Archive for November, 2010

The numbers are in: Reunion Homecoming attracted 8,553

November 29th, 2010

LESLIE WINICK, director of alumni and student class outreach, reports that Reunion Homecoming 2010, held in October, attracted 6,070 alumni and 8,553 total attendees. That’s a 3 percent increase in alumni from last year and a 4 percent increase in attendees.

Winick credits the success of the annual event to the efforts of more than 1,100 Stanford Alumni Association class volunteers.

Of the many other numbers worth mentioning, there were:

  • 77 class reunion events
  • 70 Classes Without Quizzes
  • 350 mini-reunion outreach efforts
  • 30 multicultural events
  • 50 school, department, athletic and campus-wide events
  • 1,800 attendees at Dinner on the Quad

Nine of the Reunion classes met or exceeded attendance from last year’s reunion, Winick said.

“Interestingly, as much there was a question about whether the Facebook/social media effect would affect attendance from the younger classes, clearly it did not, as the 5th and 10th were respectively 4 percent and 19 percent ahead of last reunion’s attendance,” she said. “As well, we saw our Recent Grad Reunion program come in strong with over 600 attendees celebrating their zero through 4th reunion.”

Following are the top classes in terms of percent of class and actual numbers of attendees:

  • ’05 for 5th = 47 percent of class; 674 alumni/789 total
  • ’00 for 10th = 44 percent of class; 681 alumni/906 total
  • ’85 for 25th = 42 percent of class; 644 alumni/1,028 total
  • ’90 for 20th = 37 percent of class; 569 alumni/1,035 total

Research team led by Mark Schnitzer gets $880,000 from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation

November 24th, 2010

The family foundation of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has awarded $880,000 to Stanford researchers to develop tiny microscopes that can capture real-time images of neurons firing in the brains of research mice. The data will be used to unravel the neural and cellular basis of schizophrenia.

MARK SCHNITZER, an associate professor of biology and of applied physics, leads the team. Also on board are ABBAS EL GAMAL, the Hitachi America Professor in the School of Engineering, and postdoctoral fellow KUNAL GHOSH.

The optical recordings created by the miniaturized fluorescence microscopes will provide crucial knowledge of the normal patterns of neural circuit dynamics and how these patterns may go awry in disease states.

The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation is funding programs with potential for major breakthroughs that have struggled to find funding through traditional sources.

Big Game fever hits Japan once again

November 23rd, 2010

Tom Maravilla, Susie Roos, John Roos and Tom Tseng

Tom Maravilla, Susie Roos, John Roos and Tom Tseng

Stanford alum JOHN ROOS, the U.S. ambassador to Japan, reprised his Big Game party last weekend at his Tokyo residence. According to TOM TSENG, director of the Office of Development’s international division, who was at the party, more than 120 Stanford and Cal alumni, spouses and friends attended. They gathered around 5:15 a.m. Sunday morning, just ahead of the 5:30 a.m. (12:30 p.m. Pacific Time) kickoff. Most attendees wore either Cardinal or Blue and Gold. Roos, AB ’77, JD ’80, and his wife, SUSIE, AB ’78, were joined by Japan’s former prime minister, YUKIO HATOYAMA, MS ’72, MS ’73, PhD ’76, and his wife, Miyuki, along with alumni club leaders.

TOM MARAVILLA, ’77, manager of alumni communities, who was in the area on business and joined the festivities, called the party a “huge success.”

Natural Capital Project’s new managing director

November 22nd, 2010

ruckelshaus_outsideMarine ecologist MARY RUCKELSHAUS has been named managing director of the Natural Capital Project, a conservation partnership of Stanford’s Woods Institute for the Environment, the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment, The Nature Conservancy and the World Wildlife Fund.

A longtime collaborator with the Natural Capital Project, Ruckelshaus will oversee all work at the project, including science, fundraising, communications and hiring. She has been a research scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service since 1997. Prior to that, she was an assistant professor of biological sciences at Florida State University.

“I am thrilled about this chance to pursue the opportunities now open for transforming the way people think about nature,” Ruckelshaus said. “Worldwide, people are starting to recognize the societal benefits of nature and are looking for pragmatic ways of incorporating them into decisions – of governments, corporations and communities.”

Ruckelshaus has worked on marine conservation and reserve-design issues for more than two decades. Prior to becoming Natural Capital Project managing director in September 2010, she managed the Ecosystem Science Program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in human biology at Stanford, Ruckelshaus obtained a master’s degree in fisheries and a doctorate in botany from the University of Washington. She is a member of the board of directors of The Nature Conservancy and chief scientist at the Puget Sound Partnership, which is working to restore the Puget Sound ecosystem in Washington state.

“At the Natural Capital Project, we are convinced that our best hope for improving human welfare is through protection and restoration of Earth’s life-support systems,” Ruckelshaus said. “By developing and applying tools quantifying ecosystem services, I think we and our partners can fundamentally change investment and management decisions so nature’s benefits to people are realized.”

A ‘must-read souvenir’ of the 113th Big Game!

November 19th, 2010

stanforddailydailycalBefore the Big Game begins at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, a less heralded Stanford-Cal match will take place between the Stanford Daily and the Daily Californian.

It’s a friendly rivalry – no pads or helmets required – known as the Ink Bowl, said ELIZABETH TITUS, editor-in-chief of the Stanford Daily.

After the match, the journalists will team up in Stanford-Cal pairs to distribute a joint Game Day newspaper from sites around the stadium and in the Fun Zone. It’s the first such collaboration between the two independent, student-run newspapers.

The 20-page newspaper, which also will be available on the Daily’s website, will feature a cover of the Daily on one side and a cover of the Daily Californian on the other.

“It’s packed with good stuff on Stanford and Cal sports – football previews, recaps, analysis, opinion, features, picks and rosters, plus highlights of other fall sports,” Titus said in an email message. “It will be a must-read souvenir on game day.”

Neurologist named a rock star of science

November 18th, 2010

Stanford neurologist Frank Longo (left) poses with Bret Michaels as part of a "Rock Stars of Science" spread appearing in the December issue of GQ magazine. Photo: Kurt Iswarienko

For just one day, Stanford neurologist FRANK LONGO got to hang up his white coat and step into the shoes of a rock star. He is featured in the December issue of GQ magazine alongside musician/singer and reality-television star Bret Michaels.

The magazine teamed up with Geoffrey Beene Gives Back and the Entertainment Industry Foundation/Stand Up To Cancer to bring together eight celebrity musicians and 17 of the nation’s top medical researchers, including two Nobel laureates. Dubbed Rock Stars of Science, each photo set is a tribute to “scientific heroes” in such fields as translational cancer research, Alzheimer’s prevention trials, heart disease, integrative medicine, autism, rare diseases, stem cell research and global health.
“Science is an exciting and fulfilling career that involves a similar intensity and passion that we see in rock stars — it’s just expressed in different ways,” said Longo, professor and chair of the Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine. The special six-page public service campaign appears in GQ’s December “Men of the Year” edition, available nationally Nov. 23. The campaign’s goal is to increase awareness of the importance of medical research, encourage more young people to enter careers in science and educate the public about the need for science funding. The photos of all the scientists and stars can be seen at

Read the full story  on the Medical School’s news website.

—Margarita Gallardo

Stanford’s connection to ‘Dancing with the Stars’

November 17th, 2010

Dancing with the Stars may not be the height of intellectual fare, but in some corners of the Stanford campus it’s must-see TV, or at least a guilty pleasure. As of last night, the finalists in the competition included Bristol Palin, daughter of former Republican veep candidate Sarah;  somewhat grown-up child actor Kyle Massey; and actress JENNIFER GREY. To most of America, Grey is probably best known for her role in Dirty Dancing. Some may even know that she is the daughter of actor, singer and dancer Joel Grey. Many may not know that she is the daughter-in-law of BOB GREGG, professor emeritus of religious studies and former dean for religious life at Stanford. Jennifer is married to Gregg’s son, CLARK GREGG, an actor, director and writer who has been featured in numerous supporting roles on the big and small screen, including Iron Man, Iron Man 2 and The New Adventures of Old Christine. He also wrote the screenplays for What Lies Beneath and Chuck Palahniuk’s Choke.
“The Jennifer run on DWTS has been intriguing to watch, knowing her as we do!” Bob Gregg wrote in an email.

—Elaine Ray

‘Scope’ wins a 2010 Excellence in New Communications Award

November 16th, 2010

scopeScope, a blog published by the Medical School that focuses on scientific and medical developments around the world, has won a 2010 Excellence in New Communication Award for blogging from the Society for New Communications Research. The Society’s awards program honors individuals, corporations, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions and media outlets that pioneer the use of social media and other communications technologies.

Winners in other categories include the American Red Cross with Zoetica, NetApp, Cisco Systems, SAS with KDPaine & Partners, and Survivors Connect.

The Society for New Communications Research is a nonprofit research and education foundation focused on the study of developments in new media and communications, and their effect on traditional media and business models, communications, culture and society.

—Michelle Brandt

‘The Office’ comes to the Farm

November 15th, 2010

Office_emailFour-thirty on a Friday afternoon might not seem an ideal time for an American Studies symposium. But if you build an intellectual discussion around a wacky, highly successful television show, the students — as well as a few faculty and staff — will come. The title of the Nov. 12 event was “Boy-Men at The Office The Petty Comedy of the Dysfunctional Workplace.” It was moderated by American studies Professor SHELLEY FISHER FISHKIN and featured GREG DANIELS, executive producer and developer of the American version of the NBC series The Office, and PAUL LIEBERSTEIN, executive producer as well as a writer and an actor on the show. Students particularly connected with CARRIE KEMPER, who graduated from Stanford in 2006 with a degree in American studies. She was a writer for the Chaparral, Stanford’s humor magazine. Kemper joined The Office about six months ago, and her first episode will air Jan. 6. Another interesting fact about Kemper is that her sister, ELLIE KEMPER, is an actress on the show. Carrie and Ellie are writing a novel, tentatively titled Monday Sessions, about a fictitious Manhattan psychiatrist.

Asian Liver Center hosts Zumbathon on Saturday

November 12th, 2010

LIVERight Zumbathon Poster copy

On Saturday, Nov. 13, at the Arrillaga Center for Sports and Recreation, Zumba Fitness, the Latin-inspired dance fitness craze, will come to Stanford. In partnership with the Asian Liver Center; Stanford Physical Education, Recreation and Wellness; Be Well @ Stanford; and Answer to Cancer, this family-friendly event is open to the public. Enthusiastic Zumba instructors, prizes and games, and two hours of Latin rhythms will keep participants sweating and having fun. All donations benefit the Jade Ribbon Campaign and the fight against liver cancer.

Registration is required.