St. Mary’s faculty and staff tackle society’s biggest challenges

June 30, 2020

The Big Solve

From left, Seongbae Lim, Ph.D., Professor of
Information Systems; Genevieve Hébert Fajardo, J.D., Clinical Professor of
Law; Paul X. Uhlig, Ph.D., Chair and Professor of Mathematics; Johnny Clifford,
Head Men’s Soccer Coach; Angeli Willson, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of

At St. Mary’s University, our campus community talks a lot about educating leaders for the common good — a noble yet, on first glance, abstract notion. What does it look like when our faculty and staff apply their expertise to solving some of humanity’s biggest problems?

In these stories, you’ll hear from professors in Mathematics, Education, Information Systems and Law, as well as our Men’s Soccer Head Coach, who each use the holistic St. Mary’s style of education to offer solutions to some of our greatest challenges.

More about how St. Mary’s University is working for the common good:

Big Solve: Housing as a Human Right

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, on any given day in the Bexar County court system, you could find a long line of unrepresented tenants and homeowners about to lose their homes. The outcome was almost certain. Tenants would be evicted.  Homeowners would be foreclosed.

Big Solve: Bridging Economic Divides

Economic divide — it’s the common threat to a global society. For example, mango farmers in Haiti earn 2% of revenues for their labor. That’s only two cents for every dollar of mangoes sold.

Big Solve: Educating Beyond the Test

This year, a former student, now a middle school teacher, approached me about a pupil who had confided in him about having thoughts of self-harm. This was not the first time I heard the issue of mental stress in teenagers.

Big Solve: Mathematics for the Common Good

Last spring, I toured the Southwest Research Institute with a group of students to learn about summer internships. In a whirlwind overview, our host told us about some of their current projects and the cutting-edge mathematics being used.

Big Solve: Changing the culture

The loss of the opening game of the Fall 2019 Men’s Soccer season felt like a make-or-break moment. But it wasn’t just the loss that stung — it was the way we lost.

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