Archive for January, 2011

Barbara Babcock talks about the life of Clara Foltz

January 31st, 2011

Woman lawyer coverThe Law School has posted a fascinating interview featuring BARBARA BABCOCK, the Judge John Crown Professor of Law, Emerita, talking about her new book, Woman Lawyer: The Trials of Clara Foltz, published by the Stanford University Press.

According to the Press website, “Woman Lawyer tells the story of Clara Foltz, the first woman admitted to the California Bar. Famous in her time as a public intellectual, leader of the women’s movement, and legal reformer, Foltz faced terrific prejudice and well-organized opposition to women lawyers as she tried cases in front of all-male juries, raised five children as a single mother and stumped for political candidates. She was the first to propose the creation of a public defender to balance the public prosecutor. Woman Lawyer uncovers the legal reforms and societal contributions of a woman celebrated in her day, but lost to history until now. It casts new light on the turbulent history and politics of California in a period of phenomenal growth and highlights the interconnection of the suffragists and other movements for civil rights and legal reforms.”

In an interview with, Babcock said, “I have two rather large wishes for this book – first that Clara Foltz’s purposeful life will inspire female lawyers and their male allies in the project of restructuring the legal profession to accommodate the lives of women.

“Second, I hope that understanding the history and original purpose of public defense will give support to the current movement to provide an effective lawyer for every accused person and in Foltz’s words, to achieve ‘free justice.’

“When I graduated from law school in 1963, only 3 percent of the nation’s law students were women. We thought we had few predecessors, little history, no heroines. But it turns out that we just didn’t know about our foremothers in the law. Today we are recovering the experiences of the first wave of women lawyers.”

Bandura, Gibbs recognized with lifetime achievement awards

January 28th, 2011
Al Bandura

Albert Bandura

Psychology Professor Emeritus ALBERT BANDURA and anthropology Professor Emeritus JAMES GIBBS have received lifetime achievement awards from the Humanities and Sciences Dean’s Office and the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences.

Dean RICHARD SALLER, who presented the awards earlier this month, cited Bandura for his innovative scholarship and pioneering work in social modeling, self-regulatory mechanisms and human agency. The award noted that Bandura’s “deep concern that we use our knowledge for the enlightenment and betterment of society has made him an unparalleled role model for generations of scientists.”

The award to Gibbs described his ethnographic study of the Kpelle of Liberia and his work on comparative legal systems. Saller said Gibbs “is celebrated by generations of Stanford students for his excellence in teaching, his generosity as a mentor and his commitment to promoting the study of Africa and the African diaspora.”

Owen Marecic travels to Kentucky to receive the Hornung Award

January 27th, 2011

Owen Marecic

Owen Marecic

OWEN MARECIC was awarded the inaugural Paul Hornung Award at a ceremony in Louisville earlier this week.

Created by the Louisville Sports Commission, the Paul Hornung Award recognizes versatile, high-level performers in major college football to help preserve the legacy of one of Kentucky’s best-known athletes. A national selection committee of 16 sports journalists and former NFL stars votes for the winner.

A throwback to another era, the Cardinal senior started in all 13 Stanford games, nine on both sides of the ball, earning First Team All-Pac-10 honors at fullback and honorable mention at linebacker. He logged an average of 110 plays per game – equivalent to nearly two full seasons – and was the only two-way starting player among Football Bowl Subdivision teams in 2010. Marecic was named an American Football Coaches Association First Team All-American as the All-Purpose Player.

“I am honored to accept an award that commemorates Mr. Paul Hornung,” Marecic said. “Mr. Hornung epitomizes what it means to be a football player, not only with his talents and versatility but also with his devotion to his teammates and his drive to excel.”

Marecic, who will graduate with a degree in human biology, was already in the Southeast in Mobile, Ala., and was flown up following his morning practice for the Senior Bowl with Stanford teammates SIONE FUA and RICHARD SHERMAN.

Visit the athletics website for more information. See the profile of Marecic on the CBS News American Spirit website.

The Red Barn hosts the Budweiser Clydesdales

January 26th, 2011
Barn manager Vanessa Bartsch introduces kids to Carter, one of the Clydesdales recently boarded at the Red Barn.

Vanessa Bartsch introduces kids to Carter, one of the Clydesdales recently boarded at the Red Barn.

A team of the Budweiser Clydesdales visited Stanford’s Red Barn last week. The horses, famous for their amusing Super Bowl commercials and appearances at events nationwide, were visiting for an event at Facebook, whose headquarters is located in the nearby Stanford Research Park. They needed a temporary place to board, and the Red Barn, home of Stanford’s equestrian team, fit the bill.

Horse-feet-2The gentle giants, with their powerful physiques and distinctive fluffy white “feathering” over their hooves, attracted a fair amount of attention, according to Red Barn Manager and Equestrian Team Coach VANESSA BARTSCH. So did the equally famous Budweiser Dalmation dog, Brady, who bedded down on a nearby stack of hay.

“My students turned from 20 years old to around 6 around them,” said Bartsch.

The Clydesdales became the corporate symbol of Anheuser-Busch at the end of Prohibition, when August Busch presented his father with a team pulling a bright red brewery wagon as a gift. The horses weigh about 2,000 pounds, which is about double most of the horses boarded at the Red Barn. Each eats about 50 to 60 pounds of hay and up to 10 pounds of specialized grains and vitamins daily.

Paul Costello remembers Jack LaLanne

January 25th, 2011

jumpin_jack_mainThree years ago, PAUL COSTELLO, executive director of communications and public affairs at the School of Medicine, interviewed fitness guru Jack LaLanne for a Stanford Medicine magazine issue devoted to the topic of longevity.

“I found him to be indefatigable, and I thought then perhaps he really would never die,” Costello wrote of LaLanne, who died over the weekend at age 96.

Read Costello’s full post in the School of Medicine’s Scope blog, which links to the 2008 interview.

Donald Knuth honored with BBVA award

January 24th, 2011

knuth_600DONALD KNUTH, the Fletcher Jones Professor of Computer Science, Emeritus, received the 2010 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Information and Communication Technologies category.

The prize jury applauded Knuth for “making computing a science by introducing formal mathematical techniques for the rigorous analysis of algorithms. He brought elegance into programming by advocating for code that is simple, compact and intuitively understandable.”

The jury chair, ANDREA GOLDSMITH, right, professor of electrical engineering at Stanford, unveiled the name of the new laureate at an announcement event in the Marqués de Salamanca Palace, the Madrid headquarters of the BBVA Foundation, where she was accompanied by the foundation’s director, Rafael Pardo, and Juan José Damborenea, assistant vice president of scientific and technical areas at the Spanish National Research Council.

Knuth’s nomination was put forward by Stanford President JOHN HENNESSY and endorsed by a number of Knuth’s colleagues across the world.

The Frontiers of Knowledge Awards, presented in eight categories, were first given in 2008. The BBVA Foundation is the corporate social responsibility arm of the BBVA Group, a multinational financial services corporation headquartered in Spain. BBVA stands for Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria.

Leyan Lo to perform with the YouTube Symphony Orchestra

January 21st, 2011

LEYAN LO, a graduate student in physics at Stanford, made the papers earlier this week when he was chosen as one of the 101 musicians who will perform in Sydney, Australia, in March as part of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra.

Lo, the concertmaster for the Stanford Symphony Orchestra, has another claim to fame: He is the Rubik’s Cube World Champion.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, members of the orchestra were selected from among 300 finalists in 46 countries who all posted an online audition on YouTube.

“The orchestra, under the direction of the San Francisco Symphony’s Michael Tilson Thomas, will have a week of rehearsals and concerts before a final performance March 20 that’ll be live-streamed around the world,” the Mercury News article said.

Stanford ranks number one in ‘Klout’ on Twitter

January 20th, 2011

kloutOn its website, Klout, a social media analytics provider, touts itself as “the standard for influence.” Earlier this week, it posted a listing of  “The most influential colleges on Twitter.” Stanford was at the top of the heap.
“Watch out US News and World Report, there’s a new ranking system in town. Does your college have Klout?” blogger and Klout marketing manager MEGAN BERRY asked in her posting on the company’s website. “In all seriousness, Twitter influence is a revealing metric for colleges. The most influential ones must be both tech-savvy enough to have a well-managed Twitter account and have the most influential professors, alums and others engaging with them,” Berry noted, adding, “I’m proud to say my own alma mater, Stanford, is number one!”
Syracuse University was second, followed by Harvard (the lone Ivy on the list), followed closely by the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Cal came in fifth.

IAN HSU, director of Internet media outreach at Stanford, praised the team responsible for Stanford’s success on Twitter:

“Not everyone knows this, but Stanford’s Twitter account (@stanford) is actually curated by a talented team of student evangelist/writers. They’re doing a stellar job of connecting with the Stanford community on Twitter, and I couldn’t be more proud of their work,” Hsu said.

SLAC to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Women’s Interchange

January 19th, 2011

Tomorrow, the Women’s Interchange at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory will celebrate its 20th anniversary. WIS, as it is known, was founded in January 1991 to provide an open, informal forum to address issues of interest and concern to women; to promote the visibility of women at SLAC; and to share information among all SLAC departments, cultures and job classifications. The  celebration will take place at noon Thursday, Jan. 20, in Panofsky Auditorium. LINDA RAKOW, the lab’s chief financial officer, will discuss her personal history, education, career path and how she sees her role at SLAC. Everyone is welcome. Bring your lunch or pick up something at the Linear Cafe. Cake is on the house.

Deisseroth: Method Man

January 18th, 2011

Optogenetics, a precise new way for researchers to analyze the brain circuits underpinning mammalian behavior, was named “Method of the Year” in a recent issue of Nature Methods. A seminal player in the development of this new tool is KARL DEISSEROTH, associate professor of bioengineering and of psychiatry and behavioral science in the School of Medicine. Read the full story on the Medical Center’s news website.