Archive for the ‘Seen on Campus’ Category

BeWell explores the value of Stanford’s natural beauty

March 28th, 2014
Japanese Flowering Cherries flourish in the Oregon Courtyard, which is located on the east side of the Main Quad, just off Lasuen and across from the School of Education. (Photo: Kate Chesley)

Japanese flowering cherries flourish in the Oregon Courtyard, which is located on the east side of the Main Quad, just off Lasuen Mall and across from the School of Education. (Photo: Kate Chesley)

BEWELL suggests that next time you drive, walk or bike onto the Stanford campus, you consider the physical beauty that greets you. BeWell spoke to Grounds Manager TED TUCHOLSKI to learn more about the natural beauty available to us all at Stanford.

How do you think the Stanford grounds contribute to the culture of wellness?

Grounds Services performs an important role in contributing to the wellness of all who study, work and visit the campus. Maintenance of the outdoor environment enables everyone to play, exercise and rest in beautiful and comfortable places. We maintain turf areas for recreation; trails for hiking; areas for studying, holding performances or resting – perhaps under the shade of a large oak tree. Connecting with nature is important, and often an experience that aids in relieving stress. We provide the opportunity – and plants – for people to literally “stop and smell the roses.”

How big an undertaking is this?

We have 60 employees in the field maintaining more than 1,000 acres of land, including over 1 million square feet of shrubs. We collaborate with the University Architect and Planning Office, Stanford Utilities, students, staff and others to make the program a success.

Read the entire interview on the BeWell website.

Netanyahu visits Stanford during swing through Silicon Valley

March 6th, 2014
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the Stanford campus yesterday. (Photo: AP/Carolyn Kaster)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the Stanford campus yesterday. (Photo: AP/Carolyn Kaster)

Israeli Prime Minister BENJAMIN NETANYAHU spent about an hour on campus Wednesday afternoon in the final leg of his swing through Silicon Valley.

Netanyahu met briefly with President JOHN HENNESSY and JEFF WACHTEL, senior assistant to the president. Hennessy and the prime minister then met with WhatsApp co-founders BRIAN ACTON, a 1994 Stanford alum, and JAN KOUM, a Jewish Ukrainian immigrant, who sold their company to Facebook for $19 billion last month. Also visiting with Netanyahu was JANINE ZACHARIA, a visiting lecturer in communication and former Jerusalem-based reporter.

Netanyahu did several interviews at STANFORD VIDEO, which provides feeds to national television networks, before departing for the San Jose International Airport and home.

Prior to his arrival at Stanford shortly after 2 p.m., Netanyahu had lunch at Apple Inc. in Cupertino and signed a pro-business agreement with California Gov. Jerry Brown at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. Wednesday’s visit followed Netanyahu’s meetings with President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C., on Monday and his appearance Tuesday at the Los Angeles premiere of a television documentary that features him.

See the story in the San Francisco Chronicle for news of Netanyahu’s visit to Silicon Valley.

Stanford Women’s basketball players recognized for their performance on the court

February 25th, 2014

Chiney Ogwumike, Number 13, and Amber Orrange, Number 33 (Photo: Don Feria)

The past two weeks have brought well-deserved recognition to Stanford women’s basketball senior forward CHINEY OGWUMIKE and junior point guard AMBER ORRANGE.

Last Thursday, Ogwumike received the 2013-14 Capital One Academic All-America of the Year award for Division I women’s basketball.  The awards program, administered by College Sports Information Directors of America  (CoSIDA), selects an honorary sports team composed of the most outstanding student athletes of a specific season.

The All-America announcement makes Ogwumike the first member of the Stanford women’s basketball team to earn the honor. She joins a star-studded list of former Cardinal standouts who also earned it for their respective sports, including ANDREW LUCK (football, 2012), NICK AMUCHASTEGUI (wrestling/at-large, 2011 and 2012), ALIX KLINEMAN (women’s volleyball, 2010), RACHEL BUEHLER (women’s soccer, 2007) and TOMMY VARDELL (football, 1991).

On Monday, Feb. 24, Ogwumike was named Pac-12 Player of the Week for the eighth time this season while Orrange was named one of 22 finalists for the Nancy Lieberman Award.

In addition to being Ogwumike’s eighth Player of the Week honor of the season, it is also the 17th of her career.

Orrange is one of two Pac-12 point guards on the list for the Nancy Lieberman Award, given annually to the top point guard in the nation. Cal’s BRITTANY BOYD is also on the list. This year’s winner will be announced at the Final Four in Nashville.

Behind Orrange’s leadership, the Stanford women’s basketball team has captured its 14th straight Pac-12 regular-season title following this past weekend’s sweep of USC and UCLA.

Stanford’s team, with the Pac-12 Tournament’s top seed already in hand, finishes the regular season at Maples Pavilion this weekend, hosting Washington Thursday at 8 p.m. and Washington State Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Both games will be broadcast live on the Pac-12 Network.



Help Stanford win the PAC-12 Fitness Challenge

February 24th, 2014


Whether you walk, bike, run, swim, spin, lift weights or do any other fitness-related activity, your exercise routine can put Stanford back on top!

By tracking your exercise this week as part of the PAC-12 Fitness Challenge, you can help Stanford beat our competitors.

Stanford won first place in each of the first three challenges, but lost the title in the last two years to Arizona State and UCLA.

The Pac-12 Fitness Challenge is open to all Stanford faculty, staff, students, alumni and supporters. Participants may enter up to two hours of exercise each day and all forms of exercise are accepted.

To participate, visit, sign up, and enter your exercise minutes. 

Give her a hand

February 13th, 2014

Hand-photo LYDIA-MARIE JOUBERT, an electon microscopist and senior scientist at Stanford’s Center for Molecular and Genetic Medicine, won the People’s Choice Award in the illustration category of the 2013 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge.

Her illustration — a hand covered with Pseudomonas bacteria — is titled Human Hand Controlling Bacterial Biofilms. It began as a photograph, as the journal Science explains in its latest issue: “While attending a conference at Gregynog Hall in Wales, Joubert photographed a 1.5-meter-high human hand that reaches out of the soil in the hall’s gardens, sculpted by British artist FRANCIS HEWLETT. Then she overlaid micrographs of cultured biofilms, which had been stained with molecular probes to indicate the health of the cells. Those colored green are resistant to antimicrobial treatment — only a rare few are red, indicating that they have been vanquished.” Covering the hand are Pseudomonas bacteria. This item was posted on the Medical School’s news website.

Stanford honors former president, provosts in naming new graduate student housing complex

February 9th, 2014

At a ceremony Sunday afternoon,  JOHN L. HENNESSY, Stanford’s president, and STEVEN A. DENNING, chair of the university’s Board of Trustees, were joined by other current and former university officials for the naming of the Donald Kennedy Graduate Residences in Escondido Village.

The five-building complex, named in honor of  President Emeritus DONALD KENNEDY, will include four “houses” named for four former provosts:  WILLIAM F. MILLER the late GERALD LIEBERMAN, the late ALBERT H. HASTORF  and the late JAMES N. ROSSE.

Kennedy, who served as Stanford’s eighth president, was lauded for his contributions to Stanford for more than five decades and beginning the university’s transformation into one of the nation’s top research universities.

In addition to the four houses, which will accommodate 436 individuals, a fifth building, the Donald Kennedy Commons, will provide social and meeting space and other amenities. The  complex is scheduled to open in late summer and fall.


Professor Emeritus Carl Djerassi celebrates 90th birthday with lecture at Stanford

February 3rd, 2014

Dozens of students, staff and faculty packed the Clark Center Auditorium last week to wish a happy 90th birthday year to CARL DJERASSI, a longtime professor at Stanford and a world-renowned chemist.

Fellow Stanford chemistry Professors RICHARD ZARE and W.E. MOERNER introduced their friend and brought the standing-room-only audience up to speed on Djerassi’s remarkable life achievements. Djerassi then took the podium for more than an hour to deliver a lecture he called “Beyond Chemistry: The Last 25 years of a Nonagenerian.”

If you’re not familiar with Djerassi’s name, you’ll surely recognize his work. Starting in the 1940s, he was a primary player in synthesizing the first commercial antihistamines, cortisone and norethindrone, the latter being the chemical basis of oral contraceptives, earning him the nickname “The Father of the Pill.” He was also at the forefront of efforts to apply physical measurements and computer artificial intelligence techniques to organic chemical problems, which transformed the field.

In 1952, Djerassi accepted a professorship of chemistry at Wayne State University, and joined Stanford faculty in the same role in 1959, earning emeritus status in 2002. In the years since his retirement, and for a decade before, Djerassi has followed his affinity for integrating science with the arts, chiefly through a technique he calls “science-in-fiction.”

Through several short stories, novels and plays, Djerassi has told fictional tales that describe realistic details and struggles of the day-to-day life of a scientist. In his first novel, Cantor’s Dilemma, he explores pressures that can drive a researcher to commit scientific fraud and how academia handles such a scandal.

In The Bourbaki Gambit, his second novel, he touches on the real conflicts that can arise when a group of scientists must divide credit for a major discovery. In NO, he pulls from his own experiences of commercializing a drug to illustrate the intersection of science and capitalism.

Later, he wrote plays surrounding similar topics as a way to showcase scientific dialogue. An Immaculate Misconception dealt with the science behind intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection, a type of artificial insemination, and the societal and ethical dilemmas surrounding the procedure.

In each case, he has presented readers intimate details that humanize scientists and their research, with the goal of making science more accessible to the general public.

“You can become an intellectual smuggler, by packaging the truth in a fictional context,” Djerassi told the crowd. “If it’s exciting enough, they’ll learn something. And I think that’s why my novels have been successful.”

On Feb. 8, Djerassi’s 2012 play Insufficiency will be performed at Stanford. The satire dives into the motivations, both academic and financial, that can play a deciding hand in whether professors are granted tenure. The event is open to the public. Visit the Stanford Event Calendar for details.


Carter, Reardon elected to National Academy of Education

January 24th, 2014
Sean Reardon and Prudence Carter

Sean Reardon and Prudence Carter

PRUDENCE CARTER AND SEAN REARDON, sociologists in the Stanford Graduate School of Education (GSE), have been elected to membership in the National Academy of Education (NAEd). They were cited for their outstanding scholarship on the effects of race and class on education and the barriers they impose to social mobility and achieving equity.

The NAEd works to advance education research and to promote its use in developing education policy and practice. The group has produced reports on such pressing national education issues as student achievement assessments and teacher education. In addition, it offers professional development fellowship programs that support the preparation of the next generation of scholars.

Stanford and New York University were the only institutions to have two faculty members among this year’s group of 14 newly elected scholars, according to a recent statement from the academy. Stanford has more NAEd members — 21 of 184 — than any other university.

Carter, professor of education and faculty director of the GSE’s John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities, examines academic and mobility differences attributable to race, ethnicity, class and gender, and she consults with educators about measures to address disparities. She is the author of the award-winning Keepin’ It Real: School Success Beyond Black and White (Oxford 2005) and more recently Stubborn Roots: Race, Culture, and Inequality in U.S. and South African Schools (Oxford 2012. She also co-edited and contributed to Closing the Opportunity Gap: What America Must Do to Give All Children an Even Chance (Oxford 2013). Reardon, professor of education and a member of Stanford’s Center for Education Policy Analysis, develops complex data sets so that he can investigate the causes, patterns, trends and consequences of social and educational inequality. In particular, he studies issues of residential and school segregation and of racial, ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in academic achievement and educational success.

One of Reardon’s recent studies showed that the achievement gap between children from high- and low-income families is roughly 30 to 40 percent larger among children born in 2001 than among those born 25 years earlier. It also revealed that the income achievement gap is now nearly twice as large as the black-white achievement gap, while 50 years ago it was the reverse: the black-white gap was one-and-a-half to two times as large as the income gap.

Read the full story on the GSE website.

From ‘Stanford’ magazine: These are a few of my favorite things

January 16th, 2014

JACK TAKAHASHI brought his parents’ LP collection to his room in the Eucalypto dorm. His roommate, JOSHUA DESON, has a shelf full of perfumes, from which he chooses a scent to fit his mood for the day. 

In Larkin, KEEP NATHANSON has a piece of memorabilia from the Wheel of Fortune game show, and CLEO CHUNG keeps a bouquet of plastic sunflowers to cheer her up.

In his dorm kitchen in Cardenal, THOMAS BLACKWOOD makes late-night comfort food on a comal, a special type of cast-iron griddle that his grandmother sent him to college with.

Ujamaa resident MUSILA MUNUVE has a Kenyan flag and a map of pre-colonial Africa to remind him of home. ADORIE HOWARD, also a resident of “Uj,” has her guitar, handmade cards, a stuffed animal and some favorite photographs.

NATALIE MARQUES keeps a collage that her mother made for her that contains the words “Good Enough,” a reminder intended to temper the freshman’s perfectionist tendencies.

The eight frosh and their favorite things are featured in an online story written by DANIA MARINSHAW on the Stanford magazine website. All photos by TAMER SHABANI

AKA Sorority completes tree-planting project

December 3rd, 2013
Volunteer Dave Cortesi from instructs AKA Sorority members Joy Scott and chapter president Megan McKoy in the planting of a tree in Escondido Village at Stanford.

Volunteer Dave Cortesi from instructs AKA Sorority members Joy Scott and chapter president Megan McKoy in the planting of a tree in Escondido Village at Stanford.

Earlier this quarter, members of the Stanford chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. completed a project that resulted in the planting of more than 40 trees in Escondido Village.

Alpha Kappa Alpha, founded in Washington, D.C., in 1908, is the oldest Greek-lettered organization established by African-American, college-educated women. 

In 2013, the national organization launched a campaign to recruit and train environmental leaders at colleges and universities across the country through a partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation and the sponsorship of Toyota.  Earlier,  Alpha Kappa Alpha worked with the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota on a series of campus tree-plantings primarily on the campuses of historically black colleges and universities.

“The partnership supports Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s programmatic theme: Global leadership through timeless service,” MEGAN MCKOY, president of the Xi Beta Chapter at Stanford, wrote in an email.

McKoy, a senior majoring in history, added that the chapter worked with Canopy, a local nonprofit dedicated to planting and protecting trees, to get Stanford’s Tree Campus Certification, a program of the Arbor Day Foundation that recognizes campuses that effectively engage students in managing and planting trees.

In addition, Alpha Kappa Alpha graduate members and more than 50 Stanford volunteers helped the 12 Xi Beta chapter members plant 44 pear flower trees and an avocado tree.