Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Crawfish, yoga, boating popular at Stanford Sierra Camp Faculty-Staff Weekend

October 20th, 2010
Teri Hankes, program support coordinator for the Office of Post-Doctoral Affairs, brought her mom, Betsy, to Faculty Staff Weekend at Stanford Sierra Camp.

Teri Hankes, program support coordinator for the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, brought her mom, Betsy, to Faculty-Staff Weekend at Stanford Sierra Camp.

It was Faculty-Staff Weekend recently at the beautiful and remote Stanford Sierra Camp at Fallen Leaf Lake in South Lake Tahoe.

Some 30 faculty and staff members, accompanied by about 70 family members, bunked down in the 12-room Main Lodge or 52 guest cabins and enjoyed activities ranging from hiking and boating to disco bingo. Special activities were offered for child campers, who ranged in age from 1 to 15.

Particularly popular this year among faculty and staff kids was the abundant crawfish hunting off the Main Lodge dock. Hordes of kids came to the water’s edge each morning, brandishing sticks with pieces of hot dogs tied to strings, eager to catch and release unsuspecting crawfish. Moms and dads kept watchful eyes from the yoga classes overlooking the lake.

This year’s participants represented a wide range of administrative and academic departments, from University Communications and Postdoctoral Affairs to Mechanical Engineering and Comparative Medicine.

Twice a year – in fall and spring – the Stanford Sierra Conference Center, located at an elevation of 6,300 feet, opens its doors for a weekend of fun to faculty and staff. During the summer, the center serves some 3,000 alumni at the Stanford Sierra Camp. Much of the rest of the year, the center attracts corporations and organizations eager to meet and draw inspiration from the remarkably peaceful location.

The history of Stanford Sierra Camp dates back to 1896, when Stanford graduate and engineering Professor William Wrightman Price created a boys’ camp in nearby Glen Alpine Springs. Eventually, he moved the camp to Fallen Leaf Lake, where it became a popular resort among his friends – many of them Stanford faculty.

Beginning in 1953, the then-proprietors of the lodge set aside time for a Stanford alumni camp. It quickly became a popular gathering point for Stanford alumni and their families. In 1966, the Stanford Alumni Association acquired the camp.

Stanford Sierra Camp isn’t the university’s only vacation spot. Faculty, staff and alumni also can take advantage of Stanford Alpine Chalet in Alpine Meadows. The chalet has its origins among physics professors who built a communal ski lodge for their families in 1963. The group donated it to the university and, in 1986, the Stanford Alumni Association purchased it.

—Kate Chesley

Advisory council of the Center for the American West welcomes new members

April 29th, 2010

The Advisory Council of the Bill Lane Center for the American West is meeting Friday and will welcome WILLIAM K. REILLY and TIMOTHY WIRTH as new members.

Reilly is a founding partner of Aqua International Partners, a private equity fund dedicated to investing in companies engaged in water and renewable energy, and a senior adviser to TPG, an international investment partnership. Reilly served as the first Payne Visiting Professor at Stanford (1993-1994), administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1989-1993), president of the World Wildlife Fund (1985-1989), president of the Conservation Foundation (1973-1989), and director of the Rockefeller Task Force on Land Use and Urban Growth (1972-1973). He is a director of the Packard Foundation, the American Academy in Rome and the National Geographic Society.

Wirth is the president of the United Nations Foundation and the Better World Fund. He began his political career as a White House Fellow under President Lyndon Johnson and was deputy assistant secretary for education in the Nixon administration. Wirth represented Denver suburbs in Congress from 1975 to 1987 and was elected in 1986 to the U.S. Senate, where he focused on environmental issues, particularly global climate change and population stabilization. Wirth served in the U.S. Department of State as the first undersecretary for global affairs from 1993 to 1997.


National Science Foundation awards $10 million for national election study

February 26th, 2010

The National Science Foundation has awarded $10 million to fund the American National Election Studies (ANES) to study voter participation and decision-making in the 2012 U.S. presidential election, and in the mid-term elections of 2010. The Institute for Research in the Social Sciences (IRiSS) shares the award with the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research (ISR), which has conducted the study since 1948. Stanford has served as co-lead of the project since 2005.
“This is the longest running survey of the American people in the social sciences,” said Provost JOHN ETCHEMENDY, congratulating Stanford political scientists SIMON JACKMAN and GARY SEGURA, who will serve alongside Michigan political scientist Vincent Hutchings as co-principal investigators of the four-year collaborative grant. Although the major piece of science funded by the grant is a large, face-to-face survey of the American electorate immediately before and after the 2012 presidential election, researchers will field a series of smaller studies of the electorate between now and the summer of 2012. Visit the IRiSS website for the complete announcement.

Valerie Bellande ’09 thanks the campus for its support of her homeland

January 25th, 2010
Valerie Bellande, second from the right, with fellow '09 graduates of the Program in African and African-American Studies

Valerie Bellande, second from the right, with fellow '09 graduates of the Program in African and African-American Studies

VALERIE BELLANDE, ’09, sent the following email Jan. 15, addressed to Stanford students KICHELLE WEBSTER and GABRIELA SPENCER, and to JAN BARKER-ALEXANDER, director of the Black Community Services Center, just before Stanford’s Caribbean Students Association was to meet to develop a strategy for responding to the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti. Bellande, who is Haitian-American, is studying for a master’s degree in international relations at the University of Cambridge. An excerpt of her letter, which she granted Stanford permission to publish, follows:

“I just wanted to send a short letter to express my deep appreciation for the concern that you and the general Stanford community have shown toward the situation in Haiti in the past few days.  . . .

“First, I wanted to say that the past few days have been difficult, bewildering and heart wrenching for me, my family and other young Haitian-Americans. At first, I was certain, due to some miscommunication and my mounting anxiety, that my dad had passed away. I was afraid to call my mother as I sat frozen for hours after having arrived in England just that morning. Finally, a friend contacted me to tell me that my dad was safely in Miami. I have never experienced a relief so huge.

“Unfortunately, once I realized that my father was fine, I began to focus obsessively on the aftermath of the earthquake, never tearing my eyes away from the news and compulsively checking Facebook messages and calling close friends on Skype. I continue to grieve for the cousins that I have lost and every single family whose members are buried under the rubble.

“Equally startling for me and other young Haitians is the loss of our heritage, of the buildings that grace our memories and of the homes that sheltered us.

“While most of us were pushed by economic and political hardship to come to the United States, it was reinforcing to know that on our island we were welcome. It was comforting to feel that we had homes waiting even if we seemed to be perpetual immigrants. However, in the midst of our grief, the reactions of students like you have brought much needed comfort and empowerment.

“Those of you who are familiar with Haitian history and culture know that we are a strong and enduring people. Many times, as a nation, we have stood alone and isolated and this has been foundational in our understanding of our identity. Yet, your presence at this meeting today, your emails, your kind words and your prayers continue to bring to Haitian-Americans and Haitians a sense of human solidarity, strength and hope. For all that we are a resourceful, spiritual and creative people, this moment would be absolutely debilitating to face alone. So thank you, again, for being here and for taking the time to let your compassion guide your actions.  . . .”

More news about the campus response to the earthquake is available on the Stanford Haiti Information website.

Give a gift, donate blood

December 22nd, 2009

The Stanford Blood Center has a slate of holiday promotions to encourage donors to give during a time of year when there’s often a shortfall in blood supplies. Currently, the blood center is below its minimum inventory in five out of eight blood types, particularly types O-negative and B-negative.

During the center’s “It’s a fare deal” promotion, every person who donates  on the dates listed below can enter a drawing for a gift certificate at a local restaurant. There will be a prize drawing for a $100 gift certificate at each of the center’s three locations in Palo Alto and Mountain View, according to the following schedule:

•    Dec. 26 and 28, Trader Vic’s, Palo Alto
•    Dec. 29, Mantra, Palo Alto
•    Dec. 30, Kan Zeman, Palo Alto
•    Dec. 31, Sundance, Palo Alto; The Cantankerous Fish, Mountain View; and First Crush, San Francisco

The winners will be drawn the first week of January and the certificates will be mailed to the recipients. Other giveaways to help the center get through the holiday slump include:

•    Discount coupons for the Sports Basement that expire Dec. 31
•    Greeting cards featuring children’s artwork
•    AMC movie tickets

More information about the specific dates, locations and details for each promotion are available online at
The blood center is also offering a health and wellness event Jan. 7 from noon to 7:30 p.m. called “Get in the Habit” at the Palo Alto location at 3373 Hillview Ave. Team In Training, a charity sports-training program, will be on hand to showcase the organization’s opportunities to help people get in shape and raise funds to defeat blood cancers at the same time. Attendees also will enjoy health and fitness demonstrations and free healthy cuisine. The event will also include prize drawings for an annual membership to the YMCA and a two-hour consultation with Lift Your Spirits Home Transformations. Donors and non-donors are welcome to attend.

Canines, kitchens and Katrina

December 8th, 2009

"Katrina Installation," is a collection of personal stories, news articles, drawings, paintings, photographs and assembled debris from Woodward's friends' and family members' homes.

SARAH WOODWARD, who graduated last spring with a degree in psychology and a minor in studio art, recently began painting portraits of pets, a direction inspired by the recent death of her family dog. One of her clients is JEFF WACHTEL, senior assistant to the president, whose kitchen ceiling figures prominently in a feature in the Palo Alto Weekly. Woodward is painting a replica of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel fresco “The Creation of Adam,” which features the Wachtel’s dog Cash in the roles of Adam and God. Woodward’s art extends beyond the animal variety.  Just before her freshman year at Stanford, Woodward and her family were forced to evacuate New Orleans as Hurricane Katrina was bearing down on the Gulf Cost. They made it to Mississippi, but were still in the eye of the storm. She has created pieces from salvaged items she collected in Mississippi and Louisiana. “I arrived at Stanford three weeks after Katrina hit, and I’d struggled for a full year feeling disconnected from my home,” she said in an artist statement about a piece that was installed near Green Library from May to September 2007. The sculpture, called “Katrina Installation,” was  intended to “share what my family, friends and fellow New Orleanians had experienced in the days and months following the storm.”

The likenesses of Cash and other Wachtel family pets grace the kitchen ceiling.

The likenesses of Cash and other Wachtel family pets grace the kitchen ceiling.

In her part-time day job, Woodward works at the Mural Music & Arts Project in East Palo Alto, coordinating health education through the arts, and is thinking of pursuing a career in art therapy. For now, she’s got a kitchen mural to finish. “It’s a great story about a terrific young artist and our god-like dog,” Wachtel said of the Weekly story.

Photos courtesy of Sarah Woodward

Give us your cans, your toys

December 1st, 2009

Collection barrels and boxes abound across campus for those inclined to support local charities.  STANFORD’S NATIVE AMERICAN COMMUNITY is teaming up with the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe’s Education and Youth Committee once again to sponsor a Christmas toy drive for needy Native American children. Last year, the Committee gave presents to more than 200 Native American children of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe – the group indigenous to San Francisco, San Mateo, northern Santa Clara and Alameda counties. Bring unwrapped new toys for children from infancy to 18 years old to one of the locations listed below by Dec. 4. The Committee will pick them up and wrap them in time to distribute to children this weekend. For more information, call (650) 725-6944.
Collection box locations:

  • Native American Cultural Center (524 Lasuen Mall)
  • Muwekma-Tah-Ruk, the Native American Theme House (543 Lasuen Mall)
  • Archaeology Center (Building 500, 488 Escondido Mall)
  • Branner Hall (655 Escondido Road – lounge)
  • Cantor Arts Center/Stanford Museum (Staff Entrance, lower level)
  • Career Development Center (563 Salvatierra Walk)
  • Facilities Operations (Bonair Siding)
  • Jasper Ridge Docent Program (Jasper Ridge Center)
  • Haas Center for Public Service (562 Salvatierra Walk)
  • Office of Student Activities/Student Affairs (Tresidder Union, second floor)
  • Undergraduate Admission/Financial Aid (second floor, Montag Hall, 355 Galvez)
  • Undergraduate Advising and Research (Sweet Hall, first floor)

THE OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS is collecting unwrapped gifts for InnVision, a comprehensive service provider for un-housed and at-risk individuals and families on the peninsula. Collection barrels are located on the first floor of Building 170, the Press Building at 425 Santa Teresa Street and in the first floor lobby of the Francis C. Arrillaga Alumni Center through Dec. 11.

THE SLAC NATIONAL ACCELERATOR LABORATORY is lending its support to local food banks. Look for donation barrels for non-perishable food items in Buildings 15, 40, 41, 48, 50, 120, 137 and the Linear Café. If you would prefer to make a monetary donation, you can do so by going to the Second Harvest Virtual Food Drive website. There, choose “companies with 250 or more employees” from the menu, then scroll to SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. The special ID number is 47748. Last year, SLAC won a Silver Award for helping families in the greater Bay Area. The drive ends Dec. 17.

1994 grad was among fallen Americans saluted by Obama

November 30th, 2009

Michael Weston (DEA Photo)

When President Barack Obama made his overnight trip to Dover Air Force Base late last month, one of the fallen Americans to whom he offered a somber salute was 1994 Stanford graduate MICHAEL WESTON, an agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) who was killed along with two other colleagues in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on Oct. 26.  Weston attended Harvard Law School after graduating from Stanford with an AB in economics and an BS in computer science. According to a story on NPR, he joined the Marines after his first year of law school and trained during breaks. He served as a military lawyer in Iraq, and later became a DEA agent. Weston was 37 and leaves his widow, Cynthia Tidler.

President Barack Obama attends a ceremony at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Del., Oct. 29, 2009, for the dignified transfer of 18 U.S. personnel who died in Afghanistan. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder attend a ceremony at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Del., Oct. 29, 2009, for the dignified transfer of 18 U.S. personnel who died in Afghanistan. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The holiday season: What’s on your mind?

November 23rd, 2009

As Thanksgiving approaches and the December holiday break is just a month away, we’d like to hear your thoughts about how you plan to spend the holiday season. What do the holidays mean personally, politically, intellectually? How will you spend them and with whom? If you are traveling, where will you go? What will you cook? Share your favorite recipes or gift  or decorating ideas or your strategies for minimizing stress or saving money.

Stanford’s winning Facebook efforts; Apps course exceeds 4 million mark

November 20th, 2009

Facebook-StillIAN HSU, Stanford’s director of Internet media outreach, traveled to Cambridge, Mass., earlier this month to pick up an award for Stanford’s cutting-edge Facebook strategy and Fan Page. The Society for New Communications Research (SNCR)  –  a global nonprofit research and education foundation and think tank dedicated to the study of new media and communications, handed Hsu the Excellence Award for External Communications and Communities. Past winners of this honor have included Dell, SAP and Edelman.  A full press release on this year’s awards is available on SNCR’s website .  .  .  And speaking of new media, according to BRENT IZUTSU, project for manager for Stanford on iTunes U and YouTube, free video downloads of CS193P, the university’s hot course on creating applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch, have surpassed the 4 million mark.