Archive for July, 2012

Psychologist Bandura wins Lifetime Career Award from international organization

July 31st, 2012

Albert Bandura

ALBERT BANDURA, a professor emeritus of psychology at Stanford whose career spans 60 years, has been recognized with a Lifetime Career Award from the International Union of Psychological Science(IUPsyS).

“Professor Bandura’s contributions to psychological science are amongst the most significant in the field,” IUPsyS President Rainer Silbereisen said in a press release announcing the award. “He created the social cognitive theory and defined the construct of self-efficacy. His research has benefited areas of societal importance such as education, social skills development, business, health promotion and sport. Albert Bandura’s work inspired us, he really served the humanity.”

Bandura is a proponent of an “agentic” theory of human behavior exercised, in part, through perceived self-efficacy. It holds that individuals are capable of self-regulating their cognitive, motivational, emotional and behavioral lives, instead of simply reacting to external environmental forces and acting on subconscious impulses. We have the capacity to regulate our own actions and solve problems cognitively. Self-efficacy has been applied in a wide range of disciplines from education and health to business, athletics and medicine and social and political change.

A native of Alberta, Canada, Bandura earned his undergraduate degree from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and completed his graduate work at the University of Iowa. He joined Stanford’s faculty in 1953 and remained an active faculty member for 57 years.

He has published seven books, including Social Learning and Personality Development in 1963 and Self-Efficacy: The Exercise of Control in 1997.  He also has edited two other books and authored numerous articles.  As part of his theory of moral agency, he is completing a book on “moral disengagement”, which analyzes  how good people act harmfully through selective disengagement of moral self-sanctions.

This is not the first award Bandura has received in recognition for his life’s work. In 2004, he won the Award for Outstanding Lifetime Contribution to Psychology from the American Psychological Association and in 2006 he received the Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for Advancement of Health Promotion through Health Promotion Research from the American Academy of Health Behavior and also the Gold Medal Award for Distinguished Lifetime Contribution to Psychological Science from the American Psychological Foundation. He was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the recipient of 20 honorary degrees.

“I’m deeply grateful to be a recipient of this award,” Bandura said in a videotaped address, shown during an IUPsyS awards ceremony in Cape Town, South Africa, last week.  “I accept it not so much as a personal honor, but as gratitude that the international scientific community has acknowledged the theoretical approach that I have taken to advance human enlightenment and human betterment. A career has many coauthors, so I am greatly indebted to my supportive colleagues and my creative collaborators, who have a hand in this award.  My indebtedness is best captured in the eloquent words of the poet Yeats: ‘Ask where my glory most begins and ends, and say my glory was, I had such friends.’”


On video: Tina Seelig gives crash course in creativity

July 30th, 2012

TINA SEELIG, executive director for the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, gave a crash course in creativity during TEDxStanford in May.

“Everyone, everyone has the key to their innovation engine. It’s up to them to turn it,” Seelig said.

Need some inspiration? Watch her TEDxStanford talk on video.


Jaramillo wins Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers

July 26th, 2012

Thomas Jaramillo

PRESIDENT OBAMA has named THOMAS F. JARAMILLO, an assistant professor of chemical engineering at the Stanford University School of Engineering, as one of 13 U.S. Department of Energy-funded researchers to receive the 2012 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).

Jaramillo was nominated by the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy for his innovations in solar hydrogen production, including using quantum confinement in nanoparticles to enhance catalytic reactivity and incorporating these catalysts into high-surface-area scaffolds. The DOE also noted Jaramillo’s excellence in mentoring in its nomination.

PECASE is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding scientists and engineers who are early in their independent research careers. In addition to a citation and a plaque, each PECASE winner receives DOE funding for up to five years. Jaramillo and the other winners will accept their awards at a White House ceremony.

“The PECASE Award is a tremendous honor,” said Jaramillo. “Recognition by The White House and by the U.S. DOE reinforces my commitment to researching and developing sustainable energy technologies.”

On a more personal note, Jaramillo added that winning a prestigious award “shows that if you set high goals for yourself, work hard, and do so with integrity, people will take notice and good things will happen.”


School of Engineering’s 13th annual eDay keeps ’em curious

July 25th, 2012

Future engineer appears fascinated by a talk titled "Computers That See" presented by Fei-Fei Li, assistant professor of computer science. (Photo by Norbert von der Groeben)

Some 500 or so Stanford Engineering alumni and their family members ages 10 and up came to campus on July 21 for the 13th eDay—a day of insightful talks by engineering faculty, hands-on student demos and catching up with old friends.

TINA SEELIG, an author, professor and executive director of the school’s entrepreneurship program, the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, kicked off the day with a talk on the creative spark in all of us and how to unlock that sometimes hidden genius to accomplish great things.

With the eDay keynote complete, the attendees disbursed from the Hewlett Teaching Center to locations in the Huang Engineering Center, where the bulk of the day’s activities took place.

The day’s sessions included:

Click here for an eDay slideshow.

BY ANDREW MYERS, Stanford School of Engineering

Stanford Libraries’ exhibition celebrates the art of hand bookbinding

July 24th, 2012

Kindle and the era of the e-book have not entirely displaced the fine craftsmanship of the bookbinders’ art.  A current exhibition at Stanford Libraries proves it with elegant bindings that are traditional and avant-garde, featuring overlays and cut-outs, Japanese calligraphy and pages that open into a circle.

The exhibition fêtes the Hand Bookbinders of California 40th birthday. The event, which is free and open to the public, will continue through Wednesday, Sept. 5, in the Peterson Gallery and Munger Rotunda of the Green Library. Contemporary bindings by the organization’s members are augmented with historical fine design bindings from the Libraries’ Special Collections.

Bindings by PAUL BONET and PIERRE LUCIEN MARTIN represent the strong French influence on the work of Bay Area teachers of binding, many of whom studied in France.

For example, Bonet’s rendering of PAUL VALÉRY’s Le Serpent, from the Stanford Libraries, has elaborate red and white onlays on black goatskin. His designs have inspired generations of French and French-trained bookbinders.

Also on display is work by some of the organization’s early members and teachers, including BELLE MCMURTRY YOUNG, PETER FAHEY, FLORENCE WALTER, BETTY LOU CHAIKA, DONALD GLAISTER, JOANNE SONNICHSEN, BARBARA FALLON HILLER and ELEANORE RAMSEY.

Well-known Berkeley bookbinder TOM CONROY’s rendering of Donn Byrne’s Destiny Bay exemplifies the finest of traditional binding styles, with blind and gold tooling on scarlet goatskin and hand-sewn silk endbands.

Donn Byrne’s "Destiny Bay," binding by Tom Conroy

Conroy and fellow binder and toolmaker PEGGY DE MOUTHE have also offered some of the tools of their painstaking labor for the exhibition: gilding tools, band nippers, polishing irons, a French leather-paring knife and other tools of buffalo horn, bone and even Teflon, one with a toothy opossum-jaw handle.

The Hand Bookbinders of California is devoted to promoting and supporting the craft of traditional Western hand bookbinding. The founding group included some of the Bay Area’s most influential collectors, among them DUNCAN OLMSTED and GALE HERRICK, and many binders and teachers of binding, such as STELLA PATRI and LEAH WOLLENBERG. It continues as a robust, active group with membership open to anyone with a passion for the craft.

The exhibition moves to Mills College this fall.

The Peterson Gallery is accessible whenever Green Library is open; hours vary with the academic schedule. To confirm library hours, call (650) 723-0931 or go to the Libraries website. First-time visitors and those without Stanford ID must register at the entrance to Green Library before entering the building.

— BY CYNTHIA HAVEN, Stanford University Libraries

SLAC’s Arrillaga Recreation Center opens today

July 23rd, 2012

The Arrillaga Recreation Center at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory will open today for SLAC and Department of Energy employees and visiting scientists. The 17,600-square-foot facility and 7.5-acre recreation grounds will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and managed by Stanford’s Department of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday. However, for the first week the center is open, hours will be limited to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Normal 24/7 operations and business hours will begin Monday, July 30.

SLAC badges will serve as card keys to access the center. Other people with business on the SLAC site, such as visiting researchers, Stanford Guest House lodgers and service contractors, can use the center for $5 per day. Card keys can be purchased from recreation center staff during business hours.

Stanford faculty, staff and students without business on the SLAC campus can use the center only if they are enrolled in a class that’s being offered at SLAC through the Health Improvement Program (HIP) .

The Arrillaga Recreation Center at SLAC is one of several Stanford sports facilities that bear the name of alumnus and real estate developer JOHN ARRILLAGA and his family.

For more information about the recreation center, read the story on the SLAC Today website.

Baba Shiv: Sometimes it’s good to give up the driver’s seat

July 19th, 2012

In 2007 Baba Shiv’s wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, and the couple was faced with a host of questions about the course of treatment. Shiv, director of the Strategic Marketing Management Executive Program in the Graduate School of Business, whose disciplinary focus is human decision making, told an audience during TEDx-Stanford in May that sometimes it is best to cede control, because too many choices may be a bad thing.

Video of Shiv’s presentation is currently on

Ask Michael Snyder about personalized medicine

July 18th, 2012

For nearly a year and a half, MICHAEL SNYDER, and his lab members scrutinized some of his body’s most intimate secrets: the sequence of his DNA, the RNA and proteins produced by his cells, the metabolites and signaling molecules flowing through his blood.

They discovered, in a shocking development, that he was predisposed to type-2 diabetes and then watched as the condition developed. As a result, Snyder changed his diet and exercise habits and was able to bring the disease under control, long before it would have ever been diagnosed with traditional methods.

The results (subscription required) of the unprecedented analysis were reported earlier this year in Cell. The findings represent a significant milestone in the realization of the promise of truly personalized medicine, or tailoring health care to an individual’s circumstances.

For this round of Ask Stanford Med, the School of Medicine’s SCOPE blog asked Snyder to respond to your questions about how his study may help the advancement of personalized medicine and about the use of gene sequencing to guide preventative medicine.

For more information on how to post your questions, visit the full SCOPE blog post.

Mark Appel to return to Farm for his senior year

July 17th, 2012


Mark Appel, in baseball cap, shares a moment with Andrew Luck, another Cardinal athlete who postponed his professional career to finish up at Stanford.

MARK APPEL, who was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft, has decided to return to Stanford and earn his degree before pursuing a professional baseball career.

“After much thought, prayer and analysis of both opportunities, I came to the conclusion the best decision is to remain at Stanford continuing my studies, finishing my degree and doing all I can to assist the Cardinal baseball team in our goal to win a national championship,” said Appel.

“I greatly valued the prospect of a professional opportunity and I will pursue a professional baseball career after getting my Stanford degree,” Appel added. “I am blessed that God has given me the opportunity to choose between two great options and the talents to play baseball. I am also thankful for the love, support and guidance from everyone who helped me make this decision.”

“I respect Mark’s decision and obviously we are all excited to have him back at Stanford for his senior season,” said head Stanford baseball coach MARK MARQUESS. “He is one of the premier pitchers  in college baseball and will again play an integral role in our quest to get back to the College World Series.  I’m sure it was a difficult decision for him and his family, but I know Mark is excited to complete his degree in engineering and then embark on a long and successful pro career.”


Read the full announcement on the Stanford Athletics website.

Arnold Rampersad wins Anisfield-Wolf Book Prize Lifetime Achievement Award

July 16th, 2012

ARNOLD RAMPERSAD, professor emeritus of English and an award-winning biographer and literary critic, is the winner of the 77th Annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards Lifetime Achievement Award.

Arnold Rampersad

The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards is the country’s only juried literary competition devoted to recognizing books that have made an important contribution to society’s understanding of racism and the diversity of human cultures.

Rampersad, the Sara Hart Kimball Professor in the Humanities, Emeritus, at Stanford, is the author of The Life of Langston Hughes, which is widely considered the definitive biography of the poet. Volume One, published in 1986, won an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Nonfiction; Volume Two, published in 1988, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He also has written award-winning biographies of RALPH ELLISON, JACKIE ROBINSON AND W.E.B. DU BOIS.

Each year the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards jury honors works of fiction and nonfiction and recognizes one individual whose life work has enhanced an understanding of cultural diversity. Previous Lifetime Achievement Award winners include OPRAH WINFREY, AUGUST WILSON and GORDON PARKS.

This year’s jury was overseen by HENRY LOUIS GATES JR., director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. Jurors included poet RITA DOVE, author JOYCE CAROL OATES, psychologist STEVEN PINKER and art historian SIMON SCHAMA.

“Arnold Rampersad has illuminated the lives of the central figures in African American literary and cultural studies,” commented Gates. “By so doing, he has single-handedly inserted the African American character into American biographical literature.”

Rampersad, who also has held teaching positions at Rutgers, Columbia and Princeton, said he was “touched and gratified” to be chosen for this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Stanford English Professor SHELLEY FISHER FISHKIN, who co-edited the book series Race and American Culture with Rampersad, described him as a gifted scholar whose work has had “an enormous impact on our understanding of American culture, illuminating issues of race and racism in America.”

In 2011, President Obama presented Rampersad with a National Humanities Medal. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.

Administered by the Cleveland Foundation, the book prizes were established by poet and philanthropist EDITH ANISFIELD WOLF in 1935 to reflect her family’s passion for issues of social justice.

The Anisfield-Wolf winners will be honored at a ceremony in Cleveland, Ohio, on Sept. 13.