Archive for April, 2012

Community celebrates Roland Prize, partnership awards

April 30th, 2012

During an April 25 luncheon at the Garden Court Hotel in Palo Alto, Calif., School of Medicine Professor GABRIEL GARCIA was honored with the Miriam Aaron Roland Volunteer Service Prize. Garcia is co-founder of the Patient Advocacy Program, a program that trains Stanford students to serve as volunteers in local health clinics.

The Haas Center for Public Service awards the annual Roland Prize to members of the faculty “who engage and involve students in integrating academic scholarship with significant and meaningful volunteer service to society.” It was created by alumna Miriam Aaron Roland and includes a $5,000 cash award. Garcia is the 14th faculty member to receive the award since it was established in 2004.

Also during the event, three community groups and a Stanford student organization were recognized with 2012 Community Partnership Awards. This year’s winners were:

  • DreamCatchers, an after-school program for low-income youth, which was founded by SARAH MUMMAH ’10 when she was an undergraduate;
  • Canopy, an organization devoted to preserving trees and planting more;
  • InnVision, a group that provides housing and services to homeless people, which shared the honor with Stanford Project on Hunger, a Stanford student group that collects, saves and prepares unused, leftover food on Stanford’s campus for distribution to the hungry.

Garcia was traveling, but accepted the honor via video.  Stanford News Service videographer STEVE FYFFE captured the festivities and included Garcia’s acknowledgement in this video.



More Cardinal football players sign with the pros

April 29th, 2012

Jonathan Martin

“Indianapolis is seeing red, and there is a Moose loose in Miami,” was the lead of a story on Friday, April 27.

Translation: The Indianapolis Colts selected Cardinal tight end COBY FLEENER in the NFL Daft. He will join quarterback ANDREW LUCK,who was drafted by the Colts as the number one overall draft pick.

Coby Fleener

As for the “Moose” reference, that’s the nickname for left tackle JONATHAN  MARTIN, who was selected by the Miami Dolphins.

David DeCastro

Add DAVID DECASTRO, who was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers, and for the first time in NFL history, Stanford had four players who were selected within the first 42 picks of the 2012 NFL Draft.

Meanwhile, after the draft concluded Saturday, defensive end MATT MASIFILO signed a free-agent contract with the San Francisco 49ers and wide receiver GRIFF WHALEN signed with the Colts.


Other players who were not drafted are expected to sign free agent contracts in the days ahead. For full coverage, visit

Andrew Luck appears on Late Show with David Letterman

April 27th, 2012

Andrew Luck isn’t the first Cardinal quarterback to go first in the NFL draft

April 26th, 2012

Cardinal quarterback ANDREW LUCK will be the number one pick in the NFL draft today. The Indianapolis Colts, who will make the first pick, have already announced that Luck is their choice.

But Luck isn’t the first Stanford player to earn that honor. Stanford Athletics has produced a video that recounts the Farm’s exceptional record in producing professional football players, especially quarterbacks. They include first-round picks BOBBY GARRETT, JOHN ELWAY and JIM PLUNKETT.

The draft gets under way on Thursday, April 26, at New York’s Radio City Music Hall beginning at 5 p.m. PST. Coverage is on ESPN.


David Shaw joins NFL Network’s draft coverage

April 25th, 2012

Coach David Shaw and quarterback Andrew Luck

Stanford’s head football coach DAVID SHAW will be a featured commentator for the NFL Network during all three days of the NFL Draft, which gets under way on Thursday, April 26, at New York’s Radio City Music Hall.  On Thursday at 2:45 p.m. Pacific Time, Shaw will participate in a coaches roundtable with Brian Billick, a Fox NFL commentator; Steve Mariucci, a former coach of the Detroit Lions and the San Francisco 49ers; and Les Miles, Louisiana State University head coach. On Friday at 3:30 p.m. he will participate in a discussion of the Stanford players who were selected in the first round of the draft. More appearances will follow on Saturday. By all accounts, Cardinal quarterback ANDREW LUCK, will be the top draft pick in Thursday’s draft.Keep up with the draft coverage on

W. S. Di Piero awarded Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize

April 24th, 2012

W. S. DI PIERO, professor emeritus of English, has been awarded the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. The $100,000 prize is sponsored and administered by the Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine.

The award is presented annually to a living U.S. poet and recognizes lifetime accomplishments.

“He wakes up the language, and in doing so wakes up his readers, whose lives are suddenly sharper and larger than they were before,” said Christian Wiman, editor of Poetry magazine.

Di Piero is a poet, essayist and translator. His  most recent book of poetry is Nitro Nights (2011). He also has authored Chinese Apples: New and Selected Poems (2007), Brother Fire (2004) and Skirts and Slacks (2001), among others.

His translations include Giacomo Leopardi’s Pensieri and Euripides’ Ion.

Di Piero, who has been at Stanford since 1982, teaches a graduate poetry workshop.

The prize will be presented at the Poetry Foundation in Chicago on June 11.

More information, including a podcast with Di Piero reading some of his poems, can be found on the Poetry Foundation website.


Senior Jaclyn Le named Newman Civic Fellow

April 23rd, 2012

Jaclyn Le

Stanford senior JACLYN LE has been named a 2012 Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact, a national coalition of university presidents committed to educating students for civic and social responsibility. Le is among 162 undergraduates nationwide who are being recognized for their efforts to seek solutions to community issues.

The award is named for the late FRANK NEWMAN, co-founder of Campus Compact and founding member of the National Advisory Board of the Haas Center for Public Service.

Le, a political science major with a minor in education, plans to pursue a graduate degree in education law or education policy. Next year, she will work in a philanthropic foundation with support of the Haas Center’s Tom Ford Fellowship in Philanthropy, which grants a $30,000 stipend, health insurance and mentoring.

Le has spent has her Stanford career immersed in public service. She is a public service focus assistant at Branner Hall, an undergraduate residence with a public service theme. Most recently, Le won the Walk the Talk Service Leadership Award, given by Haas Center staff to seniors who have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to public service work while at Stanford.

A native of Texas, Le held the Public Interest Law Fellowship in 2011, where she  worked with Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas. During the summer of 2009, Le had an internship at Earning by Learning, a Dallas-based program that encourages children to read. While there, Le assisted with development and fundraising. In 2010, as an intern with Family Gateway of Dallas, she created a comprehensive map highlighting family homelessness and existing resources in the urban area.

“I chose to work in the nonprofit sector specifically in Dallas because I wanted to get a better sense of the issues and needs of communities who were living on the margins of society. After experiencing inequalities in urban education and working with growing populations of homeless families, I realized that policy and law are often seen as obstacles for under-resourced communities to overcome. However, I believe that there is potential in the political and legal systems to advance social justice, which is why I want to work for changes in the systems around low-income communities of color.”

Le also has participated in the Haas Center’s Public Service Scholars Program, which supports students’ efforts to write honors theses that are both academically rigorous and useful to community organizations or public interest constituencies. Le’s thesis explored the root causes of education inequality by focusing on the continuum of academic and social services in urban neighborhoods. As a member of the Public Service Leadership Program, she spent five quarters building a strong community of peer leaders and learning how to incorporate leadership skills into her role as a Branner focus assistant.


Haas Center for Public Service


Three Stanford humanities scholars awarded Guggenheim Fellowships

April 20th, 2012

Michael Arcega

Three Stanford scholars are among the 181 scholars, artists and scientists who were awarded 2012 Guggenheim Fellowships. Selected out of a group of nearly 3,000 applicants, MICHAEL ARCEGA, TAMAR HERZOG and DENISE GIGANTE will each work on projects that support the mission of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation by contributing to “the educational, literary, artistic and scientific power of this country.”

Tamar Herzog

During her time as a fellow, history Professor Tamar Herzog plans to finish a book manuscript related to the formation of territorial distinctions between Spanish and Portuguese territories in both Europe and the Americas. Herzog, whose research centers on the ways in which Iberian societies changed as a result of their involvement in a colonial project, is interested in “understanding how people relate to land, why they consider it belongs to them, and how communal membership effects their attitudes toward land and territory.”

Rather than examining states being territorialized, Herzog wants to explore “how communities are defined in the same time in which their territorial extensions are being negotiated.” In past research projects she has explored how communities are formed and how people discuss their belonging to them. This project, she said, is “a natural extension of my previous research.”

English Professor Denise Gigante will work on a book called The Book Madness about bibliomania, or as she described it, “the passion for book collecting and private libraries in mid-19th century America.” The organizing principle of the book is the sale of Charles Lamb’s library in New York in 1848. Lamb (1775-1834) was a Romantic essayist who was as popular at the time in America as Charles Dickens, or later, Oscar Wilde.

Denise Gigante

“This book continues my interest in the topic of aesthetic taste,” said Gigante, who also wrote about the subject in her books Taste: A Literary History (Yale University Press, 2005) and Gusto: Essential Writings in 19th-Century Gastronomy (Routledge, 2005). Like gastronomes, “bibliophiles emphasized the material dimensions of aesthetic pleasure at a time when the spiritual delights of the fine arts were parting ways with the kind of consumer pleasures made possible through capitalism,” said Gigante. She added that such a study is especially relevant now, “as alternate forms of media continue to evolve and complicate our notions of literary tradition.”

The timing of the Guggenheim Fellowship couldn’t be better for Michael Arcega, MFA ’09, currently an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Art and Art History. Arcega said the funds will be especially helpful as he embarks on a three-part residency that will take him to Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, Calif., then to the Fountainhead Residency in Miami and finally to the International Studio and Curatorial Program in Brooklyn. N.Y.


The Humanities at Stanford


Brown Institute for Media Innovation makes appointments, announces grant program

April 19th, 2012
Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg

Filmmaker STEVEN SPIELBERG and Hearst Corp. CEO FRANK BENNACK JR. are among the members of the recently named advisory board at the new Brown Institute for Media Innovation.

The board also includes BILL CAMPBELL, chairman of the board at Intuit Inc.; EVE BURTON, senior vice president and general counsel at Hearst Corp.; and MARY MEEKER, a partner at Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers.

The institute, a collaboration between the Stanford School of Engineering and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, was announced in January. It’s designed to encourage and support new endeavors in media innovation.

The institute also is announcing a call for applications for the 2012-2013 Magic Grant program, which offers up to $150,000 to winning proposals.

The Magic Grant supports a small team of graduate or postgraduate students in creating an innovative media product. The institute says it expects to select two to three teams at each university.

Here is how the institute explains eligibility for the grants:

“Two-person teams of graduate or postgraduate students, enrolled at Columbia University or Stanford University in disciplines relevant to media and technology—which include computer science, electrical engineering, communications, journalism, design and business—are encouraged to apply. Teams may also include exceptionally qualified undergraduate students or a visiting student, as long as the other team member is not a visitor. We particularly encourage applications from students with entrepreneurial interests, multidisciplinary teams, as well as Stanford/Columbia bicoastal teams. Magic Grants can complement fellowships or similar unrestricted funding from other sources, and students who already have partial funding for the proposed project are also encouraged to apply. Applications may be submitted directly by students, with supporting letters from faculty, or by a faculty member on behalf of the team.”

The deadline for submission of applications is May 18.

See the website of the Brown Institute for more.

Stanford historian Richard White earns a Pulitzer finalist spot

April 18th, 2012

American history professor RICHARD WHITE‘s publication, Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America, has earned him a finalist spot in the 2012 Pulitzer Prize history category.

The selection committee is comprised of esteemed historians and White said although he didn’t win a Pulitzer, it was a “great honor” to be recognized by his peers.

Twelve years ago, White began to investigate how the creation of the railroad system affected the development of the American West. Along the way, he uncovered tales of political intrigue, bribery and outright scandal that resonated with readers when his book was published in 2011.

“The financial crisis and scandals of the last few years were terrible for the country, but good for the book,” said White, who also is faculty co-director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West.

White’s findings go beyond the traditional accounts of the railroads as the first modern corporations. His research reveals “how closely intertwined the railroads were with the political system” and demonstrates how they were “as much creatures of commerce as creatures of politics.”

White is no stranger to the Pulitzer process. In 1992, his book, The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, 1650-1815, was a Pulitzer Prize nominated finalist. He has also been on the selection committee.

White is currently working on a history of the American “gilded age” from 1865 to 1896, which will be published as part of the Oxford History of the United States series.


Other Stanford affiliates in this year’s Pulitzer mix are MARY SCHMICH, columnist for the Chicago Tribune and an alum of the Stanford journalism program, who won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary, and former Stegner Fellow TRACY K. SMITH, who won the prize in poetry for her collection Life on Mars.



The Humanities at Stanford