative essay or a research paper, we spend some time talking about how to form the argument or thesis. Next, we talk defense. Why do we believe what we do? Who else agrees or disagrees with us? What’s our conclusion? We hope that in the midst of our collaboration, we discover who else makes good arguments. Whom do we trust and why do we trust them? Sometimes we disagree about whom to trust. And sometimes the original argument changes as we process new information. And all of that is okay—in fact, it can be terrific! That’s because, overall, our goal is to engage in deep and creative analysis—critical thinking—one of the most important skills that colleges can teach. Here’s a recent example of how critical thinking works at the Writing Center. One wellexplored topic for our business and sports management majors is research on what football teams should do about the connection between sports-related concussions and traumatic brain injuries. With the assistance of WOCC and the library, students consider which medical experts to quote and why. Which sports and business journals are important? Which college coach might be appropriate to interview? Last, but certainly not least, once a writer/ researcher gathers the wide range of opinions about what should or should not be done to limit brain injuries, what do they themselves think should be done? Of course, “in the real world” outside of academia, critical thinking may involve a split second decision over whether to believe a 140-character Tweet. Maybe you are at the Apple store trying to decide whether you need the latest iPhone. Is it worth the price? Is the salesperson
To buy, or not to buy; That is the question. genuinely trying to help you, or are they trying to make a sale or both? Then again, maybe you are faced with a larger decision, like convincing your board of directors whether or not to invest in a Silicon Valley startup. We like to think that the skills that you developed at Menlo College, critiquing a Shakespeare play or analyzing an article in The Economist, will prepare you for all of these tasks. Students often come to the Writing Center asking me for the “right” answer. “You are a professor,” the students exclaim. “You will know what the other professors expect.” What I have to repeat again and again is that college is the place to set your own standards and form your own ideas. Menlo College students come from all over the United States, and indeed, all over the world, with a wide range of opinions. Professors can’t possibly agree with all of these opinions. And students might be surprised to learn that professors don’t always agree with each other! What we do agree upon at the WOCC is that we can give you the tools and the skills to communicate your ideas. We’ll also give you the tools and skills to respectfully evaluate the ideas of others. We are all fortunate to be part of a diverse college community sharing a wide range of ideas and scholarship. And we invite you to join the conversation. 21 WINT ER 2019
Lauren John at KQED
If you would like to know more about how Menlo College encourages critical thinking, you can listen to this two-minute podcast (https://www.kqed.org/ perspectives/201601137218/criticalthinking) that Lauren John delivered over KQED—the National Public Radio (www.kqed.org) station serving over 2.5 million listeners in Northern California. Lauren is a regular contributor to the KQED Perspectives Series in which local listeners express their views on a wide variety of personal, cultural, political and scientific topics. Perspective contributors record their message at KQED studios in San Francisco and receive a $65 stipend. The sound engineers are patient and you don’t have to be a professional broadcaster to record your message. Recording sessions take between one half hour to one hour. If you are interested in recording a Perspective or need help creating one, you can make an appointment with Lauren at the Writing and Oral Communications Center or send her an e-mail at email@example.com.
Finance Club Visits Bloomberg In October students of the Finance Club visited the Pier 3, San Francisco office of Bloomberg. They learned about the daily work in various departments while becoming acquainted with internship and career opportunities with the company. A staff member at Bloomberg conducted an hour-long training session detailing the protocol for maneuvering and navigating the Bloomberg Terminal, a computer software system that provides an array of information about markets, including analysis of real-time financial market data. Menlo College has recently begun subscribing to a Bloomberg Terminal on campus, giving students all the historical data and real time information the terminal has to offer, and allowing them to earn the ever-popular Bloomberg Market Concepts (BMC) certification.
A NEW VOICE AT MENLO: Meet Shalini Gopalkrishnan
POSITION: Visiting Professor, Management OFFICIAL HOMETOWN: Bombay, India ACTUAL HOMETOWN: The World PATH TO MENLO: In India, I worked in management consulting with international Fortune 500 clients, the World Bank, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and other public and private institutions. I also taught at the S. P. Jain Institute of Management and Research in Mumbai, a top 10 business school in India. RESEARCH INTERESTS: My research includes entrepreneurship and international business and technology, with an emphasis on how these can intersect to solve the worldâ€™s most complex problems. MY PERSPECTIVE: Constant learning is my mantra in life; I can learn from anyone, anywhere. As I teach, I hope to instill this wonderment of learning, of being excited and curious about things. I insist that students learn more about the world stage. Each week, they must bring the latest news to class, learn how to present it well, and discuss it with logic and rigor. I speak several Indian languages, including Hindi and Gujarati. In my time at Menlo, I have seen students learn from each otherâ€™s cultures and begin to grasp the connectedness of humanity. It gives me hope for the future to see our students wishing to go out into the world and work with others regardless of geography, religion, or status. MENLO COLLEGE
FA C U LT Y N E W S Faculty Updates Professor Michael Durrigan brings his combined expertise in math, statistics, and psychology to bear in the classroom and as a student mentor. After introducing students to fundamental ideas of probability in his inferential statistics classes, he then connects the dots to show how important decisions can be driven by data and backed by statistical analyses. To prepare our students for the artificial intelligence (AI) revolution, International Management Professor Shalini Gopalkrishnan is addressing AI as “the fourth industrial revolution” in the classroom. Explorations of creativity, risk taking, negotiation, selling, and media literacy all serve to provide Menlo students with greater AI awareness and fluency. Professor Gopalkrishnan also recently attended an invitation-only Wall Street Journal conference on Women in the Workplace. Management Professor Nicole Jackson was recently sought out and nominated for the FUSE Fellowship to work with the Oakland Mayor’s Office on opportunity and affordability gap reductions in the K-12 to college entry pipeline. While honored by the nomination, Professor Jackson had to decline the opportunity as it requires a full-time commitment with Oakland public schools. The recent publication of Free Cash, Capital Accumulation and Inequality, by Economics Professor Craig Medlen offers those studying and researching in the field of economic analysis an explanation of the basis for the way wealth and income inequalities have fashioned, and been fashioned by, various¬historical episodes. The book argues for heightened taxes on the wealthy and an increased role for government investment in health care and energy. Oxford University Press Board of Delegates accepted for publication the first monograph written by English Professor Lisa Mendelman. Modern Sentimentalism: The Ironies of Female Character in Interwar America tells the emotional history of the modern woman and the corollary reinvention of sentimentalism in the years between the two World Wars. Look for it on Amazon in late fall 2019. As it’s election season, Political Science Professor Melissa Michelson has enjoyed extensive media coverage this semester. Closer to campus, she helped drive student voter registration and encouraged students to cast their ballots on election day. She was also awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to support the Women Also Know Stuff project, and published “I Feel Like I Was Born Here: Social Identity, Political Socialization, and DeAmericanization” in Latino Studies. Finally, she was elected as president of the Latino Caucus of the American Political Science Association. Menlo’s new Sports Management Professor Sean Pradhan recently completed a study that examined the responses of domestic and international fans to the NBA’s jersey sponsorship initiative. With his co-author, Professor Pradhan showed that international fans are more accepting of sponsor advertisements on NBA jerseys than are domestic fans. The study was recently accepted for publication by the Journal of Sports Analytics. Ethics Professor Leslie Sekerka presented at the International Vincentian Business Ethics Conference, which led to a nomination for Best Paper Award. A paper she authored was also designated as a finalist for the Patrick Primeaux Best Paper Award. Other conferences at which she presented recently included the Association for Psychological Science Annual Meeting and the Annual Philosophy Conference. With funding from the James Hervey Johnson Educational Trust, Professor Sekerka is again sponsoring the Ethics in Action Guest Speaker Program, as well as the Being a Better Bear Reading Initiative, both of which actively engage Menlo students with Silicon Valley professionals. Finally, the Harvard Business Review selected her research on innovations in internal self-regulation in the market to be a featured case study. 23 WINT ER 2019
Entrepreneurship Professor Annika Steiber launched a series of new courses in response to growing interest in entrepreneurship and innovation at Menlo, including “Introduction to Entrepreneurship,” “Digital Transformation in a Changing World,” “Starting the New Venture,” “Design Thinking,” “Entrepreneurial Marketing,” and “Entrepreneurial Finance.” Also this fall, Professor Steiber hosted 28 business executives from Sweden. The executives came to Menlo to learn how to lead and organize for entrepreneurship and innovation.
Teaching Professional Business Ethics:
The Georgetown Approach By Leslie Sekerka, Ph.D., Professor of Management
The Georgetown Institute for the Study of Markets and Ethics (GISME) invited and sponsored Menlo’s own Professor Leslie Sekerka to participate in “Teaching Professional Ethics through Experiential Learning: The Georgetown Approach,” a workshop held at Georgetown University in early June.
Professor of Management Leslie Sekerka (center) at Georgetown University.
Like Menlo College, Georgetown University makes a concerted effort to focus on business ethics within their required coursework. Because learning about ethics can sometimes seem removed from the difficult ethical decisions that budding managers actually face in business enterprise, scholars are now striving to work within their community of practice to share teaching tools that prompt dialogue and foster shared learning.
During the workshop, Georgetown University experts presented their unique teaching methods to workshop participants. The program uniquely wove insights from the university’s business and philosophy departments, offering techniques known to prompt student interest and collaborative learning experiences. Tools and concepts shared at the event will be used to add value to Menlo’s core business ethics course. Special thanks go to Assistant Research Professor and Director of the GISME, Michael Douma, who generously welcomed Menlo’s participation in this event.
Common Book Evokes Thoughtful Responses from Students This year all first-year Menlo College students read The Hate U Give, an impressive debut novel by Angie Thomas. In this gripping story, 16-year-old Starr Carter sees a policeman shoot her friend Khalil. Starr’s black community Garden Heights rises up in protest, factions in the community struggle to gain dominance, and tensions escalate in the nearby white community where Starr goes to high school. As the turmoil rises, Starr must testify to the grand jury. From whom should she seek advice? And finally, how will she learn to listen to no one but herself? Students responded to this book passionately and with insight. Here are the perceptive observations of six Menlo College freshmen:
Menlo students gather for a discussion at the First Year Retreat in August of 2018 at Walker Creek Ranch in west Marin County, CA. Photo: Jaagriti Sharma
Megan Robinson, President of the Class of 2022 – When The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas came out, my family told me it was a MUST read, that it was the best book they had read in a long time. That went in one ear and out the other until this novel was assigned as Menlo’s common book. Within the first few pages I was addicted; I honestly could not put it down. But even though it was such an intriguing book, it was a hard read. There were times when I related so much to the story that tears filled my eyes and I would just cry. I realized that I was not alone and that children of all minorities have felt the pain of betraying their own history, roots, and morals to fit in with society. I want people to understand the importance of finding your voice because, just like Starr, I was drowning in society’s stereotypes and clichés of being a young black woman in America. I was scared to defend myself from people who would 25 WINT ER 2019
degrade me, comment negatively on my skin tone, and disrespect the things they did not like about my culture. But once I found my voice it was the easiest thing to correct them when they were wrong or disrespectful. Now that I have found my voice, just like Starr, I plan on making a change. Anna Schobel – The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas emphasizes the fact that racism still greatly influences black peoples’ lives. Being assigned to a category of inferiority and unable to escape police injustice, the character Starr goes through experiences faced by many black people in the United States. Because I have never personally experienced such hate, I have to admit that I was shocked as I read the book. I wasn’t distinctly aware that police brutality and oppression against people of color still exist to a great extent. The Hate U Give opened my eyes and made me realize how important it is for every single one of us to fight against racial discrimination. Our voice is the greatest and strongest tool we own. We shouldn’t be afraid to speak out not only for black people, but also for anyone who is treated unjustly. Then and only
then, can we all live together in a world worth living. Rufus Kuzhivila Pappy – One of the biggest issues that plagues this country is fear of the unknown. People are almost always afraid of things that they are not familiar with. In this country, this “thing” is identity. Everyone has lived and grown up differently, and everyone is different. However, there is no use in classifying people, because we are all humans. This is the common umbrella that we are all under. As soon as people make this realization, the formation of unhealthy groups, or competition between groups will cease. This should be our goal for solving this problem — breaking down the walls of ignorance. This book presents an argument to use one’s voice to bring this positive change to the world. Our words have power, and we should use this power to break down walls that separate us. Wendy Mouat – The Hate U Give is a novel that gives a voice to the uncomfortable side of life. The novel gives you an inside look at how children in certain areas where violence has occurred are
forced to grow up much faster than others. Readers are able to see that there are many sides to every story and get a look into the mind of a conflicted teenager. I enjoyed listening to Starr’s perspective on every character and comparing that to how I would have viewed the situation. I know many people who have lived in situations similar to Starr’s; listening to her helped me to understand them a bit better. On the other hand, certain readers that I spoke to who have personally lived like Starr had a much tougher reaction to the book and did not enjoy being forced to relive situations they have been through. The process of reading this story may have been tough, but overall, the majority of readers either felt properly represented (finally), or informed and intrigued to learn more. Sigrid Ericksson Loid – Author Angie Thomas explains the division in Starr’s life between her black neighborhood and her white school, called Williamson. “Williamson Starr doesn’t use slang— if a rapper would say it, she doesn’t say it, even if her white friends do. Slang makes them cool. Slang makes her ‘hood.” The book is excellent in
the way it gives new perspectives to any reader. In my case, I have not experienced anything related to death. However, I—and many others—do have the experience of having different personalities around certain people. Ever felt that you had to adjust your language and personality around some of your relatives? Well, that was Starr’s feeling, but on an everyday basis. This book resonates on several levels. Sion Hovsepian – We read the news and accept what we read. We don’t think about the fact that somebody wrote the article we just read. A young black man just got shot last night by a white police officer? Oh, he was a drug dealer and had a knife in his car. The officer felt threatened. That justifies it. Or does it? Angie Thomas’ novel The Hate U Give shows us the sad reality that we are all heavily influenced by the media we watch and read. Being born and raised in Germany, a country with a significantly smaller black population than the United States, the problem of police violence is not something I personally grew up with. I will never be able to feel the same way about police as someone of African-
American ethnicity, but reading the book opened my eyes to the reality that millions of Americans deal with on a daily basis. I would read the news and believe what was said. But why would the media make us view the worth of a life differently? Why would a life be portrayed as less worthy if it was a white person than if it was a black person? Media is so powerful it is able to justify a severe murder of an innocent victim by making us believe the person who got shot was a “thug,” “gangster” or “drug dealer.”When a white person shoots up a school because he is “emotionally unstable” the president talks about a national mental health problem. But when a black person gets shot by a white police officer there is no such thing as a national racist police violence problem. We should question what we believe in and what we are told to believe. Media can manipulate and media can lie. But we should use our common sense and question what we believe in and what we don’t. That is what I learned from reading The Hate U Give, which will have an impact on me for the rest of my life.
INTERNSHIPS THROUGH MENLO
My BOLD Internship at Google By Ngozi Harrison ’19
When I was in middle school, I went on a tour of Google’s campus and got the chance to see a real tech company. The tour was organized by the STEM Equity Project to inspire middle and high schoolers in the East Bay to think about careers in technology. Like most people, I was completely blown away by the perks (especially the free food) and the people who called themselves “Googlers.” The place felt like another world, and I wanted to be a part of it. Last semester, as a junior trying to fulfill the six credits of Menlo’s internship program, I found out about Google’s BOLD internship program and applied. BOLD is a program designed to give historically underrepresented students in the field of tech the experience of working in the industry. In March I heard back from my recruiter and was offered the internship! Not only had they decided to hire me, but I was placed at YouTube, a company I’ve always admired because of my interest in data and digital media. On my first day there, I immediately noticed the diversity in my BOLD intern class. Everyone came from different backgrounds, colleges and universities, and different areas of expertise. My core projects involved analyzing cost data sets and building dashboards to drive decision making. I was given real, impactful work. I learned how to interview stakeholders, run meetings with key decision makers, and many more skills. I lead a photography project along with a team of interns called BOLD Faces, capturing the diverse stories and backgrounds of the 2018 BOLD intern class. I learned about Googleyness, an internal term that refers to traits that all Googlers have in common. By the end of the internship, I developed my own perspective on what Googleyness means for me. Ambiguity and curiosity are crucial skills to learn while working in the field of technology where, often, problems aren’t well-defined and there is no clear path forward. Navigating ambiguity means asking honest questions and being curious. I learned not to limit myself to my existing knowledge or comfort levels. Sometimes this can lead to researching something that may seem completely tangential to the main topic. For example, a software engineering intern I knew came up with a bug fix to a piece of code while learning a song on the piano. Google, like the rest of the tech industry, has a lot of work to do in creating a more positive and healthy work environment, especially for people of color. But during my time there, I connected with people 27 WINT ER 2019
who were real and authentic which made Google feel like home. These people, whom I now consider friends, colleagues and mentors, had families, outside passions and hobbies, but we were all there to help each other succeed and ultimately serve our users. Much of what I was able to accomplish during my internship was because of the advice, support, and opportunities I received from other Googlers. After my internship ended I received an offer to return to YouTube full time after graduation. I am thankful for the opportunity I had this summer and look forward to returning as a Googler. Photo: Ngozi Harrison takes advantage of the Google perks by riding a company bike on the campus. Facing page: Interns learned skills at diverse corporations such as (clockwise from top left) Tiera Conley ‘19 and Dylan Houle at Globality; Michael Lauck ‘19 with the San Francisco 49ers; Jessica Carlson ‘19 at Atlassian; Jerrod Jordan ‘19 at Vasper Systems.
Menlo College recently celebrated the fifth year of the Academic Internship Program. Since its inception, more than 650 studentsâ€”including 163 this past summerâ€”have completed internships at a wide variety of companies throughout the Bay Area. Recently, students have secured internships with big names like YouTube, the San Francisco 49ers, and Deloitte as well as many small-to-mid-sized businesses and non-profits.
INTERNSHIPS THROUGH MENLO
Photos: (clockwise starting top left): Miranda Fajardo ’18 at Mission Be; Isabel Cervantes ’18 (third from right) with fellow interns at Gallagher; Maheen Jawaid ’19 (fourth from right) with fellow interns at PricewaterhouseCoopers. 29 WINT ER 2019
Searching for an Internship – Preparing for a Career By Zach Osborne, Director of Internships & Career Services Remember applying for jobs just after you had walked across the commencement stage at Menlo? The nerves and uncertainty? The excitement? The frustration? The joy at finally landing that job? Finding a job is a tough job, and we work hard to ease the process for Menlo College graduates. It starts with the search for their internship while they’re on campus. Menlo’s Academic Internship Program aims to help guide and support students through what is, for many, the first time they’ve applied for a ‘real’ job. Our support results in success not just in finding a stellar internship, but in conveying lessons learned and skills built in navigating the internship search that will serve students well throughout their careers. It all starts with a series of information sessions to orient students to the path ahead, address common concerns, answer questions, and outline the process for the internship search to come. Students schedule individual meetings with our staff, during which we review resumes, address individual questions and concerns, help students build a search in our Handshake career services system, and discuss other resources they can use to locate the internships of most interest and relevance to their professional goals. We also invite a cadre of generous alumni and employer volunteers to campus to conduct individual mock interviews with students in advance of their first ‘real’ interview. Throughout a student’s search for their internship, we provide on-going support in the form of alerts about new opportunities, workshops on topics such as resume writing and interviewing, and access to staff – both by individual appointment and drop-in hours – to discuss hopes, dreams, fears, frustrations, and help in any way we can. Want to get involved? Let us know! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in volunteering with the Internships & Career Services office and/or if you would like to learn more about hiring student interns and new graduates. Menlo’s Academic Success Center helps guide and support students in navigating the search for internships and jobs.
Photo: Andrey Poliakov
By Kate McQueen, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor of English
Anatomy of an Email
Email is the main way to communicate in the college and business worlds. Being able to write a respectful and toneappropriate email is a crucial skill for success in both. Done well, email will help you make requests, forge new connections, and stay connected to current and future contacts.
Below are key parts of an email, and tips for how to master them. Comments on Title: Hello Dr. McQueen (could also write Hello Professor/Prof. McQueen), Subject line comment: Should be short, clear, and direct about the purpose of your message. Greetings comment: Use more formal greetings when writing to people in a professional or college context. That includes your professors, college administrators, potential employers or work colleagues.
Example of an appropriate email
• Use normal capitalization. Think book formatting, not text message. • Avoid slang, text message acronyms (i.e. lol, bf, lmk, yolo), emojis, too many exclamation points or question marks, and the use of ALL CAPS. • Make sure that all email communication comes from your Menlo email address, a work email address, or the same personal address each time you follow up. • Use spell check and proofread messages before pressing send. • Reply within a reasonable timeframe. What is reasonable? It depends but one business day is a good rule of thumb.
An Email is not a Text An unprofessional and unacceptable email:
• Recommended: Dear, Hello, Hi, Good [Morning, Afternoon, Evening] • Not Recommended: Hey, Yo, or no greeting at all. Title and Name comment: Addressing the receivers of your emails with their appropriate title is vital to leaving a good impression. Remember that ALL instructors at the college level should be referred to as Professor (Prof.), or Doctor (Dr.) if you know they have a Ph.D. If you aren’t sure, stick to Professor. When addressing others in a formal message, use Mr./Ms.. Do not use Miss or Mrs.. These titles refer to a woman’s marital status and many women do not expect or want to be addressed this way. If you do not know the gender of the person you are writing because the name appears androgynous, do your research or use the person’s full name, as is “Dear Sidney Smith.” Closing comment: When you sign off, aim to keep your tone consistent with your greeting.
Subject Line: Hey or Resume Miss. McQueen, here is my resume for the job u talked about in class. i know it was due last week but I have had a very long week lol tests hahaha and I couldn’t find my resume. can u tell me when I will hear back? sally
• Recommend: Thank you/Thank you for your time/Best wishes/Best/ Regards/Have a wonderful day (evening) • Not Recommended: Cheers/Ciao/Warmly/ no closing Body of Message comment: It’s a good practice to identify yourself clearly at the top of the message. Keep your message short, direct, and to the point. Your tone should remain friendly and professional to avoid any miscommunication (remember jokes can easily get lost in translation). Being polite is always helpful, so always include “please” and “thank you.”
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It may take some practice to keep your emails professional, but you will look more polished and organized, and you will gain more valuable connections, and respect, in the long run.
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Menlo students from the accounting and real estate clubs had the opportunity to tour the construction site of a mixed income apartment building in Oakland in September with Margaret McFarland, Director of the Real Estate Center at Menlo, and the building’s developer, Michael Johnson.
Menlo’s New Center for Real Estate Opens Doors for Students By Margaret McFarland, JD, Director of The Real Estate Center It gives me great pleasure to announce the founding, with generous support from several Menlo trustees, of The Real Estate Center @ Menlo College [TREC]. I am pleased to be serving as the founding Director of TREC after over ten years at the University of Maryland, College Park, as both Academic Director of Real Estate Programs and Founding Director of the Colvin Institute of Real Estate Development. Collectively, Menlo College students, faculty, administration, and trustees are uniquely situated to take the lead in real estate education and outreach to the professional community here in Silicon Valley. Our location in the heart of the Bay Area, the diversity and quality of our students, and the number of Menlo alumni working in real estaterelated roles make this an ideal academic home for TREC. I have been making the rounds on and off campus, getting acquainted with our real estate students, faculty, and alumni. We have undertaken a benchmarking study to determine how best to position TREC in the Bay Area, an area where other academic institutions offer limited undergraduate course offerings in real estate or none at all. My initial meetings with area real estate professionals have been encouraging, and several area professionals are already lined up to provide guest lectures in their area of expertise; all are interested in connecting with Menlo real estate students for internships and potential career options. We plan to expand the opportunities for Menlo College students and alumni, as well as friends of TREC, to connect and engage in the months ahead. We are planning a conference in the fall of 2019, as well as looking at the possibilities for a study abroad opportunity for real estate students and alumni. 33 WINT ER 2019
If you are interested in receiving the TREC newsletter, providing a guest lecture, sponsoring a site visit, or otherwise supporting TREC’s activities, please reach out to me at email@example.com.
A NEW VOICE AT MENLO: Meet Margaret McFarland
Hometown: Takoma Park, Maryland Path to Menlo: I moved from Practicing Planner for the City of Toledo, Ohio to the University of Michigan Law School, to a practicing attorney with the O’Melveny & Myers real estate group; Just prior to joining Menlo I was Chair of the Graduate and Undergraduate Real Estate Programs and Founding Director of the Colvin Institute of Real Estate Development at the University of Maryland. Interests: Affordable Housing; Real Estate Development, Corporate Governance My Perspective: I have a passion for all things real estate, and for educating a new and more diverse cadre of professionals for the real estate industry. I am inspired to bring real estate industry professionals and our real estate students together through the auspices of the new Real Estate Center @ Menlo College. We have a terrific opportunity to grow our real estate program. A key objective will be to engage with professionals in all aspects of the real estate industry; from entitlements to finance, to design and construction, as well as sales, leasing and property management. Opportunities to connect with real estate professionals through academic and professional activities will be part of the Menlo advantage.
Menlo College Welcomes Rising Scholars
By Erik Bakke, Senior Director of Student Academic Support The Rising Scholars bridge program at Menlo College, which is in its third year, invites students to spend the ten days preceding new student orientation building upon their foundational math and writing skills. These first-year students are encouraged not only to collaborate with each other but also to consider collaboration between disciplines. The Rising Scholars faculty emphasizes critical thinking and problem solving while showing students how to integrate close reading, written expression, and quantitative reasoning. This year the Rising Scholars program was organized and designed by Dr. Shilpa Dasgupta, Math Center Director, and Erik Bakke, Senior Director of Student Academic Support. Fourteen students participated in a wide range of activities in and outside of the classroom. To better prepare for the start of their courses, the students worked closely with some of the same professors teaching their fall courses. Math professor Dr. Michael Laufer and Dr. Dasgupta helped students focus on quantitative reasoning while, in parallel sessions, English professor Dr. Melissa Poulsen and Erik Bakke worked with students on reading and writing skills. Student tutors were a great help in facilitating the program, with Zacchaeus Beatty and Giselle Martinez both helping run sessions. During the last days of the program all instructors worked together as the Rising Scholars completed a research project.
Evening trips ranged from mostly entertaining, a visit to local businesses with a stop at SusieCakes to learn about the business’ history—and, most important, to taste their offerings!—to mostly serious, with a viewing and discussion of the movie Shin Godzilla. This film was used as a springboard to consider this summer’s August anniversaries of the U.S. bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Students discussed the film’s reflection on those events, the impact of the more recent Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster, and the importance of effective leadership in preventing catastrophe and mitigating its effects. A popular trip with the students this year was a visit to San Francisco that included a close look at the René Magritte exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (a viewing that dovetailed with work done in the classroom on close reading), a walk through Chinatown, and a visit to City Lights Bookstore & Publishers. This year, the students took a closer look at the 2018 common book, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. The Rising Scholars practiced leading discussions about the book with Menlo students from upper classes who were on campus training to be resident assistants. After the completion of the summer program, the Rising Scholars took on the task of facilitating discussions about the book with fellow first-year students at their student retreat. Menlo College is committed to providing the resources needed for all students’ success for four years. We believe that the most important step to graduation is the first one—when the student walks onto campus. At the start of the Rising Scholars program only a quarter of the Rising Scholars agreed with the statement “I am ready for college;” by program’s end, nearly 85% of the Rising Scholars “agreed” or “strongly agreed” they were “ready for college.” As we welcome these new Oaks, we look forward to the expansion of the Rising Scholars program in 2019; the program is a recipient of funds through a Department of Education grant awarded to Menlo College this fall.
Rising Scholars and their professors were proud of this year’s program, including: (Back row, left to right): Professor Melissa Paulsen, Conner Dmytriw, Jabari Griffie, Marlene Salinas, Emily Sandoval, Nathan Prokop, and Professors Shilpa Dasgupta and Erik Bakke. (Front Row, left to right): Eric Sanchez, Celeste Armira, Cheryl Singh, Jazmin Ruiz, Megan Robinson, Mady Goyt, Brenna Francisco. MENLO COLLEGE
Transformation Made Possible by $5.5 Million in Capital Gifts
A Time of Renewal for Menlo College By Steven Weiner, President
Photos: Andrey Poliakov
The advent of the fall semester at a college is always accompanied by a sense of renewal. At Menlo College, that has never been more in evidence than now. We have now concluded a two-year capital improvement campaign that collectively brought about more improvements to our campus facilities than has likely taken place in any single period in our 91-year history. Through recent gifts, the Florence Moore classroom building has been thoroughly updated; the Kratt basement was transformed into a new space for athletics offices and team training rooms; the former tavern is now a sports pavilion that supports 69 wrestlers who are determined to bring glory to us as they compete for national titles; we have a brand new student union; and we have a new fitness center. We have also seen renovations to the student services spaces in the Administration Building, as well as to the public spaces in the Admissions Building. We have replaced roofs and improved landscaping. And thatâ€™s not the entire list. While many people have played a role in bringing about these renovations, much of the work has been inspired, funded, and championed by one 35 WINT ER 2019
exceptional alumnus. Over the last decade, this one alumnus has donated more than $5.5 million – a giving history that speaks loudly and clearly to his appreciation for the role Menlo College played in shaping his life, as well as his faith in how much our future students will gain from their education at Menlo. While we respect his request for anonymity, we nonetheless celebrate his passionate advocacy for our school. And like the best pied piper, his generosity has led the way for other friends of Menlo to join in providing support. We will be forever grateful to him. These changes are enormous. Our students are enjoying facilities that reflect the innovation and creativity that surrounds us here in Silicon Valley. We still have much more to do, but we’re already giving a message to our students that we care about their Menlo experience—and they’re hearing it, loud and clear. These spaces are new. They’re exciting. But above all, they have encouraged and influenced our students. None of this would be possible without the support of alumni and other friends at Menlo College. My hat goes off to them. MENLO COLLEGE
Voter Registration on Campus On two days in October, the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee teamed up with students to register voters before the national midterm election. In total 65 students registered, encouraged by the youngest member of the team, future voter Kaleihoa Aiona, son of head basketball coach Kaniela Aiona. Photo: Marianne Neuwirth
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A NEW VOICE AT MENLO: Meet Carmen Stockberger
POSITION: Director of Student Engagement HOMETOWN: Frankfort, IN PATH TO MENLO: I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Ball State University and a Master’s degree in College Student Personnel from Western Illinois University. I’ve been in the Bay Area for four years now, previously working in student activities at Notre Dame de Namur University and in academic advising at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. MY PERSPECTIVE: A quote that hangs in my office reads, “Everybody is a genius but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid” (credited to Albert Einstein). This guides my work with students and serves as a reminder that everyone brings something to the table. I enjoy the chance to help students develop their potentials outside the classroom and find their voices while at Menlo.
Menlo College Hosts its First Techstars Startup Weekend Silicon Valley
Guy Kawasaki at the Techstars Silicon Valley Startup Weekend, April 20-22, 2018. Photo by Jessica Carlson
By Angela Schmiede, Vice President for Student Success Close to 100 entrepreneurs engaged in a 54-hour social innovation competition at Menlo College’s first Techstars Startup Weekend Silicon Valley on April 20-22, 2018. Hosted in the new Menlo College Innovation Center, Startup Weekend brought together students, designers, developers, marketers and startup enthusiasts from Silicon Valley and beyond to share ideas, form teams and launch business ventures. The event was planned and organized by University Innovation Fellows Ethan Moengchaisong ’20 and Jessica Carlson ’19 and included a special presentation by Guy Kawasaki. Competition teams were mentored by coaches, including alumni Chris Garrett ‘94; Massimiliano Genta ‘16, and Rexford Hibbs ’14. Several Menlo students, parents, and alumni competed as participants, including Sherylyn Sabado ‘13, who plans to pursue her startup idea, Toplete, an app that connects high school athletes with college athletes for affordable coaching opportunities. The winning team was led by Foothill College student Courtney Cooper, who successfully pitched Blue Spot, a Yelp-like app that allows users to review and access ratings for handicap accessibility of restaurants, businesses, and other venues. Alumni are welcome to participate in the next Startup Weekend, currently planned for April 2019. MENLO COLLEGE
Chicago-Based Artist Returns to Menlo I to Exhibit Impactful Project:
Art as Activism By Caroline Casper, Adjunct Professor of Literature and Creative Writing
In 2013, Menlo College invited Chicago-based artist Rose Camastro-Pritchett to participate in the 85 Years 85 Artists exhibit on campus celebrating the college’s anniversary. Five years later, in October of 2018, she returned to Menlo as an artist-inresidence to display the Comfort Women project she started at Menlo, and to work with Menlo College students to create an installation addressing the emotional impact of sexual abuse. For the exhibit back in 2013, artists from around the world were arbitrarily given a year from the college timeline and asked to respond with artwork. Camastro-Pritchett was given 1940, and because she had visited China several times, she focused her research there and discovered that, in 1940, “comfort stations” or brothels had been set up in China by the Japanese military after the Nanking Massacre during the Second Sino-Japanese War. These comfort stations were in widespread operation, and the Japanese military expanded and moved them to areas of combat in other countries extending to the end of World War II. “Comfort women” was the Japanese euphemism describing the women rounded up with violence and coercion to become sex slaves to Japanese forces. For the past five years, Camastro-Pritchett has been expanding Comfort Women, which she hopes will continue to evolve by echoing current events and the #MeToo movement.
During her residency at Menlo, Camastro-Pritchett created new art work, visited classes to speak about her work process, informally met with students and worked closely with some of them to create an interactive installation in the library called Breaking the Silence. These students also organized and presented a panel discussion addressing the comfort women, the trauma of sexual abuse and the #MeToo movement. In recent years, there’s been a surge of Korean women coming forward, calling for Japan to apologize for taking the comfort women as hostages, but the Japanese government has remained mostly silent on the issue. According to the New York Times, the United Nations investigated the issue in the 1990s and found that comfort stations were in use as early as 1932 and that as many as 2,000 comfort stations and over 200,000 women from Japan, China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Korea and Indochina, including Dutch colonialists had been enslaved by the time the war ended in 1945. Japan did officially acknowledge, in 1993, that its wartime military had forced women to work in brothels, but the Japanese government is still trying to stop communities from building memorials that commemorate the comfort women, saying they present only a one-sided message. In September of 2017, San Francisco unveiled a memorial commemorating the “comfort women” standing on a pedestal holding hands, while a statue of Kim Hak-sun, a Korean activist, gazes up at them. Despite the controversy and a personal letter from the mayor of Osaka, Japan, requesting that San Francisco promptly remove the memorial, the statue still stands.
“I want this project to emphasize how timely the situation is,” Camastro-Pritchett said. “It has a lot to do with trauma and healing. It is hard to escape the common thread of shame and silence about sexual abuse.” The project she exhibited on campus during her residency, which involves sewing onto handmade paper as a drawing medium, features dress images taken from sketches of robes that the comfort women wore when they were forced to provide sex for the military men. One of the sewn images features a 1937 map of eastern China with red French knots that mark the locations of each of the comfort stations. The exhibit also showcases handwritten text, in a journal-like format, taken from interviews with comfort women telling their stories of kidnap, rape, and the ways they were treated by their home countries after their releases. “In my long career, this is the most important work that I’ve done,” said Camastro-Pritchett. “I really believe the purpose of art is to inform and offer awareness, not to be didactic. My interest is in connecting this line [of history] to where we are now.” 39 WINT ER 2019
Facing page: Rose Camastro-Pritchett stitching bleeding hearts to the comfort women images on handmade paper with pulp painting. This piece was part of the project she exhibited on campus in October.
STUDENT LIFE: CLUBS
Spectrum: Celebrate Who You Are By Ashlee Hunt ’20, President, Spectrum Our mission for Spectrum is to create a community that secures, stands up for and supports all LGBTIQQA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Questioning, Ally) students on the Menlo College Campus. Our vision is for Spectrum to be a safe place for LGBTIQQA students to express and educate themselves and the rest of the campus on issues that affect the LGBT community. When I first joined Spectrum, I was just a freshmen not knowing who I was or who I wanted to be. Nevertheless, I was welcomed with open arms into a group of proud, open-minded people. They made me feel special and like I mattered, no matter what my identity was or what it wasn’t, and it’s this feeling that I try to give to people every day through Spectrum. We accept all students into our club and we hold both fun and informative events throughout the year that really strengthen the sense of belonging that can sometimes get lost on campus. A few of the events that we’ve hosted annually and that we hope to host in the future are the annual Tavern Night Drag Shows, monthly trips to Rocky Horror, and our Mending Masculinity Workshop and Poetry Slam. The Tavern Night Drag Show is a yearly event Spectrum hosts in order to inform students about the beautiful art form that is drag. Drag is an art that plays a significant role in LGBTQ history and culture. Every month, we take a trip to the Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Guild Theater in Menlo Park, a movie that expresses the mentality of making your dreams a reality and being yourself. And lastly, this past year we brought a group called Mending Masculinity to campus and the facilitators talked to us about being secure in your masculinity and your gender identity as a whole. These events make up what Spectrum is all about because Spectrum supports everyone being an ally to one another, no matter their identity or orientation. And we see in our club that great things happen when all voices, no matter where they come from, are valued. Ashlee Hunt representing Spectrum at the Club Fair in September 2018.
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Photo by Andrey Poliakov
Menlo’s Pacific Islander Club Broadens Reach for Inclusivity By Tarryn Orial ‘19 The goal of the Pacific Islander Club (PIC) is to share the spirit of aloha and culture of the islands with our members here at Menlo College. We aim to make PIC a home away from home. Our members consist of not only students from the Pacific Islands, but also students from the mainland, Europe and Asia. This year we have over 80 members in our club. We were originally known as the Hawaii Club, but we recently changed our name to the Pacific Islander Club to include people from Pacific Islands. PIC has been active at Menlo College for over 30 years, and our biggest annual event is the lu’au, which usually hosts more than 500 attendees, and over 40 student participants from varying backgrounds. Last spring, we were lucky to have Hawaiian musicians FIJI and Maoli perform for us at the lu’au. This year we hope to provide even more cultural activities on campus. PIC has accomplished so much. We’ve made powerful connections with Hawaii clubs at other schools. We’ve connected with alumni and have expanded our contacts with local businesses and organizations. This spring, on March 23, 2019, we’ll be hosting our 28th annual lu’au and we hope to see you there. Dancers performed at the annual Luau on April 14, 2018. Photo: Ian Morken
STUDENT LIFE: CLUBS
Three Student Clubs Merge to Form Black Leaders on Campus By Ra’Vein Jones ‘20 Black Leaders on Campus (BLOC) is a new club on campus. Just last year we were three different clubs—Black Educated Men (BE Men), Black Educated Women (BE Women) and Black Student Union (BSU)—and this year, we combined forces to create BLOC, or what we often refer to as “The Trinity.” It’s also my first year as president, which brings an interesting set of challenges. I’ve never held such a leadership position on campus, and this year, our membership has tripled to almost 70 members. This role is an exciting and daunting adventure, a new chapter in my college experience. The mission of BLOC is to change the perception of what it means to be black on a college campus. We host the annual Apollo Night in February, a talent show honoring Black History Month, where faculty, students, and members of the community come together to showcase their talents for a money prize. We also focus on getting more black high school students to attend college and other forms of higher education by going to underserved communities in places like central Los Angeles (Watts and Compton), where we’ve traveled for the past two years, to connect with high school kids about what it’s like to be black on a college campus and how these goals can be achieved. This spring we’ll be mirroring this program in the Bay Area for the first time. We’ll be traveling to neighborhoods in Oakland and San Jose to speak to black high school students, encouraging and ensuring them that the college experience is attainable. Being president of such an important and growing club is a bit overwhelming at times—a lot goes on behind the scenes of event planning--but I’m honored that I was chosen to lead such an inspiring group of people. This year my focus is on recruiting freshmen and sophomores to sit on our board, which now consists of mostly juniors and seniors. We’d like to partner with more freshmen and sophomores to teach them how to be campus leaders so that when it is my turn to pass on the torch and role of president, I can pass it on to someone who feels confident and ready for the challenge. There aren’t many black students on Menlo’s campus, but we are a close-knit family that represents and speaks not only for black students, but all underrepresented minorities. Join us! Some members of BLOC gathered for a fall 2018 meeting in Bowman Library after the merger of BE Men, BE Women and BSU: (clockwise) Ngozi Harrison ‘19, Kevin James ‘19, Ayinde Banjoko ‘20, Gabriel Kingsley ‘22, Denzel Perry ‘19, Sachal Jogi ‘20, George Hofstetter ‘22. Photo: Andrey Poliakov
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Hispanic and Latino Club Embraces Heritage By Isaiah Holguin ‘19 For the past eight years, the Menlo College Hispanic & Latino Society has been a platform for students to embrace their heritages, give voice to the Latino culture, and allows students to introduce their heritages to the Menlo community. With a current roster of more than 40 student members, the Hispanic & Latino Society plans to host events this year that give the Menlo community exposure to many aspects of Latino culture through traditional celebrations, holidays, and cuisine. One of our most notable events, Día de los Muertos, occurs during the fall semester, usually from Oct. 31- Nov. 2. Día de los Muertos is a Latin American ritual during which the lives of deceased loved ones are honored with food, drinks and personal altars. Another notable event that we host every year during the spring semester is the Latino Food Festival, where we gather the Menlo community for an afternoon of traditional Latin-American food tasting as well as traditional salsa dancing. Diversity is a key component of Menlo College and what separates us from many other institutions. In 2016, U.S. News & World Report ranked Menlo second out of 31 in regional colleges in the West and fourth in the country, and the Hispanic & Latino Society serves to play its part in continuously making Menlo one of the “Best Colleges in the West.” Ofrenda, Spanish for a commemorative offering or altar in honor of Día de los Muertos, on display in the Bowman Library from October 29 - November 4, 2018. Photo: Andrey Poliakov
A Joyous Day to Celebrate Menlo College OAKtoberFest 2018 exceeded all expectations with 2,100 alumni, students, parents, faculty and staff gathering under a brilliant blue October sky to enjoy and re-live the Menlo experience, past and present. In a letter to Menlo President Steven Weiner, Dave Sperry SBA ’61 reflected on the event and his days at Menlo: I thoroughly enjoyed the festivities last weekend at Menlo. Interesting to see how the campus has stayed the same and also how it has changed in many respects over the years. In my day, all-male and all-white was the norm — much better now with real diversity (wow!) seen throughout. The campus tour was great. Our guide included the athletic department headquarters in the basement of Kratt Hall as part of the tour — neat! I remember the student union housed in part of this basement in Upper House before there even was a Kratt Hall. Your hosted alumni brunch was super. I had lengthy discussions with Chuck Shea ’55 as to our remembrances of Menlo of old and also about our days at Stanford. I did the opposite of what most students aspire to — with my attending Stanford and then Menlo. Believe me, Menlo was the more rewarding in many, many respects — much more attention given to students’ welfare by the faculty and staff than that garnered at The Farm. Also it was fun to have lunch with Provost Grande Lum, to hear of his background and plans for Menlo, and to sense the spirit of the administration toward future endeavors. Thanks for the book Through the Gates. I read it cover to cover and loved remembering all the good times and people, especially Dorothy Skala. Am looking forward to more “senior” (1950s-‘70s) alums attending this super event in the future. Thanks again. Dave Sperry SBA ’61 Sacramento, Ca
Menlo College quad during OAKtoberFest, October 27, 2018. Photo: Andrey Poliakov
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Adam Fenyvesi ’19 Receives Scholarship
In our last issue, we reported that Menlo student Adam Fenyvesi ’19 was the recipient of a scholarship awarded by the Financial Executives International (FEI) - Silicon Valley Chapter. Fenyvesi and other Menlo recipients of the FEI scholarship owe a debt of gratitude to former Menlo College trustee and alumnus Harry Kellogg ’63 for his role in funding this program.
Class Presidents Student voting for class presidents takes place each spring (fall for the first year students). Meet the leaders for 2018-2019! (left to right) Alexander Thompson, Senior Class President; Ian Martins, Sophomore Class President; Megan Robinson, Freshman Class President; Cam Bellucci, Junior Class President
Kellogg retired recently from his position as vice chairman of the board and head of strategic relationships for Silicon Valley Bank Financial Group. Over more than four decades in the financial services industry, Kellogg had a front-row seat to Silicon Valley’s major economic and cultural shifts, and he made many lasting contributions to Menlo during his tenure on the Board of Trustees. After receiving his award, Fenyvesi and his fellow Menlo student Lukasz Nowosielski traveled to New York City, where they had the opportunity to be at the opening bell of the Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange. Now back on campus, Fenyvesi will complete his final year at Menlo, while also serving on FEI’s Rising Star Advisory Board.
LET THERE BE LIGHT! Want a glimmer of the entrepreneur’s life? Join the Management 482 class taught by Arthur Chait, Professor of Management, and build your own light bulb. As you do, maybe an idea for a new business will flash through your mind.
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NEW VOICES AT MENLO Meet Jaagriti (Jags) Sharma POSITION: Marketing Manager
Menlo is proud to have four recent alumni from the class of 2018 now filling important staff positions in Advancement and Enrollment. They are: Justine Fiesta, Alan Orozco Alvarez, Jaagriti Sharma and Jamie Linton.
Meet Justine Fiesta HOMETOWN: Waipahu, HI PATH TO MENLO: A friend who knew that I had a passion for marketing and business encouraged me to apply. After my research, I knew that I had to go to Menlo. My admissions counselor assisted me and my family throughout the whole process. I was the first in my family to attend college in the US. MY PERSPECTIVE: Moving 2,398 miles away from home was an eye-opening experience. The speed of Bay Area technology and innovation amazed me. I missed the meals that my mom cooked, but I’m glad companies like DoorDash were able to deliver Filipino food to my dorm room!
Meet Alan Cesar Alvarez Orozco HOMETOWN: Uruapan, Michoacán Mexico (avocado capital of the world) PATH TO MENLO: When I saw an ad on Facebook about Menlo College, I knew it was the place for me. I requested more information, visited campus and fell in love with the community. MY PERSPECTIVE: I recently graduated from Menlo College, with amazing memories. During my time as a student I was a Student Ambassador and a very active member of numerous clubs. As the Marketing Coordinator for our Menlo Adventures Club. I helped plan and host some of the off-campus excursions that Menlo sponsored. My favorite was a weekend trip to Yosemite. My Menlo College experience was memorable, warm, and overall amazing. When I was given the opportunity to continue my Menlo story and share my experience with prospective students, I took the chance. I am happy to be working at a place I call home.
HOMETOWN: San Diego, CA PATH TO MENLO: I held seven internships during my time as a student at Menlo College. I was able to lead marketing efforts for various Silicon Valley companies in the industries of artificial intelligence and healthcare, real estate, cyber security, startup ecosystems and education. But, Menlo College’s mission gave me the most joy, so I asked for the opportunity to stick around! INTERESTS: During my time as a student, I was involved in Student Government, The Women’s Business Society, Pioneer Club, Pacific Islander Club, and Cross County. I was also a writing tutor and served on the boards of various committees. MY PERSPECTIVE: I enjoy cooking (and eating), yoga, hikes and reading. I also consult for and coordinate startup summits in developing countries around the world. My approach to life is simply to work hard and trust in the good of every person.
Meet Jamie Linton HOMETOWN: Los Angeles, CA PATH TO MENLO: After I had already applied to 15 universities, I received an email from Menlo College telling me all about the programs. I had never heard of Menlo before, but I applied and was accepted. I came to visit and instantly knew that this was the place I wanted to call home. When given the chance to stay after graduation, I jumped at the opportunity. I truly believe that Menlo can ignite anyone’s potential. MY PERSPECTIVE: This time last year, being an Assistant Director of Admissions never crossed my mind. I was a student ambassador during my four years at Menlo and always enjoyed connecting with students and their families. It was no surprise to my close family and friends that I chose to start a career in here. I get to be an advocate for higher education, which is something that I am passionate about. Working for my alma mater gives me the opportunity to talk about my personal experiences and share how Menlo helped make me successful. MENLO COLLEGE
Multi-Generational Menlo Families
By Jaagriti (Jags) Sharma ’18
The McLeods She sneezed, he laughed, and the rest is Menlo history. When Shari McLeod ‘86 decided to attend Menlo College, she didn’t know just how much Menlo would become a part of her life. Her father, Stan Silverstein ’57, had always spoken of his experience at the college. He would tell her about the support that he had felt during his time as a student, “from everyone - staff, faculty, the president - they all had faith in you and supported you in whatever dreams you had.” After graduating, Stan was frequently reminded by then- Director of the College Judge Russell, that any child of his would be welcome with open arms at Menlo College. So, when Shari’s time to choose a college arrived, the choice was simple; she committed to Menlo College in the fall of 1983, following in the footsteps of her father. At Menlo, Shari learned how to learn, earn good grades and balance studying, working, dancing and socializing. Thirty years later, she still fondly recalls the stories she gathered during her time at Menlo. “I had classes small enough in size to allow for organic friendships to develop between professors and fellow students. And, sometimes I had classes that were small enough - like every one of my French language classes - to have had sessions beneath the old oak tree and at the local coffee shop.” It was in one of these classes that she met her husband, John McLeod ‘87. She sneezed, John laughed, and they were married six years later. Shari shares that: “Menlo life isn’t like normal life. At Menlo, every situation is a good situation, and you don’t truly see that until after you leave.” Memories of keynote speeches, dance performances, sporting events, ice cream socials and warm evenings on the quad meant the couple never truly left Menlo College. They started their life right down the road, owning Studio S Broadway in Redwood City for 39 years, and raising their son and two daughters locally. When the time came for Shari’s daughters to choose a college, the choice was simple once again, strengthened by legacy and generations of love for Menlo College. Samantha McLeod ’16 committed to Menlo in the fall of 2012, joined cheer and, like her parents, developed her passion for dance and the college itself. Today, among many other responsibilities, Samantha balances being the number one recruiter at LinkedIn and coaching Menlo College’s dance team. She proudly shares that the team’s first recruit for the spring of 2018 was her very own sister, Makaila McLeod- who is thriving on the dance team, getting straight A’s and proudly carrying on the legacy of her familythree generations and five family members of true Menlo pride. (Top to bottom): Stan Silverstein ‘57, John McLeod ‘87, Shari McLeod ‘86, Samantha McLeod ‘16, and Makaila McLeod ‘23 Photo: Crystal Cebedo 51 W INT ER 2019
Gaubert-Carlson When Jessica Carlson ’19 decided to follow in the footsteps of her grandfather, transferring to Menlo College after a few months in San Diego, she hadn’t realized just how similar her path would be. Like his granddaughter, Claude Gaubert ’58, started at Menlo College a little later than the average freshman. After graduating high school, Claude visited the Menlo campus with an interest to attend the college and a conflicting dream to take a heritage trip to France with his own grandfather to visit relatives. When Claude shared his dilemma to then-Menlo College Director John “Judge” Russell, the Judge encouraged him to do both: take the trip and start at Menlo upon his return. The Judge assured him that “You will get a better education on this trip than you will get coming to school right away.” Thus encouraged, Claude did do both, and his experience when he started at Menlo College was unforgettable. During his time at the college he met lifelong friends – his business partner, the best men at his wedding, and his wife of 60 years, who was introduced to him by his Menlo roommate. Claude’s Menlo memories include Hawai’ian afternoons spent by the pool, singing and lounging with Nick Reynolds ‘56, Bob Shane ‘56 (both members of the Kingston Trio), and Al Harrington ’55 (who later played Kokua on the television show Hawai’i Five-O and starred in Forrest Gump and other movies), dinners at Mama Garcia’s in Los Altos, and monthly haircuts in the common rooms. Jessica’s memories of Menlo will have a similar glow – basking in the sun at OAKtoberFest, Oaks Innovation Club dinners at Celia’s, and monthly haircuts offered secretly in dorm bathrooms. On the day of OAKtoberFest, Claude shared that the feeling of camaraderie on campus was exactly the same, telling Jessica that Menlo College had “figured her out, let her grow, and encouraged her to be herself.” Like her grandfather, Jessica has had a successful Menlo College career. Here, she too made lifelong friends. She is also making her mark, as the President of the Oaks Innovation Club, a participant of the University Innovation Fellows program, an intern at Atlassian San Francisco, and as a proud Menlo College legacy and granddaughter!
Claude Gaubert and his mother, Fernanda Gaubert, celebrating his graduation from Menlo College in the spring of 1958. MENLO COLLEGE
By Jaagriti (Jags) Sharma ’18
Menlo ‘Ohana—Hawai’i Send Off Our long-standing ties to our Hawai’i community provide a very special aspect of the celebrated diversity and tradition here at Menlo. More students come to Menlo from Hawai’i than from any state other than California. For many decades into the present, this community of current students and alumni has brought its collective strength to Menlo. Last April at our 27th annual Lu-ʻ’au, our Pacific Islander Club shared Pacific Island cultures, talents and values, and over 500 people came out to support the event. The Lu-ʻ’au was sponsored by many alumni and friends of the college from Hawai’i. We revere the support of our Hawai’i community, and delight in another of its traditions, one which provides the first community event experience for new students each year—the annual Hawai’i Send Off. Incoming Menlo students officially join our “Menlo ‘Ohana” during this summer event, where their decision to attend Menlo College is celebrated by all. At a joyous meal, students are invited to talk story with our current students and alumni, connecting with one another before leaving the islands. The alumni and friends who organize, support and attend this event year after year provide a community away from home. For the last three years, the event has been sponsored by John-Henry Felix ’49, Cully Judd ‘65, and Micah Ka-ne ‘91. A huge mahalo to them. Micah Ka-ne ’91, who also chairs Menlo’s Board of Trustees, enjoys supporting the Hawai’i Send Off because he can relate to the experience of the students. “Leaving Hawai’i was hard; I had only left Hawai’i one time before college, so it was a difficult transition, I remember that. But Menlo was so good for me. It was a small school that embraced me, so I got my degree, came home and got to work.” Incoming first year Menlo students and admissions counselor, Tess Rewick, celebrate at a Hawai’i Send Off at the Highway Inn in Kaka’ako, Honolulu in July of 2018. (back row, left to right) Bailey Akimseu, Andrew Adach, Tess Rewick, Michael Yamamoto, Raysa Phipps (front row, left to right) Chara Higaki, Russel Abigail Roxas, Jordyn Sanico, Miranda Canniff
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Aloha/hello, My name is Linda Bakke. I’m very happy to share with you the news of my new course: Literature of Hawai’i and the Pacific. It’s good to be at an institution such as Menlo College, a school rich in its diversity of students. Students from Hawai’i and the Pacific comprise a very large facet of this diverse spectrum. This diversity allows for the opportunity to propose a course with which students from Hawai’i and the Pacific can identify and that invites curiosity and fosters conversation for all students. The experience of growing up for a period of time on the U.S. island territory of Guam, with its unofficial motto “Where America’s Day Begins,” inspires this course. Though I was young, I remember the nostalgia that I felt when my family and I returned from Guam to mainland California. That nostalgia has never left me. A Virtual Island?! The Virtual Island is a student generated and curated concept where students will upload various topics into a digital space. Topics will include current events, activism, ecology, my community/neighborhood, personal narrative, and food and culture. Translations of selected texts will also be included. This list is a starting point, and I look forward to hearing what kind of input the students will have. I’m very enthusiastic that the Virtual Island will provide a platform for students to form dialogue, conduct research and stimulate conversation that, for some, is authentically representational of themselves and where they are from. The students and I will be seeking to partner with Menlo College’s Bowman Library in an effort to provide more materials on Hawai’i and the Pacific. I will also be seeking the support of Silicon Valley partners. I have had the pleasure of being in dialogue with Dr. Craig Santos Perez at the University of Hawai’i, Manoa; he is a Guam native and the author of Home(is)lands. As his website explains, “Craig is the cofounder of Ala Press (the only publisher in the U.S. dedicated to Pacific literature)” (craigsantosperez. com). He has been very generous in recommending source material to include on my reading list and providing me with feedback on the course. Thank you, it has been a pleasure to introduce Literature of Hawai’i and the Pacific to you.
POSITION: Adjunct Professor of English HOMETOWN: The San Francisco Bay Area
A NEW VOICE AT MENLO:
PATH TO MENLO: My path to Menlo has been as an artist and former curator for the non-profit arts organization Red Ink Studios, which works with youth and Meet Linda Bakke emerging artists. During this part of my career I started to lose my eyesight and could no longer work as a visual artist. I returned to school and worked toward an MFA in creative writing from San Francisco State University. I’ve landed here on a path to Menlo with a strong commitment to teaching and instructing students on their personal narratives. INTERESTS: Narratives of Hawai’i and The Pacific. Women’s issues. MY PERSPECTIVE: I’m very interested in identifying ways in which inclusion and representation can be instilled and become part of our everyday context. My perspective is to thwart the social/racial constructs that divide us.
Sitting Down with the Rea Family
A NEW VOICE AT MENLO: Meet Laura Koo
POSITION: Senior Director, Alumni Engagement and Development HOMETOWN: Yardley, Pennsylvania
A big shout out to Jim Rea ‘67 and his family for their contribution and naming of the bench outside the new Dorothy Skala Alumni Center. Naming opportunities allow donors to celebrate their legacy at Menlo College – or celebrate the memory of a family member or friend. If you would like information about naming opportunities, please contact Laura Koo at firstname.lastname@example.org or (650) 543-3732. All donations support current Menlo College students. Well-dressed students try out the new bench: (Top row, left to right): Ryan Barnett ‘19, Jaagriti Sharma, Menlo Marketing Manager. (Bottom row, left to right): Victor Garcia ‘21, Sydney Richardson-Gorski ‘19, Sachal Jogi ‘20, Julie Ccaihuari ‘19 55 WINT ER 2019
PATH TO MENLO: I landed my first marketing/fundraising job by offering to cook with the mother of my graduate student roommate. Apparently, I was one of the very few guests of her children to offer assistance in the kitchen. I didn’t know then that she was mayor of Los Altos Hills and sat on the board of several organizations, including the one that ultimately hired me. RESEARCH INTERESTS: If I were to return to science, I’d study Non-Combat Related PTSD in Women or the Effects of Meditation on Brain Lymphatics. MY PERSPECTIVE: My mantra is about finding balance and I’m fascinated by the Taoist philosophy of interdependence among all things. So far it’s been the best framework from which to pursue my passion for equity among people. I am very excited to be here at Menlo where diversity and inclusion are so front and center in everything we do.
IN MEMORIAM J. Scott Carter ‘59: (1939 - 2018) Alumnus Jesse Scott Carter passed away in October 2018. Born in Redding, California, Carter attended Menlo College from 1957 to 1959, and subsequently obtained his bachelor’s degree from University of California, Berkeley. He received his master’s degree in political science from California State University, Chico. For 34 years, Carter taught American history and government at Shasta College. He referred to teaching as the “best job on the planet.” He loved interacting with students, many of whom he kept in touch with for years afterward. He was elected to the Redding City Council in 1986, and served as mayor beginning in 1989. Prior to his teaching career, Carter was a crew member and fleet owner in the Alaska Fishing Industry. After he retired from teaching, he published 20 Years on Bristol Bay - An Alaskan Odyssey. He later produced the documentary film “Alaska’s Ravaged Red Salmon,” which was inspired by his concern about the overfishing of sockeye salmon. Carter is survived by his wife, Susan Carroll, his son, Oliver; and his grandson, Harvey.
Roy R. Senour Jr. ‘44: (1924 - 2016) We recently learned of the passing of Roy R. Senour Jr. ‘44, beloved friend to many. He was 92 when he died. Roy was born in San Luis Obispo, CA on June 18, 1924, and attended Menlo College from 1941-1944. During his time as a Menlo student, he served as Chairman of the Constitution Committee, a reporter of Oak & Acorn, as President of the freshman and sophomore classes, and then as Student Body President.
Mr. Senour (far right) at an alumni dinner in Hong Kong in the fall of 1989.
Roy was committed to both his own education and the education of others. After he received his associate’s degree, he completed his undergraduate education at the University of Arizona. He obtained a master’s degree from Stanford University and a doctorate from Columbia University Teachers College. He then proceeded to teach others.
After he obtained his doctorate, Roy served as a faculty member and administrator at six different colleges, here in the U.S. and in England. He also returned to Menlo to lead the summer program. In addition to his faculty roles, Roy was involved in the Winston Churchill Foundation, the Silvermine College of Art Board of Trustees, and many other professional associations and charitable organizations. On December 31, 1988 Roy announced his retirement. Over the course of the next 28 years, he spent summers in East Hampton, winters in Palm Beach, and traveled extensively on transatlantic cruises and across Europe. For many of these travels, he was accompanied by other Menlo alumni, faculty, and staff. Roy Senour Jr. is survived by his dear friend William Wheeler, who recently made a donation to Menlo College to honor Roy’s life.
New Rowing Team Achieves Teamwork By Pamela Besteman, Head Coach, Rowing Team
“Hands on the boat. Off the rack together. Ready, UP!”
Calling out these traditional words, the coxswain begins another rowing practice, and the crew knows it is time to focus in on the task at hand. At this point it doesn’t matter if the rower is from the cornfields of the Midwest, the historic rowing city of Boston, the sandy beaches of the Hawaiian Islands or the hustling city of Beijing, they are now one team. Everyone matters, everyone contributes. The fundamentals of rowing are simple—learn the technique, practice it, and get fit through hours of training. The magic of rowing is how a coach brings together a number of individuals and teaches them how to give up something of themselves for the greater good of the crew. For me, practices are designed around the principles of teamwork, selfless commitment, honesty, patience, perseverance, and integrity. To start off I teach the rowers the basics of the rowing stroke. It takes each rower showing up to practice and putting in the joint effort needed to make the practice an effective one. Building a unified team will build a unified boat. So many look to a ‘win’ or a ‘loss’ as the only measuring point that matters. If only wins are valued within a team many new rowers will find disappointment early and walk away from the sport. To help the new rowers understand the value of progress and improvement, after each session I ask the team what went well and what was tough. This drill will help the rowers learn how to communicate with each other when I am not near their boat. I originally started asking “what went well today?” to my teams when I realized that my younger rowers were focusing on the negative aspects of practices and races and this was causing them to feel as if they were never successful. Through this communication the athletes start to learn more about each other and what each of them brings to a boat. This in turn helps each of them value their other teammates. Most rowers will tell you that when a boat is really moving, it is hard to describe what it feels like. All who have rowed in a solid crew will tell you they KNOW when they have found it, and they will continue to search for it again and again. The new Menlo rowing team competed at Head of the Lagoon in Foster City, CA on November 10 (left to right): Jake Silva (stroke) ‘22, Nicolas Lombana ‘20, Wanglei Du ‘22, Aaron Ventura (bow) ‘22, and Christina Espana (coxswain) ‘20. Photo: Jonathan Surface 57 WINT ER 20198
HOMETOWN: Allendale, Michigan
A NEW VOICE AT MENLO: Meet Pamela J. Besteman
PATH TO MENLO: I launched from scratch a NCAA Division I Rowing program at Eastern Michigan University in 2000. As Assistant Coach for Trinity College, my team placed 2nd in the NCAA Division III Rowing Championships in 2007. The following two years, my team placed 3rd at the NCAA Division III Rowing Championships.
I co-founded Beat Cancer Boat Club (BCBC) in 2013, the same year I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The Beat Cancer Boat Club is a Community of Rowers who have faced cancer as supporters, thrivers, and survivors. I compete annually at the Head of the Charles Regatta for BCBC. MY PERSPECTIVE: Regarding my coaching philosophy: I remind myself that when athletes think back to being coached by me they wonâ€™t remember what I say, but they will remember how I made them feel. MY MENLO EXPERIENCE: Menlo College reminds me of Grand Valley State University in Michigan where I did my undergrad work. My childhood home was less than 10 miles from the campus and I feel as if I truly grew up on it. Years before enrolling in classes, I competed on the softball diamond and in track, took my first swimming and gymnastic lessons at the fieldhouse. At that time, it was a small college campus with beautiful green space, lots of trees, and everyone was so friendly. The first time I walked on the Menlo campus I was taken back to the college of my childhood and I instantly fell in love with Menlo. When I graduated I had always wanted to work for a school with the same feel, energy and values. Menlo College is all that and betterâ€Śno winter snow storms!
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Three New Head Varsity Coaches By Aaron Gillespie, Assistant Athletics Director
Three new head coaches were recruited to lead varsity teams at Menlo last spring. First up was Zlatan Sahmanovic, who was named the Head Coach of Women’s Soccer in April. He took over the Menlo program after an eight-season tenure at California State East Bay as Associate Head Coach. He played collegiately at Humboldt State University, where he was named the GNAC Freshman of the Year and an All-GNAC team member. He played three seasons for the National Premier Soccer League’s Sonoma Sol team following his collegiate career. Zlatan graduated from Humboldt State with a degree in political science, and earned his master’s in coaching and public administration from Concordia University, Irvine. Zlatan was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and lived in Croatia and Germany before coming to the United States in 1996. In June, Todd Hollenbeck was named the Men’s Volleyball Head Coach. Todd has a long history in the sport. For the last three years, he worked as assistant coach at NCAA Division I University of Southern California. During that time, the Trojans won 29 games over three seasons. Previous roles included head coach at the University of California Santa Cruz, where he was head coach of the men’s program for five seasons, and head of the women’s program for three seasons. During his five seasons with the men’s team, they ranked in the top ten among NCAA schools every year. Todd earned his bachelor’s in business administration from the University of the Pacific, where he was an outside hitter and middle blocker for the Tigers during his time as a student-athlete. In July, David Crynes, Ph.D. was named as the new head Coach of Men’s and Women’s Track & Field and Cross Country. David came to Menlo after spending the previous three seasons as an assistant coach at Oklahoma City University, where he boasted a third-place national cross country finish in 2017, among many other program successes. In the past two seasons alone, he helped coach a total of eight individual national champions on the track teams. In addition to his history of coaching David is also the owner of Courage Running Inc., an online coaching service that trains over 60 runners across 15 states. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in American Government and Public Law.
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More than a “Field of Games” – Sports Management at Menlo College By Sean Pradhan, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Director of the Center for Sports Management
One of my coaching idols is Coach Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors, who once said: I think it’s imperative to follow your heart and choose a profession you’re passionate about, and if you haven’t found that ‘spark’ yet, if you’re not sure what you want to do with your life – be persistent until you do. When I first began college, my original plan was to (first and foremost) finish college and then attend medical school to become a neurosurgeon. However, with some fine thought and help from my best friend (who later became my wife), I pursued a true passion of mine – sports management. At the start of my master’s program in sport management, I did not know much about the field. While searching for my next academic venture, I stumbled upon a variety of sports-focused programs that offered studies in management and marketing. Being a huge sports fan, this intrigued me. I soon learned that sports management is more than just some hodge-podge of different parent disciplines that study games. It is truly a unique field, in that it is not only inherently multi-disciplinary, but also simultaneously blends excitement with business – and that’s what makes it so promising for Menlo. Compared to other fields like psychology or marketing, there are not as many sports management programs in the country, let alone in the Bay Area, or even in the entire state of California. We have something very special here, and having the chance to build a program from the bottom-up in one of the hottest sports markets in the entire world is a dream come true. You can drive 30 miles in nearly any direction from Menlo College and come across not only one, but several professional, minor league, independent, and/or collegiate sports teams (that Bay Area traffic is killer, so I can’t tell you how long that will actually take). Pair that with our prime location in the Silicon Valley and you have yourself one amazing opportunity. I envision that the Sports Management program at Menlo will take a holistic approach to the field, incorporating some of the most noteworthy trends in sports (e.g., sports analytics and experimental research), along with several specialized management subjects (e.g., marketing, advertising, economics, and finance). With such a vast number of topics that the field has, I believe that taking this type of wellrounded course will help students find their own “spark” in sports management. My hope is that I can help transform and uplift our students to become their own versions of the Warriors’ Hampton’s 5 (Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Andre Iguodala), as Coach Kerr has superbly done. POSITION: Assistant Professor and Director of the Center for Sports Management
A NEW VOICE AT MENLO: Meet Dr. Sean Pradhan
HOMETOWN: San Mateo, California PATH TO MENLO: I joined Menlo College this fall after teaching at San José State University (SJSU) as a Lecturer in the Department of Psychology, and serving as an SJSU Research Foundation Project Associate in the Fatigue Countermeasures Laboratory at NASA Ames Research Center.
RESEARCH INTERESTS: I enjoy researching sports marketing, sports analytics, and consumer psychology. One of my most recent studies has explored domestic and international fans’ responses to the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) jersey sponsorship initiative. MY PERSPECTIVE: In many ways, I believe that coaching is very similar to teaching. My philosophy on teaching is derived from Coach Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors. Coach Kerr has a special kind of proverbial “sauce” when it comes to his approach as a leader. He is a master communicator who can relate to his players, yet, at the same time, command their respect. In a similar vein, I strive to incorporate the same level of communication with my own students. MENLO COLLEGE
The Man Behind the Camera Who’s the man behind the camera for our beautiful photos in Advantage Magazine? He’s Andrey Poliakov–and here is one of his favorite photos.
POSITION: Web Marketing and Social Media Manager
Reintroducing you to Andrey Poliakov
HOMETOWN: Moscow, Russia
PATH TO MENLO: Before coming to Menlo seven years ago, I maintained the website and directed social media marketing for the British Council in Moscow. We organized a lot of events and always needed event photos, but hiring professional photographers was becoming too expensive, so instead we decided to invest in photo equipment. I bought a camera and began teaching myself photography. Prior to that I worked for Deloitte in Moscow, maintaining the website and creating podcasts featuring interviews with partners. RESEARCH INTERESTS: I like photos that tell a story. In a portrait, I want the subject’s personality shining through. Technically, a photograph is about light, but the best photos reveal emotions under the surface even if they are technically imperfect. MY PERSPECTIVE: I love the diversity at Menlo College. California is one of the best places for me, someone from another country. I don’t need to be a local to adapt. There are so many people from other countries here that being a foreigner becomes normal. A few things you may not guess about me? I am writing a children’s book; I love good coffee, my favorite coffee shop is Verve in the town of Santa Cruz; and I once played triangle in a rock band, although my instrument of choice is the drums. My approach to life: Enjoy the time you spend at work as much as your weekends because it’s all your life. 6 3 WINT ER 2019
Where We Left Off . . . In the Summer 2018 issue of Advantage Magazine we focused on the fact that our current students are the first cohort to grow up with all the advantages—and disadvantages—of a user friendly internet. At Menlo’s September Convocation, Max Stossel, former media strategist for several corporations, explained the ways that algorithms are designed to create obsessive use. Max Stossel is now the Head of Content and Storytelling at the Center for Humane Technology.
Self Aware Ways to Face Facebook For the first time in history, our thoughts and emotions are increasingly dictated by the design decisions made by a handful of people in Silicon Valley. Technology has of course benefitted society in a variety of ways, but those benefits have come with a cost. We’re more digitally connected, yet more isolated, we can message each other with the tap of a button, yet we’re lonelier than ever. We can do 10 things at once, but our brains can’t quite work that way. In the age of distraction, it’s of the utmost importance to take the steps necessary to protect our minds from the temptations of the digital world. To learn how to keep our devices out of reach when we need to focus, learn to battle through uncomfortable moments and not let the safety blanket of our screens prevent us from creativity or feeling our feelings, and learn to resist the neurological feedback loops created by social media that don’t feel good. Are we using technology, or is it using us? For more tips on how to take back control of your relationship with technology check out www.humanetech.com/take-control.
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THE DATES! March 23 March 26 April 5-7 April 13 May 4
Plan your return to campus this spring!
The 28th Annual Lu- â€™au Connect Day & OAKS-in-Industry Networking Techstars Start-up Weekend Vegas Night Class of 2019 Commencement