Santa Clara University is California's oldest institution of higher education, founded in 1851, on the site of MIssion Santa Clara de Asis, eighth of the original 21 California missions. Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, it offers its students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, engineering, plus master's and law degrees. In the Jesuit tradition, the university offers its students innovative curricula inspired by values of ethics and social justice. Students are exposed to an education with a strong humanistic orientation, at a university with a sense of responsibility, as a voice of reason and conscience in society.
Dr. SunWolf’s Courses:
COMM1: Introduction to Interpersonal Relationships
An overview of the communication process, issues, and theories explaining behaviors in human relationships, with an emphasis on our perceptions, thoughts, and feelings and those of our communication partners. Topics typically include the power of language, nonverbal communication, deception, persuasive communication, gender differences in communication, small group communication, and intercultural communication.
COMM100A: The Science of Happiness
When we get what we wanted, why doesn't that always make us happy? Our relationships are embedded in the pursuit or loss of happiness. This course is an interdisciplinary review of research and theories that explain our experiences of happiness. Topics include the transient nature of happiness, our brain’s biological happiness system, the effects of tragic or fortunate events, blind spots, counterfactual thinking/future-thinking/presentism, the science of laughter, and the communication roles of complaints versus gratitude. We will look at how happiness is affected by winning or by losing, as well as why predicting our future happiness (when we choose mates, careers, and material acquisitions) is often flawed. Students will gain an understanding of what might (or might not) bring them and those they care about sustained happiness—for the decisions they will be making throughout their lives.
What is the difference between attempting to change someone’s attitude, belief, or behavior? This course examines theories and research about persuasion, social influence, and compliance gaining, including the dynamics of successfully resisting persuasion attempts. We focus on interpersonal persuasion in social settings (our roles as friends, daughters/sons, parents, romantic partners, co-workers, teammates, or leaders). The course will cover credibility, social proof, influence in groups, persuasive language, compliance gaining techniques, and how subtle persuasion tactics influence our buying, eating, and health choices.
COMM104: Group Communication
Theories and research about the communication dynamics in a variety of relational groups. Topics include childhood groups, gaining entry to groups, being excluded from groups, grouphate, social loafing, leadership styles, facilitating groups, task versus social goals, communication roles of members, effects of gender and diversity, moral values of members, and the resolution of group conflicts. Specific groups will include social peer groups, cliques, juries, gangs, small work groups, super-task groups, problem-solving groups, teams, and decision-making groups (including juries). In addition to theory, practical skills for handling group challenges and member conflict will be offered. This is a qualified course for the Law and Social Justice Pathway.
COMM105: Multicultural Folktales and Oral Storytelling
Across time and around the world, people have told stories to teach, entertain, persuade, and carry a culture’s history. This course studies oral literature, including fairy tales, trickster tales, urban legends, ghostlore, hero/heroine journeys, and wisdom stories. We explore the values, gender roles, norms, beliefs, sense of justice, spirituality, and diverse world views that are embedded in every tale. Students will study, critically think about, and perform world folktales—developing a personal creative voice, while learning to appreciate folktales as rich multicultural bridges for understanding other people. Every student will learn tale-telling skills that can be applied to enrich the lives of others, in careers and community. Counts as a core course for Culture & Ideas 3 and is a qualified course for the Sustainability Pathway.
COMM109H: Friendships and Romances
This seminar-style course will examine theories, concepts, and research that explain the relational dynamics in our friendships and romances. Using a communication focus and examining published studies and theories, topics will include childhood and adult friendships, cliques, toxic friends, women and men as platonic friends, flirting, dating, courting, maintaining intimacy, emotional communication, the bio-neurology of love, rejection, and relational endings (losing, leaving, and letting go). Counts as a University Honors Program course.
LAW449: Jury Law and Strategies
This seminar addresses legal issues relating to the venire, voir dire, selection, excusal, competency, and behavioral constraints concerning citizens serving as trial jurors. Both state and federal statutes and case law will be included. Juror misconduct, mistrials relating to jurors, sequestration, juror notes, instructions, deadlock, and leadership/structuring of deliberations will be covered. Recent studies from social psychology, group dynamics, and communication, as well as videotapes of real deliberations will be analyzed, along with strategic uses of trial consultants. The ABA’s revised standards for jury trials (2005) and jury innovation projects nationwide will be examined. Students will learn to recognize, research, persuasively argue, and suggest appropriate remedies for trial issues involving juries. Students will draft motions and briefs (pretrial, during trial, post trial) and jury questionnaires that address legal issues for specific trial scenarios. Counts as a Skills course.
Click on the pond to feed the fish.
There is no mistaking a real book when one meets it. It is like falling in love.
~Christopher Morley (1890-1957)
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends, they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers. ~Charles W. Eliot (1834-1926, American University President of Harvard)
A book is like a garden, carried in the pocket. ~Chinese proverb
One of the advantages of reading books is that it allows us to play with someone else's imaginary friends, at all hours of the night.
Image credit: Vladmir Kush
The things I want to know are in books. My best friend is the man who'll get me a book I ain't read.
To sit alone in the lamplight with a book spread out before you and hold intimate converse with men of unseen generations—such is a pleasure beyond compare.
~Yoshida Kenko (1340)
Reading Monk, photographer Alex Blauhorn