Archive for October, 2009

Silicon Valley leaders honor President Hennessy

October 30th, 2009
John Hennessy

John Hennessy

President JOHN HENNESSY will receive a Spirit of Silicon Valley – Lifetime Achievement Award this afternoon at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group‘s annual Public Policy Luncheon.

Dan Warmenhoven, executive board chairman of NetApp Inc., also will be honored.

“Silicon Valley is proud to have such outstanding individuals to celebrate this year,” said Carl Guardino, president and CEO of the Leadership Group.

“Both Dan and John are consummate business leaders, and both are known for their strong ethics and deep commitments to the community. They embody the true spirit of the award.”

The two leaders were selected by a panel that included the Leadership Group’s executive committee and past winners of the award, who include Gordon Moore, Intel Corp. co-founder; Craig Barrett, retired Intel CEO; Jim Morgan, chairman emeritus and former chief executive of Applied Materials Inc.; and Aart de Geus, founder and chairman of Synopsys Inc.

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group was founded in 1978 by DAVID PACKARD and represents 300 of Silicon Valley’s most prominent employers.

And the award goes to . . .

October 28th, 2009

There were no golden statuettes, slinky gowns or red carpet, but there was a bit of competition on the closing night of the 12th annual United Nations Association Film Festival (UNAFF).  On Sunday, Oct. 25, Stanford Video’s Director, CATHERINE O’BRIEN, presented the Stanford Video Awards to two of the festival’s 50 films.

milkingMilking The Rhino, directed by David E. Simpson, which examines the deepening conflict between humans and animals, got the nod for cinematography.  Crips and Bloods: Made in America, directed by Stacy Peralta, whose credits include Dogtown & Z-Boys, and narrated by Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker, won for film editing.

Stanford Video has been supporting the film festival since 2003. In addition to judging the films, the staff does post-production work. RYAN ROBERTS, network feed and production manager, edits the UNAFF trailers.

“We try to promotcripse Stanford-quality video production on campus, and felt the appropriate way to support this international festival  – which originated and is hosted on the Stanford campus  – was to reward professional storytelling through film and video,” O’Brien said.

“In the early years it was a slam dunk what films should win, ” O’Brien added. ”Our job was a lot harder this year because the quality and the number of the films increased. Our crew reviewed all 50 festival films, many of which had excellent shooting and editing, so it took a lot longer to reach a consensus.”

-Rob Huffman

Star-studded science

October 27th, 2009
Nolan Gasser, PhD 2001, composed

Nolan Gasser

It’s not every scientific project that gets its own concert at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D. C. But on  Nov. 2, the high-flying Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope will be toasted with a 40-minute symphony, Cosmic Reflection.

With major participation from SLAC and the main campus, led by astrophysicist PETER MICHELSON, Fermi was launched into orbit from Cape Canaveral last year to observe the gamma rays emitted by stars and other heavenly bodies. It’s a different way of seeing the universe, and the results have created excitement among astronomers and astrophysicists.

When Fermi scientists gather in Washington for their 2009 symposium, they’ll take time out to enjoy the concert, written by composer NOLAN GASSER (Ph.D. in Musicology, ’01) to honor the success of the satellite and the wonders of the skies.

“I had to come up with concrete musical depictions of concepts like inflation, separation of the forces, annihilation of matter by anti-matter, proton formation, and so on,” Gasser said. The Boston University Symphony Orchestra will perform Cosmic Reflection while synchronized video images appear on a screen and British actor/playwright Carey Harrison narrates. Acclaimed actress Alfre Woodard will be the master of ceremonies.

Acclaimed actress Alfre Woodard will be the master of ceremonies

Alfre Woodard

The concert “tells the story of the universe, as we now know it, based on scientific research and discovery,” said Pierre Schwob, an amateur cosmologist and CEO of Classical Archives in Palo Alto, who co-sponsored the musical production.

Tickets are available through the Kennedy Center box office for $20. Some free tickets – airfare not included – are available for Stanford students, faculty, staff and alumni; call NANCY CHRISTIANSEN at 650-724-7667.

- Daniel Stober

Heard on campus: Charlie Rose’s court challenges

October 25th, 2009
Charile Rose

Charlie Rose

“I’m thrilled to be here because of  JOHNNY DAWKINS, your great basketball coach, and if  [men's basketball Coach Mike] Krzyzewski retires at Duke, we’re coming after him, I’m just telling you right now,” warned venerable interviewer Charlie Rose, a Duke alum, as he introduced the Stanford Roundtable at Maples Pavilion Saturday morning.

Dawkins spent more than a decade on the Blue Devils’ coaching staff before coming to Stanford. At a Faculty Club meet-and-greet a few weeks ago, he said, “I’ve been the luckiest man in the world to work at the two places I’ve worked.”

On Saturday, Rose also relayed a story about an exchange he had with the late Chief Justice WILLIAM REHNQUIST, whom he described as “a wonderful Stanford alumnus who I got to know.” Rose recalled that he and the  Chief Justice were doing an interview and started talking about the NCAA basketball tournament. “He said to me, ‘I’ll bet you that Stanford will outlast Duke in the Final Four.’” Rose said he took Rehnquist up on his five dollar bet, which the chief justice ultimately lost. “It turned out that Duke actually lasted longer than Stanford in the Final Four, but I was not going to remind the chief justice of the United States that I won the bet. Lo and behold, there comes in the mail a letter from the chief justice and a five dollar bill saying ‘You won, wait till the next time.’”

Photo Credit: L.A. Cicero

CISAC’s Crenshaw gets $500,000 grant to study terror groups; U.S. Senate confirms McNutt

October 25th, 2009
CISAC Orientation

Martha Crenshaw

Marcia McNutt, Director of MBARI

Marcia McNutt

MARTHA CRENSHAW, a senior fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation, is getting $500,000 from the National Science Foundation to identify patterns in the evolution of terrorist organizations and to analyze their comparative development. The three-year grant is part of the Department of Defense’s Minerva Initiative, which focuses on research related to national security policy.Crenshaw’s project, “Mapping Terrorist Organizations,” will analyze terrorist groups and trace their relationships over time. It will be the first worldwide, comprehensive study of its kind – spanning from the Russian revolutionary movement to al-Qaida . . . MARCIA MCNUTT, professor of geophysics, who was nominated in June by President Barack Obama to be the director of the U.S. Geological Survey and Science Adviser to the Secretary of the Interior, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate October 21.

Can Toby Gerhart carry a tune?

October 22nd, 2009

Watch the video!

Watch the video!

Join Stanford’s star running back and outfielder TOBY GERHART and the rest of the Cardinal Football team at the Stadium’s Red Zone after Saturday’s game against Arizona State. Gerhart needs help singing Hail, Stanford, Hail. Check out his  “audition tape” for the Fleet Street Singers. Disclaimer: Any resemblance  to the TV show Glee is purely coincidental.

Zare recognized for contributions to science in Third World

October 22nd, 2009
Richard Zare

Richard Zare

For his efforts to promote science in developing countries, RICHARD N. ZARE, the Marguerite Blake Wilbur Professor in Natural Science at Stanford, has been elected an associate fellow of the Third World Academy of Sciences.

Zare, chair of the Chemistry Department, is one of three Americans among the five new fellows and 45 associate fellows elected at the 20th general meeting of the academy, held in Durban, South Africa, on Oct. 20. Fellows must live and work in developing countries, associate fellows in developed countries.

“Professor Zare is one of the greatest physical chemists today, with monumental contributions to chemical dynamics and spectroscopy,” the citation read. “His work on laser induced fluorescence, combined with capillary format separations, has made possible the chemical analysis of single cells, and in sequencing the human genome.”

- Louis Bergeron

Stanford’s Hall of Famers

October 21st, 2009
David Henry Hwang

David Henry Hwang

Award-winning playwright DAVID HENRY HWANG is one of four alumni who will be honored at the 15th annual Multicultural Alumni Hall of Fame induction ceremony during Reunion Homecoming. Hwang, who won a Tony Award in 1988 for M. Butterfly, graduated from Stanford in 1979. He will be joined by Dr. V. JOY SIMMONS, ’74, physician and former trustee; VICKI L. RUIZ, MA ’78, PhD ’82, dean of the School of Humanities and professor of history and Chicano/Latino studies at UC-Irvine; and HILARY TOMPKINS, JD ’96, solicitor of the U.S. Department of the Interior. They will be inducted by the directors of the ethnic community centers at a reception on Friday, Oct. 23, at 4:30 p.m. at the Oak Rooms at Tresidder Memorial Union. Harvard Law Professor CHARLES OGLETREE, ’75, MA ’75, also a former Stanford trustee, will host. . . .

Then next month Stanford Athletics will induct eight new members into the university’s Athletic Hall of Fame. They are MIKE MUSSINA, ’91, a pitcher who helped Stanford win the College World Series before going on to a Major League career with the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees; TOMMY VARDELL, ’91, who holds the school’s all-time record for rushing touchdowns with 37 (known at Stanford as “Touchdown Tommy,” he later played for the Cleveland Browns, the Detroit Lions and the San Francisco 49ers); PATRICK MCENROE, ’88, a three-time tennis All-American and current captain of the U.S. Davis Cup team; LISA SHARPLEY-VANACHT, ’98, a three-time AVCA All-American who helped the Cardinal to three NCAA volleyball titles; WADE FLEMONS, ’82, the 1981 NCAA champion in the 200-yard breaststroke; KATHLEEN MCCARTHY-SCRIVNER, ’87, a three-time first team women’s golf All-America selection; runner MONAL CHOKSHI, ’97, who won the NCAA championship in the 3,000 meters in 1998; and DICK HORN, ’52, MD ’59, a standout defensive back on Stanford’s 1951 team that competed in the Rose Bowl before he went on to play for the Baltimore Colts. The 2009 Hall of Fame class will be honored at a private reception and dinner Nov. 6, and recognized during halftime at the stadium when Stanford plays Oregon Nov. 7. . .

Thom Massey

Thom Massey

And speaking of champions, THOM MASSEY, BA ’69, MA ’72, played football and ran track during his undergraduate years, but his feats on the field are a small part of what he’s remembered for.  Massey was associate dean of multicultural education and resident fellow in Naranja when he died January 1.  Massey has been remembered as a pillar of the African American community, a rock in the Native American community and part of the mosaic that is the entire campus community. “He had this amazing ability to be different things to different people. He related to all of us,” RANDY ZABANEH ’10, a Naranja resident, told the Stanford Daily just last week. On Sunday, Oct. 25, at 11 a.m., Massey’s name will be set in stone during a brick dedication at the Black Community Services Center’s HENRY and  MONIQUE BRANDON Family Community Room. JAN BARKER-ALEXANDER, associate dean of students and director of the BCSC, has been working with a group of alumni to plan a celebration of Massey’s life during Reunion Homecoming Weekend. “Many alums were unable to attend the memorial service in January, so this is their time to celebrate their mentor and friend with all who knew him. We hope that you can join us,” she said.

- Elaine Ray

Heard on campus: ‘This is the first minute of my someday’

October 19th, 2009

SoundtrackHeard on campus: “Upon my acceptance into Stanford, when I informed my grandmother of the news, her initial reply was that this was ‘. . . the first minute of my someday,’ as in the song ‘We Shall Overcome. ‘“ 
, a 34-year-old  Marine who transferred to Stanford as a junior this fall, offered these words during the question-and-answer period that followed the screening of Soundtrack for a Revolution, a documentary film by Dan Sturman and BILL GUTTENTAG, an Oscar-winning  filmmaker, former Knight Journalism Fellow and a lecturer in the Graduate School of Business. The 82-minute documentary chronicles  the Civil Rights Movement and features interviews with the leaders and foot soldiers who struggled to remain nonviolent in the face of unspeakable state-sanctioned terror.
One of the weapons used by those troops on the ground was the freedom songs they sung as they trained and  marched,  as they were beaten and jailed and as they mourned their martyrs. The filmmakers juxtaposed footage from events such as the marches to the Edmond Pettus Bridge and the funerals of Medgar Evers and Martin Luther King with contemporary renditions of those songs by today’s musical artists.
The day after the film was screened in a packed Cubberley Auditorium last Thursday night, Salinas, who is black, wrote an e-mail  about his own encounters with racism, including incidents on this very campus in 2009.
“I believe that the true test of a man’s character is how he treats those to whom he is not obliged to be nice.  I have made every effort to confront my bouts with racism in the most intellectual and constructive way possible.  Watching those that went before me handle themselves with such grace and composure let me know that I must, out of respect for their struggle, hold myself to a higher standard and order.  And me viewing the film last night was God’s way of answering my prayer of ‘What should I do?’”

-  Elaine Ray

Recent awards and honors

October 13th, 2009

Every year, communicators across the university, from the News Service to the medical and business schools; from Hoover and SIEPR and many of the other campus institutes,  keep a vigil during Nobel Prize week. They sleep with one eye open or wake up in the wee hours of the morning to check the Nobel  announcements in anticipation that one of Stanford’s scholars will win the ultimate prize. They reserve rooms for possible press conferences and keep their schedules clear,  just in case. Often, the advance planning pays off. Alas, this year, no Stanford scholar got the Nobel nod, but the campus rests easy knowing that sooner or later that  3 a.m. call will come again. In the meantime, we celebrate others whose work has been singled out for recognition.

HERMAN WINICK, professor emeritus in applied physics and a physicist at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL), has been awarded the Andrei Sakharov Prize, an honor given every two years by the American Physical Society in recognition of scientists who have worked to uphold human rights. Winick told SLAC Today that he suspects he was nominated for work he did in 2001 to pressure the Iranian government to release Iranian physicist Mohammad Hadi Hadizadeh Yazdi, a former colleague. Winick organized a letter-writing campaign on Hadizadeh’s behalf, recruiting 32 Nobel laureates in the effort . . .

PAULA ENGLAND, sociology, was recently appointed as a fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science . . .

MARK J. SCHNITZER, biology and applied physics, will receive the Michael and Kate Bárány Award for Young Investigators for his creativity at the interface of biology, physics and engineering . . .

SANJIV GAMBHIR, radiology and bioengineering, is this year’s recipient of the Radiology Society of North America’s annual Outstanding Researcher Award . . .

ALICE WHITTEMORE, health research and policy, has been named the Saul Rosenberg Research Award from the Northern California Cancer Center.