Tag Archives: USFCA

Fr. Fitzgerald speaking at an event at the Chinese Consulate in New York City honoring extraordinary Chinese graduate students in the region’s universities. Photo courtesy of  Paul J. Fitzgerald

USF Welcomes New President Father Fitz

The presidential search ended last week with the Board of Trustees voting unanimously to elect the Reverend Paul J. Fitzgerald S.J. as the 28th president of the University of San Francisco. Fr. Fitzgerald will officially take office on August 1.

“When I received word I was selected as president, I was absolutely elated,” Fitzgerald said. “USF has an impressive legacy. The chance to contribute to this environment of learning and service is a true honor.”

Fitzgerald is due back to the Bay Area in August. Courtesy of Barbara Ries.

Fitzgerald is due back to the Bay Area in August. Courtesy of Barbara Ries.

This role will bring Fitzgerald back to the Bay Area. He grew up in Los Gatos, Calif. after his family moved from Southern California when he was five. He graduated from Santa Clara University in 1980 (“that other Jesuit school,” he joked) and entered the Society of Jesus two years later. Fr. Fitzgerald was ordained to the priesthood at St. Ignatius Church on the USF campus in 1992. He currently serves as the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Fairfield University in Connecticut.

Fitzgerald also has a wealth of international experience; he attended the University of Paris, La Sorbonne, where he earned a postgraduate degree and PhD in the Sociology of Religion and he taught as a visiting lecturer in China and Kenya. He is fluent in French, German, and conversational in Spanish.

“We believe Fitzgerald is ideally suited to work with the entire USF community in delivering a Jesuit education to the next generations of USF students,” said Thomas E. Malloy, chair of the USF Board of Trustees. “He has a strong commitment to diversity, brings a global perspective, and is an enthusiastic supporter of intercollegiate athletics. He is excited about leading San Francisco’s first university and expanding our partnerships with the community.”

Fr. Fitzgerald married three couples at Santa Clara University this year. Here he is (second from the right) celebrating the wedding of Becky and Bobby Reuter, SCU ‘05. Courtesy of  Paul J. Fitzgerald.

Fr. Fitzgerald married three couples at Santa Clara University this year. Here he is (second from the right) celebrating the wedding of Becky and Bobby Reuter, SCU ‘05. Courtesy of Paul J. Fitzgerald.

Fr. Fitzgerald talks to the Foghorn in an exclusive interview

On coming back to USF and California

“I want to be back at USF because that [diversity] to me is normal, and I just feel joy in a place where everyone feels welcome. USF should look like the Bay Area.”

“In San Francisco you can eat the food from the world, and you can do that in New York City as well, but in New York there’s snow.”


On his campus presence 

“I want to have structured conversations, and I want to meet constituencies and groups of students, but I also want to give myself opportunities to go and have lunch in one of the student dining commons, and sit at a random table and talk to people. I want to do that with faculty. I want to do that with staff.”

On Pope Francis

“I love the new pope, I love the new pope. He is just so genuine, so warm, so loving, non judgmental; you know, he’s like Jesus. He’s challenging, and he is going to be challenging because he’s going to ask people to lead lives of virtue, generosity, kindness, charity, diversity — and those are not alway easy.”


On the San Francisco Chronicle calling him “tech-savvy”

“That’s nice of them. I don’t have any degrees; my degrees are in history and philosophy and theology, and sociology. What some of our conversations were on is what’s going on in San Francisco right now, which is that Silicon Valley is moving into the city. I think the students at USF will go into the tech industry, whether as an engineer, marketer or technical writer, so I think we want to pay really close attention to what are the jobs students are preparing for and what are the jobs our students want when they graduate.”


On technology and morals

“We need to talk together about what technology can do for us, but we also have to be attentive to what technology can do to us. When undergraduate students arrive, they’re pretty comfortable using technology. Is it really keeping them connected to people or is it keeping their relationships kind of  superficial?”


On how USF can lead the conversation on tech and morals

“Some people arrive having had the experience of cyber bullying so how do we have conversations around being kind and being caring in a digital format? If we can be a place where people from different religious traditions have deep conversations, maybe we can help folks in the city do that, as well.”


On student media

“I promise I will never ever ever censor the newspaper. Student media is educational; students are learning how to be journalists; but also they serve a really important function of building community and that also involves presenting difficult questions and brokering difficult conversations.”


On interacting with outside community

“Jesuits have always, for 450 years, thought of our schools as a place where we educate our students, but also a place where we engage the larger community; and sometimes we do it through our students. USF wants to be, and is, and should be more and more, a university for San Francisco, not of San Francisco. We can help the city think of ethical questions about inclusivity and respect. We can have the city ask itself “what are the values of this community that we’re willing to stand up for?”


On his morning routine

“I do yoga. I sit for 25 mins or so, say my prayer. I do these yoga poses: salute to the sun, the cat. There’s a lot of them. I get cleaned up and have breakfast and get the paper and eat with other Jesuits and we chat a little bit.”


On what newspapers he will be reading at USF

“The Foghorn! The [San Francisco] Chronicle, and I hope we get the New York Times and Le Monde.”


On speaking many languages

“We get students from all over the world, and we want to send students all over the world, and we want students to have a sense of global citizenship.”




New Sports Club Brings Lacrosse To USF

If you’ve passed by Negoesco Stadium recently, you may have noticed something you had probably never seen before at USF; lacrosse players practicing on the field. That’s because the university did not have any type of lacrosse organization on campus before October, when a group of students got together to form the USF Lacrosse Club.

Though they are officially a University of San Francisco organization, USF Lacrosse holds the “club sport” status, which means they do not get most of the benefits that athletes in sports such as basketball and soccer get.

Suraj “Zed” Talluri is a first year lacrosse player and the goalie for the USF lacrosse club. Courtesy of Suraj Talluri.

Suraj “Zed” Talluri is a first year lacrosse player and the goalie for the USF lacrosse club. Courtesy of Suraj Talluri.

“Club teams often operate separately from the athletic department, the big difference there is that they don’t receive any funding from the school.” said Dan Vilar, head coach of the Lacrosse Club. “With varsity sports you have recruits, you follow NCAA bylaws, you have scholarships, and a big budget. Club sports are organized, funded and administrated all by the students – they do the work, they hire all the coaches, they pay the coaches.”

Not only do students hire the coaches, they also pay for everything else needed to run a team.

“It’s an additional burden on top of tuition and everything else – it comes out of the players’ pockets,” Vilar said before mentioning that it gets easier the longer you have the program. “More established programs will have better fundraising efforts, more alumni who give back to the program.” Vilar gives the example of UC Berkeley’s lacrosse squad, who have been a club team for 50 years now and were able to raise around $50,000 to help with paying for a coach.

Vilar played lacrosse from fourth grade through college, but only got into coaching once his eligibility ended. After that, he coached at various different levels at a number of schools around the Bay Area. Vilar jokingly said that “bossing people around” was his favorite part of being a coach, before continuing in a more sincere tone.

“My favorite part of being a coach is bringing out the best in somebody, seeing that moment where it clicks for them and they go from being a beginner to intermediate, or a brand new player on the team to a starter on the team,” Vilar said. “I love to see people who have that enthusiasm, that gusto, and are receptive to coaching.”

For sophomore Suraj “Zed” Talluri, who plays goalie for the USF Lacrosse Club, the best part of lacrosse is the feeling that he gets in the heat of the moment.

“The adrenaline rush, I’d have to say, is my favorite part about it,” Talluri said. “Like when I see someone bolting towards the cage about to take a shot, the insane amount of adrenaline I get before that shot is just addicting.”

Like a number of others on the team, this is the first experience that Talluri has had playing lacrosse, but skills from other sports have eased his training a little bit.

“I played a lot of tennis beforehand so that really helped with my hand-eye coordination,” Talluri said.

Hand-eye coordination is especially important for Talluri in his role as the team’s goalie. He said that while the position is pretty much what it sounds like, there are leadership aspects involved as well.

“It’s been described to me as the defensive quarterback in a way, because you need to command the defense, let them know what position they need to be in, and tell them who to approach and how to block,” Talluri said.

The team finished up its season on Sunday with a 15-3 win over Cabrillo College, but the players will be back in the fall to strengthen their skills and return to play. Moving forward, Vilar would like to see the team accepted into the Western Collegiate Lacrosse League (WCLL), but said that it will be hard if students with prior experience don’t show up to play.

“I know there are guys here who aren’t on the team but have played lacrosse before, and I hope that I can get them to come out and join,” Villar said.

What’s Wrong with USF’s Minority Dissertation Fellowship Program?

USF’s faculty know all about our school’s Minority Dissertation Fellowship Program, but members of the wider campus community may not be so familiar with it.  Started in 1993 under a grant from the Irvine Foundation, the program supports African-American, Latino and/or Asian-American graduate students with a year of financing and academic resources at USF as they complete their doctoral dissertations.  Recipients also gain experience teaching one course per semester.  Midway through their fellowship years, the doctoral fellows go on the job market in search of a full-time, tenure-track position in their particular field. Continue reading

Between the Lines: USF Hosts Writers Festival

Up-and-coming writers gathered to read from selected events at the University’s Emerging Writers’ Festival last week. The two-day event on April 8 took place in Fromm Hall. The festival was sponsored by the English Department and co-sponsored by the Asian Pacific American Studies and African American Studies Programs.

Ryan William Van Meter, Assistant Professor of English at USF as well as one of the main figures in charge of the festival, described the festival’s main focus as “celebrating the pleasure of reading and writing as an active member in a literary community while being inspired by fellow artists”. The festival began with three readings from distinguished authors Adam Peterson, Roger Reeves, and Michelle Orange. Peterson, a published author of flash fiction, commenced the event with shorter pieces he had written. His quirky delivery and side commentary resulted in laughs from the crowd and they only continued throughout his comical readings.

Next up, Roger Reeves, published poet and assistant professor at The University of Illinois, Chicago, read his poems with themes  ranging from racism to popular culture. With each reading, Reeves emphasized every emotion and feeling the poem offered, resulting in cheering and praise from the audience.

The last author, Michelle Orange, read one of her essays from her published novel, “This is Running For Your Life: Essays,” discussing her trip to Beirut, Lebanon during the spontaneous bombings occurring. Her vivid use of language and detail transported the audience right into her essay and a silence drifted through the crowd as she read through her experience.

The second night featured two writers, poet Sandra Lim and author Manuel Gonzales. Lim began by reading a handful of pieces from her book “The Wilderness” as well as a few pieces from her upcoming book. Most of her poetry discussed real life experiences, especially her move from California to Massachusetts as an assistant professor at The University of Massachusetts, Lowell.

Gonzales finished the event by reading the last part of his work, “The Miniature Wife and Other Stories.”  His out-of-the-box story, discussing the woes of a zombie office worker falling in love with his human co-worker, earned laughs from the audience, helped by his quick delivery.

This group of authors exemplifies what the festival aims to accomplish. Each author’s pieces all differed in style and subject matter, resulting in a perfect balance of material for the festival.

“We aim to represent the richness of the current literary scene by inviting writers who come from a diversity of backgrounds and who work in a range of aesthetic styles,” Van Meter said. “We want to bring to campus writers who test boundaries and whose career paths will stand as compelling examples from students.”

The campus bookstore has set up a special display showcasing the authors’ novels.


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Track and Field Golmes Glides to Fifth-Place Finish in 800-Meter Run

Nine USF athletes traveled to Arizona on April 11-12 to compete in the Sun Angel Invitational, which was held at Arizona State and consisted of athletes from schools all over the country. While only a handful of Dons made the trip to Arizona to participate in the meet, many of them left the Grand Canyon State with top-10 finishes under their belt.

The highlight of the meet for the Dons was junior Sean Gomes‘ fifth place finish in the men’s 800-meter (0.5 mile) race. Gomes crossed the line with a time of 1:52.44, well ahead of most of the other competitors in the 26-person race. Running alongside Gomes for USF was freshman Omar Solis, who crossed the finish line just 3.94 seconds after Gomes to complete the race in fifteenth place.

“[Sean Gomes] matched his personal best at 800 meters, and will certainly be able to crank it up a few notches the next couple outings,” head coach Helen Lehman-Winters said.

No Don finished higher than fifth in an event, but freshman Asaundra Dalton broke the top 10 in her event, the 200-meter (0.12 mile) dash. Dalton finished in 25.31 seconds, good enough to earn her seventh place. Dalton’s time put her ahead of her teammate, freshman Lupe Medina, who came in fourteenth place with a time of 26.82 seconds. The duo of Dalton and Medina also ran in the women’s 400-meter dash, but their results were not as positive. Dalton finished eleventh overall, while Medina trailed her closely and came in thirteenth.

Like Dalton in the 200-meter dash, sophomore Eleni Fkiaras also finished seventh in the 400-meter (0.25 mile) hurdles. Fkiaras was hoping for a strong finish after earning second place and narrowly besting her personal record at the Stanford Invitational. Unfortunately, her time of 1:04.22 was not quite enough to separate her from the pack in a field that included runners from Texas A&M, Boise State, and Kansas. Megan Kelley of Boise State took first place in the race and ended the course less than two seconds ahead of Fkiaras.

Redshirt junior Kamilah Davis also finished amongst the top ten, dashing to the finish line in 12.53 seconds in the 100-meter (.06 mile) sprint. The event included 17 other sprinters from schools such as Arizona State, the host of the meet, and California schools UC Riverside and UC Davis.

In the field, junior Nile Norwood competed in the long jump event and grabbed eighth place after leaping 6.38 meters. Freshman Katoa Ahau and junior Cameron Farrell were both contestants in the men’s javelin throw, landing in seventh and eighth place, respectively, with throws 50.80 and 50.36 meters.

After having multiple runners finish near the top of the pack at the Sun Angel Invitational, the Dons will now prepare for the Mt. Sac Invitational, which will be held in Pomona, Calif. from April 17-19. USF will also send a group of athletes to the Bryan Clay Invitational in Azusa, Calif. from April 18-19. With only five events left on the calendar until the NCAA West Preliminaries, the Dons must continue to prove that they are able to compete with other major schools. Lehman-Winters was pleased with some of the individual efforts in Arizona, but acknowledges that there is room for improvement.

“We had a few highlights, but clearly we have more work to do to get where we need to be,” Lehman-Winters said.


From left to right: Jonna German, Ienna Dela Torre, Derek Buckwalter, Ted Baird, Alisha Casey (Graphic by Matt Miller)

Dons with the Internship Advantage


Photo by Danielle Maingot



Who: Ted Baird

What: Sophomore entrepreneurship & innovation major

Where: Bron Deal Enterprises LLC; Frisco, Texas – It was a summer internship, to help grow his company and learn the behind-the-scenes to the fashion world.

When: May 2013 to August 2013

Why: I met Bron Austin at a Delta Sigma Pi fraternity event last year and he talked to me about his high-end custom men’s line. I told him I had a huge passion for the fashion industry and a few weeks later he offered me an internship in Texas to help expand his company. It was an amazing opportunity to work side by side with such a dedicated entrepreneur. I was lucky enough to travel with Bron to Oklahoma, New York, and various parts of Texas.


photo by Monica Chitre

Photo by Monica Chitre







Who: Ienna Dela Torre

What: Junior politics major, legal studies & media studies minor

Where: National Lawyers Guild SF Bay Area Chapter – a progressive legal membership organization that is focused on supporting and upholding the civil rights of underrepresented communities. I assist with general administrative duties in the office, as well as some research and article-writing. I help provide support to protesters at demonstrations throughout the Bay Area, responding to mail from inmates’ who seek legal support. It’s awesome!

When: Spring 2014

Why: I really wanted to get hands-on experience with a non-profit organization, especially one geared towards progressive thinking – so far, I love it!


photo by Monica Chitre

Photo by Monica Chitre







Who: Derek Buckwalter

What: Junior performing arts & social justice – music concentration major, general business minor, tech and design certificate candidate

Where: Om Entertainment Group – a local record label/lifestyle company that started the careers of artists like Kaskade and Bassnectar. I managed the online social media presence of the brand, shipped cds and other inventory, worked the merchandise table at the Maker Faire and a few concerts, created promotional content for the relaunching of one of the sub-labels, participated in the relaunch, found key corporate contacts, got equipment, and put up posters/flyers in local key business areas like the Mission and the Haight.

When: Summer 2011 to Spring 2013

Why: I love the artists whose careers they started, how well they treated artists, how they treat one another with respect, and the connections they granted me.


Photo by Monica Chitre

Photo by Monica Chitre







Who: Alisha Casey

What: Freshman english major

Where: Berrett-Koehler Publishing – Sales & Marketing Intern

I worked on Sales reports, meeting with authors, completing spreadsheets, and marketing in general (advertisting, tweeting, etc.)

When: January 21st-April 30th (three days a week)

Why: I needed an internship to break into publishing because it’s almost impossible to get into the business with just a degree. This was somewhere to start so I could move up. I’m also taking an internship writing class so I get four credits for the internship.


Photo by Monica Chitre

Photo by Monica Chitre







Who:  Jonna German

What: Sophomore sociology major, dual degree in teacher preparation program, health studies and child and youth studies minor

Where: Child Family Health International – a non-profit NGO that sends students to over 50 countries abroad. This organization provides medical care and assists impoverished communities through asset based community development. I helped implement community outreach programs, fundraise, and match students to programs according to their interests. Programs include dentistry, maternal and child care, reproductive health, etc.

When: October 2013 to February 2014 (once a week)

Why: Interning is really important because it gives you valuable experience into the working world. It helps students get an idea of what field they would like to go into. Firsthand experience is always beneficial. I wanted to learn more about public health as a field and this gave me lots of exposure to it as well as the non-profit industry.

Want help finding an internship? Check out the Career Services Center »