On April 18, 2012, the University of San Diego welcomed His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama as he made his inaugural visit to San Diego as part of his “Compassion Without Borders” tour.
His Holiness addressed standing-room-only audiences at the University of San Diego, the University of California, San Diego, and San Diego State University. Among his many honors, the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent struggle for the liberation of Tibet; fittingly, the theme of his talk at USD was “Cultivating Peace and Justice.”
President Mary E. Lyons, PhD, presented the University of San Diego Medal of Peace to the Dalai Lama on the stage of the Jenny Craig Pavilion, in recognition of his scholarship and lifelong contributions to international peacebuilding. “As a spiritual leader, one who strives for and continues to live a life dedicated to peace, you are truly a living witness to the greatest aspirations of our university,” she said.
In 2012, the University of San Diego announced a five-year, $4.93 million grant from the National Science Foundation. Multiple organizations, universities and disciplines have joined forces to implement the Climate Change Education Program, with the intent of empowering adults with the information they need to understand global climate change — and to do something about it. In order to get the message out, a host of local community leaders have been enlisted. These influential people will customize education resources to best reach their unique communities.
“We are very proud that USD is the lead institution for such an important and critical project,” said USD Associate Professor Michel Boudrias, PhD. “This Climate Change Education Program is putting USD on the map as a leader in cooperative research and as a university that can live up to its Changemaker designation.”
USD’s athletics program captured the 2011–12 West Coast Conference (WCC) Commissioner’s Cup for an unprecedented fifth consecutive time in June 2012. The WCC Commissioner's Cup is an all-sports award presented at the end of each academic year to the league’s top performing school in conference play, and is based on a point system reflecting the conference standings for each team at season’s end. USD earned 76.5 total points, edging runner-up and conference newcomer Brigham Young University.
The Toreros also captured the WCC Women’s All-Sports Trophy (44 points) for the fourth time in the last five years. Three USD women’s teams won or shared a WCC title in 2011–12.
“To think that we have managed to capture this cup for the fifth year in a row is unprecedented in our conference, but I think it says so much about the entire conference that we manage to put a lot of emphasis on all of our men’s and women’s sports,” said USD President Mary E. Lyons, PhD. “That is what I think is so special about the West Coast Conference. Lucky for us, we have incredible coaches and wonderful student-athletes that have pulled this off again.”
At the 2012 Fall Convocation, nine faculty members received awards for exceptional teaching, research and service: University Professorships — Can Bilsel, PhD (Department Chair for Art, Architecture + Art History); Stephen Conroy, PhD (Economics Professor, Director of the Center for Peace and Commerce); Tammy Dwyer, PhD (Professor/Department Chair for Chemistry and Biochemistry); Fred Galloway, EdD (Higher Education Leadership Studies Professor); and Orly Lobel, SJD (Law Professor). Steber Professorships — Bahar Davary, PhD (Theology and Religious Studies Associate Professor, Affiliate Ethnic Studies Professor); and Johanna Hunsaker, PhD (Professor/Department Chair for Business Management, Law and Ethics Group). Herzog Endowed Scholar — Ted Sichelman, JD (Law Professor). Class of 1975 Endowed Professorship — Herbert Lazerow, JD (Law Professor).
University of San Diego Economics Professor Stephen Conroy, PhD, was named the new director of USD’s Center for Peace and Commerce. He’ll lead the center’s efforts in preparing new generations of Changemakers to develop innovative approaches for achieving the “four P’s” of people, profit, planet and peace through scholarship, enterprise development and engagement with multiple stakeholders.
The center is a joint project between USD’s School of Business Administration and the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies. Conroy succeeds Patricia Marquez, PhD, associate professor of management, who will now be leading the university’s Ashoka Changemaker Hub to link the innovative initiatives taking place across the campus and promote effective solutions to contemporary social issues. “There is no doubt that businesses can play a very important role in alleviating poverty and addressing social and environmental problems,” said Conroy.
In July 2012, USD Associate Professor of Biology Marjorie Patrick, PhD, helped USD procure a $415,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. Funds from the grant were used to purchase a high-tech microscope that will aid Patrick and her colleagues in their work in the fields of physiology, biophysics and neurobiology, among other scientific disciplines. Patrick is the principal investigator on the grant. The co-principal investigators include Associate Professor of Biology Curtis Loer, PhD, Assistant Professor of Physics Rae Anderson, PhD, and Biology Professors Lisa Baird, PhD, and Richard Gonzalez, PhD. Natalie Prigozhina, PhD, adjunct assistant professor, will serve as the microscope facility manager.
Following an extensive international search, Edward C. Luck, PhD, was named dean of the University of San Diego Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies on Aug. 1, 2012. A highly regarded United Nations official, Luck has served as Assistant Secretary-General and Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon since 2008. In this role, he was responsible for the conceptual, political and institutional/operational development of the Responsibility to Protect doctrine, under which all heads of state and government pledged to protect their populations by preventing atrocity crimes.
A prolific scholar, Dr. Luck is one of the world’s leading experts on the United Nations. He has written numerous books, chapters and articles, and provided frequent media commentary and congressional testimony on the Responsibility to Protect, peacekeeping, United Nations reform, and a host of other foreign policy and security issues.
“Throughout his distinctive career, Dr. Edward Luck has demonstrated a commitment to both the practice and education of peace and justice. I am extremely confident that he is well poised to lead the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies’ talented faculty, staff and students by building upon its strong foundation and expanding opportunities for continued growth,” said USD Executive Vice President and Provost Julie Sullivan.