Archive for November, 2012

Stanford Hospital is first in nation to earn comprehensive stroke center designation

November 29th, 2012

Stanford Hospital & Clinics is the first hospital in the country to earn the newest level of certification for advanced stroke care, awarded by the Joint Commission, the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care.

“We are very pleased to have earned the Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s recognition. The leading-edge standards of care the Stanford Stroke Center team developed and refined over the last 20 years should be upheld as a national model,” said AMIR DAN RUBIN, president and CEO of Stanford Hospital & Clinics.

A team of Joint Commission expert surveyors evaluated Stanford Hospital & Clinics and its Stroke Center for two days in October for its compliance with the new comprehensive stroke center standards and requirements, including advanced imaging and treatment capabilities, 24/7 availability of specialized treatments, participation in research, and staff with the unique education and competencies to care for complex stroke patients. The surveyors found the hospital met or exceeded all required standards.

“Stroke patients who are treated at Stanford can have confidence that the hospital has put in place the critical elements necessary to meet their unique needs,” said commission President MARK CHASSIN in announcing the certification earlier this month. “The Joint Commission commends Stanford Hospital & Clinics for seeking and achieving certification as part of its commitment to focusing on the care processes that produce the best outcomes for complex stroke patients.”

Read the full announcement on the Medical Center news website.

Help Cardinal football ‘finish the job’

November 28th, 2012

Shaw, Dunning get Pac-12 Coach of the Year honors

November 28th, 2012


Senior Cason Kynes and Coach David Shaw Photo: 2012 © David Bernal Photography, Stanford Athletics

DAVID SHAW, head coach of the Cardinal football team, was named the 2012 Pac-12 Conference Coach of the Year, selected by his peer head coaches in the Pac-12. The Coach of the Year honor is the second for Shaw in his second year as head coach at Stanford. He becomes the fourth coach in Pac-12 history to earn the award in consecutive seasons.

Shaw has led Stanford this year to a 10-2 regular season record and its first Pac-12 North title. Under his leadership, the Cardinal has won 10 games in three consecutive seasons for the first time. Stanford is one win in the Pac-12 Football Championship Game away from a Rose Bowl berth and third consecutive BCS bowl game.

STANFORD, CA - NOVEMBER 20, 2011: Stanford University women's volleyball takes on Oregon State in a match at Maples Pavilion in Stanford, California.  Stanford won in 4 sets, 25-19, 25-23, 24-26, and 25-15.

Photo: Richard C. Ersted, Stanford Athletics

Also,  Stanford women’s volleyball head coach JOHN DUNNING has been named the 2012 Pac-12 Coach of the Year. Dunning earns the Pac-12 Coach of the Year honor for the fourth time and his eighth conference coach of the year honors overall. He has guided the Cardinal to the team’s 15th Pac-12 title and the program’s 18th conference championship overall. Stanford has claimed the conference crown in six of the last seven years and received the No. 2 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Cardinal spent three weeks ranked No. 1 in the country by the American Volleyball Coaches Association and was the only team in the country to receive all 60 first-place votes (Nov. 5 and Nov. 12). Stanford reeled off 22 straight wins from Sept. 1 to Nov. 8, marking the longest winning streak in a single season under Dunning.


Stanford Football excels on and off the field

November 27th, 2012
Stanford Football players Ben Muth, Anthony Kimble, Pat Maynor, Alex Fletcher, Aaron Zagory, Thaddeus Chase Jr., and Gustav Rydstedt at the 2008 Commencement

David Gonzales, Stanford Athletics

The American Football Coaches Association announced Monday that Stanford will receive its 2012 Academic Achievement Award. Stanford will share the award with Northwestern University, which—like the Cardinal—recorded a 100 percent graduation rate for members of its freshman football class of 2005–06. The award is presented by the Touchdown Club of Memphis and will be presented Jan. 7 during the 2013 AFCA Convention in Nashville.

“We’re very excited to have received this award,” said Stanford’s head football coach, DAVID SHAW. “It is a direct reflection of the principles upon which Stanford was founded, to achieve excellence in everything we do—on the field, in the classroom and in our lives after we graduate.”

The Academic Achievement Award was established by the College Football Association in 1981. The award recognized the CFA-member Football Bowl Subdivision institution with the highest graduation rate among members of its football team. When the CFA disbanded in 1997, the AFCA stepped in to present the award and to conduct a graduation-rate survey that encompassed all members of the Football Bowl Subdivision

Read the full announcement at

Stanford professor recognized for ponytail probe

November 21st, 2012

Why does a female jogger’s ponytail sway side to side when the motion of her body is up and down? And why is it so difficult to pour tea from a pot without dribbling some on the table? These are the sorts of questions that occasionally preoccupy JOSEPH KELLER, professor emeritus of mathematics and mechanical engineering. For his efforts to elucidate the mysterious forces behind these everyday conundrums, Keller was awarded not one, but two Ig Nobel Prizes. Bestowed annually by the editors of the tongue-in-cheek Annals of Improbable Research, the awards “celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative—and spur people’s interest in science, medicine and technology.” Earlier this fall, Keller shared the 2012 physics prize for his 2010 paper, “Ponytail Motion,” which explains that while ponytails could bob up and down, “that’s unstable if the jogging frequency is twice the pendulum frequency,” as it is for most runners. He also was retroactively awarded the 1999 physics prize for his contributions to the paper “Pouring Flows with Separation,” in which he calculated the optimal curvature for a teapot spout to eliminate drips.


Celebrating SLAC’s first 50 years

November 20th, 2012

Nobel physicist and SLAC Director Emeritus BURTON RICHTER  and NORBERT HOLTKAMP, an associate lab director at SLAC, will be the featured guests at an event Nov. 28, hosted by the Commonwealth Club of California. Richter, SLAC’s director from 1984 to 1999, and Holtkamp, who has held his position since 2010, will lead a discussion about SLAC’s 50-year history and its bright future.

Their talk, “SLAC: 50 Years of Scientific Discovery,” begins at 7 p.m. in the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center, at 3921 Fabian Way in Palo Alto. The Commonwealth Club is a national forum for public issues ranging from culture and society to politics and the economy.

Registration for the event is required – the cost is $15 for non-members, $10 for members and $5 for students with a valid student ID. Reservations also may be made by calling (408) 280-5530. Visit SLAC Today for more details.


Colleagues bid farewell to Dean Pizzo

November 19th, 2012

In this video, colleagues, staff, students and friends bid farewell to longtime School of Medicine Dean PHILIP PIZZO. Amid all the testimonials about his kindness, his vision and dedication, arguably one of the most interesting sections is the one in which colleagues were asked if they’d ever seen the dean eat. Pizzo is preparing to step down after 12 years as dean. He will be succeeded by LLOYD MINOR, who will begin his tenure Dec. 1.

Student profile: How a student fell in love with computer science

November 16th, 2012

When PATRICK COSTELLO first came to Stanford as an undergraduate, he had never done any computer science. But after taking CS 106A, an introductory course, he fell in love. In fact, as an undergraduate he joined the CS 198 section-leading program, which provides undergraduates with an opportunity to teach the introductory CS courses. Costello graduated in 2012 and is now working on his master’s in the School of Engineering. In this video, produced by another engineering student, MICHAEL WALKER, Costello talks about how he and computer science became a perfect match.

Daughter picks up the late Diane Middlebrook’s unfinished manuscript

November 15th, 2012

The late Diane Middlebrook (Photo: Amanda Lane)


When the legendary biographer and Stanford English Professor DIANE MIDDLEBROOK died of cancer in 2007, she left behind an unfinished manuscript about the Roman poet who had been her lifelong passion. Had death not halted her progress, Ovid: A Biography would almost certainly be in print by now.

In her last months, she tried to radically revamp her book into a study of Ovid’s early years, Young Ovid. Finally she had to abandon the project altogether, leaving as her completed legacy Anne Sexton: A Biography (1992), Suits Me: The Double Life of Billie Tipton (1999), and Her Husband: Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath, A Marriage (2003).

Her executors, her daughter LEAH MIDDLEBROOK, a former Stanford lecturer, and literary scholar NANCY K. MILLER, are working to publish the completed sections of the book. The first of their efforts has been published in the current edition of Feminist Studies as “20 March, 43 BCE: Ovid is Born.”

The piece describes childbirth practices in ancient Rome as well as the role of Ovid’s family – particularly his mother – in his writing and his life.

“Was it in childhood that Ovid’s imagination was captivated by what went on among women sitting together over their spindles and their looms?” Middlebrook asks. “If Ovid’s poetry is original in its treatment of fathers, it is unique in ancient literature in its representation of the social world that women created for themselves within the household, a world largely concealed from the attention of men. Women of all ages and kinds appear and interact with one another in Ovid’s tales, enriching the world of the poem and broadening its emotional and social reach. If an unwelcome man should arrive on the scene, interrupting the women, this world would immediately fold itself up and away out of sight. A male child of less than 7 years, however, might have been a tolerated exception.”

Stanford English Professor TERRY CASTLE said of the article (which can be ordered online here), “It’s a lovely memorial to Diane, but also a marvelously interesting essay on Ovid and the nature of childbirth in ancient Rome: a feminist topic if ever there were one.”

Cynthia Haven, English Department

Michael Tubbs continues to aim high and win

November 14th, 2012

Michael Tubbs received a Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award during Commencement in June. The Dinkelspiel Awards recognize distinctive and exceptional contributions to undergraduate education or the quality of student life at Stanford.

By now, many are familiar with Michael Tubbs’ early biography. He was raised by a single mother in Stockton, Calif. When he was 12, he met his incarcerated father, who told him that as a black man in America he was set up to fail.

Determined to shift the paradigm, Tubbs excelled in high school. He applied to Stanford, despite suggestions by guidance counselors that he might be aiming too high.

And aiming high is what Michael Tubbs does best. In 2011 he was named a Truman Scholar. He won a Dinkelspiel Award in June and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in comparative studies in race and ethnicity and a master’s in policy, organization and leadership studies from the Stanford School of Education.

Even before graduation, Tubbs announced his bid for a seat on the Stockton City Council. When Oprah Winfrey met him during a campus visit last year, she contributed to his campaign. (According to Tubbs, the media mogul has contributed to only two other campaigns: Barack Obama’s and Newark Mayor and Stanford alum Cory Booker’s.)

Last week, Tubbs, 22, won the seat and became the youngest member of the Stockton City Council. Stanford Report caught up with him by email after the election.


How did it feel to be running for office during the same election cycle that President Obama was running for re-election? 

President Obama is an inspiration of mine, and interning with his administration in the White House opened my eyes to the possibilities of making change at the local level.

What is the first thing on your agenda as a city council member? 

Public safety, public safety, public safety. I will be working with the mayor, council and the police department to implement the Ceasefire model [of street violence prevention] as soon as possible. I will also look into how we can best leverage technology to help our police force. Finally, I have already begun working with the school district, nonprofits and the community writ large to design and expand preventive approaches to fighting crime.

What did your mother say when you won? 

She thanked God and said she was proud of me.

Have you heard from Oprah? 

She tweeted me 18 days ago to ask how everything was going.

When you were named a Truman Scholar, you talked about going to law school. Is that still part of your long-term plan? 

I plan on getting my PhD from the city of Stockton.

Any aspirations for even higher office? Mayor? President?  

I aspire to be the best councilman in the next four years for Southside Stockton and Stockton as a whole.

—Elaine Ray