Archive for the ‘In the Spotlight’ Category

Eight to be inducted into the Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame

July 30th, 2014


The Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame will induct eight new members in October. The inductees will be NICOLE BARNHART, NOTAH BEGAY III, TOI COOK , LAURA GRANVILLE, A.J. HINCH, SKIP KENNEY, ANIKA LEERSSEN and HEATHER OLSON.

Following are a list of the inductees’ accomplishments on and off the field:

  • Barnhart ’04, women’s soccer: Barnhart won Olympic gold medals in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012. A native of Gilbertsville, Pa., she graduated from Stanford with a double degree in studio art and psychology in 2004. She currently serves as a volunteer assistant coach on the Stanford women’s soccer team,
  • Begay, ’95, men’s golf: Leading his Stanford team to the 1994 national championship as a first team All-American, Begay finished his career with a stroke average of 72.6. A three-time All-American, in 1992, ’94 and ’95, Begay’s career low score of 62 came during the 1994 NCAA championships, finishing one stroke shy of the school record, held by teammate TIGER WOODS. Currently an analyst with NBC Sports and The Golf Channel, Begay graduated from Stanford with a degree in economics.
  • Cook ’86, baseball and football: A two-sport standout at Stanford, Cook was equally impressive in football and baseball. Drafted in the eighth round of the 1987 NFL Draft on concerns that he would choose baseball over football, Cook also was drafted in baseball, going in the 38th round to Minnesota. He played 11 seasons in the NFL from 1987-97, winning Super Bowl XXIX with the San Francisco 49ers. Cook currently is president of Empire Sports, a sports, entertainment and consulting company.
  • Granville ’03, women’s tennis:  During her two years at Stanford, Granville won an NCAA-record 58 consecutive singles matches, two NCAA singles titles, one NCAA team title and two ITA Collegiate Indoor singles titles, while compiling a singles win-loss record of 93-3.  During both seasons, the Chicago native was honored as the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Player of the Year. Granville left Stanford in 2001 after her sophomore year, and as a professional she twice reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon, as well as the third round of the U.S. Open, the French Open and the Australian Open.  After nine years on the tour, Granville returned to Stanford to earn her degree in history in June 2012.  She recently completed her second year as head women’s tennis coach at Princeton University.
  • Hinch ’96, baseball: Hinch was a player who rarely makes it to college, an early round draftee out of high school. One of the greatest catchers at Stanford, Hinch never gave up his Stanford dream. He was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the second round of the 1992 Major League Baseball Draft but did not sign, opting to attend Stanford. After a junior season that saw him earn the first of two Pac-10 Player of the Year honors, Hinch was drafted again, this time by Minnesota in the third round in 1995. He opted to remain at Stanford for his senior season, earning another Pac-10 Player of the Year honor, graduating with a degree in psychology and, again, being drafted in the third round, this time by Oakland.  Just two summers after being drafted and helping Team USA to a bronze medal at the Atlanta Summer Olympics, Hinch debuted with the Athletics in 1998 and remained with the team through the 2000 season. He played for Kansas City from 2000-02, Detroit in 2003 and Philadelphia in 2004 before retiring following the 2005 season.  Currently the vice president and assistant general manager for the San Diego Padres, Hinch is a former manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks, where he skippered the team from May 2009 to July 2010.
  • Kenney, men’s swimming coach: One of the most respected coaches in the world of swimming, Kenney led the Cardinal for 33 years before his retirement in 2012. Kenney’s impact on the sport went beyond the seven NCAA titles or 31-straight conference titles, the 1,086 All-America certificates, 134 All-America athletes or 72 NCAA champions. The three-time Olympic coach also produced 23 of his own Olympians, who won a combined 18 medals from 1984 through 2008.
  • Leerssen ’00, sailing: Sailing in her hometown of Newport, R.I., in 1999, Leerssen became the first Stanford athlete to win the Janet Lutz Trophy as the individual national champion in that sport. She won 15 of 16 races to capture the ICYRA Women’s Single-handed sailing championships, becoming the first athlete to win that many races at a national event. Leerssen was not a one-race wonder, however. The senior captain helped Stanford to two team national titles (1997 and 1999) and placed sixth individually in 1998. Leerssen, who later earned a law degree from Oregon, is currently an assistant attorney general for the Oregon Department of Justice in the Natural Resources Section.
  • Olson, synchronized swimming:  As both a student-athlete and coach, Olson has played a role in five of the seven Stanford collegiate national championships, as a student-athlete in 1998 and as a coach for four straight seasons from 2005-08. In 2008, under the guidance of Olson, Stanford became the first collegiate team to capture a U.S. National title. Olson graduated from Stanford in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in English and took over the head-coaching role in 2001, coaching the team from 2001-2012.

The inductees will be honored at a private reception and dinner on Oct. 11. The class also will be introduced at halftime during Stanford’s football game against Washington State Oct. 10.

Read the full announcement on the inductees on

 — KURT SVOBODA, Stanford Athletics

Stanford law students submit recommendations to White House on updates to environmental law

July 29th, 2014

reset_button2Stanford Law School students recently filed detailed recommendations to the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality on how to update the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), the nation’s foundational environmental law. Their submittal made a strong case for requiring better coordination among the project proponents, interested federal agencies and important stakeholders so all of the key parties can identify major project flaws early and ensure that the environmental impact statements will cover the key environmental issues (and not tangential issues that divert attention from the issues that matter) and that the process covers the full range of permitting and review needs.

The students worked closely with DAVID J. HAYES, former deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior and a distinguished visiting lecturer at the Law School, in a unique policy practicum during spring quarter called The National Environmental Policy Act: Pushing the Reset Button to research the recommendations. They focused on major federal projects, for which NEPA requires the preparation of full environmental impact statements (EISs).

“The policy lab was an incredible experience and a very different experience from other Law School classes,” said REBECCA VOGEL, JD ’15. “We learned about NEPA and the related agency regulations with an eye toward how to make the process work better in practice; that purpose really shaped our approach and added extra motivation to learn. David’s experience in the field did not diminish his receptiveness to new ideas, and every student got the chance both to brainstorm reforms and to delve more deeply into the areas that intrigued us.”

In the submittal, students recommended that agencies be required to use modern information technology tools when preparing EISs, including searchable databases and geographic information system-based mapping. These types of reforms should cut down on the preparation time for EISs while producing better, more readable and relevant products.

“Students in the policy lab have made a major contribution to the current debate on how to improve implementation of one of our bedrock environmental laws,” said Hayes. “Their product will be an invaluable resource for the Council on Environmental Quality, legislators and other interested parties who are committed to improving the EIS process.”

In addition to Vogel, students involved in the practicum included JULIA FORGIE, JD ’14; ELIZABETH HOOK, JD ’15; MATTHEW MILLER, JD ’15; and LAURA SULLIVAN, JD ’15.

Read more about the practicum and view the document in its entirety at:

— ALEXANDRIA MURRAY, Stanford Law School

Stanford’s Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar on what borders tell us about the world

July 28th, 2014

When Stanford law Professor MARIANO-FLORENTINO CUÉLLAR was tapped for the California Supreme Court by GOV. JERRY BROWN, many of the news stories about his nomination mentioned that Cuéllar, who was born in Mexico, walked across the border to attend school in Brownsville,Texas. With the nation grappling with how to handle a recent influx of children crossing the U.S. border from Central America, a talk Cuéllar gave at TEDxStanford in 2013 has particular resonance.

Four Stanford scholars have won fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies

July 25th, 2014


Four Stanford scholars in music, history, art history and anthropology are among the 2014 American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) cohort of fellows.

A federation of 72 national organizations, the New York-based ACLS awards fellowships and grants annually to scholars at all career stages and from countries around the world. The council also supports conferences and publications that advance scholarship in the humanities and related social sciences.

This year, ANNA SCHULTZ, assistant professor of music, and doctoral candidates GRANT HAMMING (art and art history), KOJI HIRATA (history) and ADAM JOSEPH NAZAROFF (anthropology) join the 64 Stanford faculty members and doctoral candidates who have been ACLS fellows in the past decade.

“All of our fellowships are awarded through a rigorous peer-review process to ensure that humanities scholars select those fellows deemed to represent the very best in their fields,” said MICHAEL GOLDFEDER, director of fellowships for the ACLS.

Schultz, an ethnomusicologist who researches the music of South Asia, Indo-Caribbean music and music transmission, was selected to the central ACLS Fellowship Program, which is supported in part by contributions from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

For 12 months, Schultz will be able to focus full time on her project “Performing Translation: Indian Jewish Devotional Song and Minority Identity on the Move,” which explores how devotional music impacted the cultural dialogue between the Bene Israel (Marathi Jews) in India and other social groups during the past two centuries.

Hamming says he anticipates “a fruitful year of travel, research, writing and, most important, contemplation” while completing his dissertation, which is titled “Amerikanischer Malkasten: American Art and Düsseldorf,” during his time as one of 10 Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellows in American Art. In his dissertation, Hamming argues that the colony of American artists working in Düsseldorf, Germany, during the mid-19th century contributed to stronger cultural connections between American and European intellectual life than previously thought.

Hirata will travel to China as part of his Luce/ACLS Predissertation Summer Grant in China Studies to conduct research for his dissertation, “Steel Metropolis: Developmental State, Technology Transfer and Urban Space in Northeast China, 1906-1966.” Hirata examines how the steel industry transformed the city Anshan in the first half of the 20th century.

Nazaroff, whose research focuses on the origins of materials traded in ancient Anatolia, will be completing his dissertation, titled “Entanglement: A Study in Neolithic Resource Exploitation in the Middle East,” during his time as a Mellon-ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellow. Nazaroff examines how access to particular resources shaped the relationship between economic practices and community development in Neolithic communities in the Middle East.

—VERONICA MARIAN, The Humanities at Stanford



Late Stanford climate expert to be inducted into California Hall of Fame

July 24th, 2014

Stephen Schneider (Photo credit: Linda A. Cicero/Stanford News Service)

Renowned Stanford climate scientist, the late STEPHEN H. SCHNEIDER will be inducted into the California Hall of Fame, GOV. JERRY BROWN announced recently.

Other individuals who will be honored at a ceremony on Oct. 1 in Sacramento include basketball legend

KAREEM ABDUL JABAR, author JOAN DIDION and film director FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA, as well as civil rights hero CHARLOTTA BASS, community organizer FRED ROSS SR. and social activism innovator MIMI SILBERT. The newest class will join 81 Californians previously inducted for exemplifying California’s spirit of innovation.

At the time of his death in 2010, Schneider was a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and was the Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies at Stanford. Well known for his emphasis on science communication and a world expert on interdisciplinary climate science, he consulted with federal agencies or White House staff in every U.S. presidential administration since the Nixon era.

Schneider first alerted the public to climate change in 1972. He was a leader in the creation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and was part of the three groups of IPCC authors who shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 (equally with former Vice President AL GORE). He founded the interdisciplinary journal Climatic Change and continued to serve as its editor-in-chief until his death.

Schneider’s widow, TERRY L. ROOT, will accept a Spirit of California medal from the governor and first lady on behalf of her husband during the official ceremony in Sacramento on Oct. 1. Root is a Stanford biology professor, by courtesy, and also is a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute.

“I was so thrilled when I got the call from the governor’s office telling me that Gov. Brown had decided to induct Steve into the California Hall of Fame,” Root said. “This is truly a great honor for Steve. I just wish he were here to receive it himself.”

In announcing the awards, Gov. Brown said, “These talented pioneers represent the very best of California. Their determination, intelligence and creativity continue to inspire us.”

In addition to the ceremony, inductees will be commemorated with an exhibit of personal artifacts highlighting their lives and achievements. It will open to the public at 10 a.m. on Oct. 2 at The California Museum in Sacramento.

—  TERRY NAGEL, Stanford Woods Institute

Stanford welcomes Hollyhock teaching fellows

July 22nd, 2014

Nearly 100 teachers from high poverty, hard-to-staff high schools have been named inaugural Stanford Hollyhock teaching fellows.

The teachers, representing 39 districts in 17 states and the District of Columbia, arrived at Stanford Sunday for the beginning of their professional development program.

“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to work with this cohort of teachers who are dedicated to teaching underserved populations,” said JANET CARLSON, executive director of the Center to Support Excellence in Teaching, which runs the program.

Established this year, the Stanford Hollyhock Fellowship for Teachers supports early-career high school teachers for two years with an intensive institute on campus during two consecutive summer sessions and year-round online coaching.

Irene Kim, David Hansen and Kyle Svingen of Oakland International High School in Oakland.

Irene Kim, David Hansen and Kyle Svingen of Oakland International High School in Oakland.

The fellowship, funded through a $4.5 million gift from an anonymous donor, is free for participants, and includes accommodations and meals during the two-week summer workshops on the Stanford campus.

The 99 teachers selected this year come from public and charter schools nationwide. On average, the teachers have 3.6 years of teaching experience and 78 percent have earned master’s degrees. The schools they teach in are low-resourced and more than 80 percent of the students they teach qualify for free or reduced lunch rates.

Research shows that nearly half of all teachers leave the classroom within five years, and in high poverty schools, the turnover rate is even higher.

Kristin Richardson and Frances Pasternik of Capitol Hill High School in Oklahoma

Kristin Richardson and Frances Pasternik of Capitol Hill High School in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

“Every year, thousands of early career teachers leave the classroom just as they are on the edge of developing more skilled practice and increasing their impact on student learning,” said PAM GROSSMAN, the faculty director of CSET. “If we are to improve outcomes for students, we must try harder to keep talented teachers in the classroom long enough to make a difference for their students. By treating teaching as a revolving door occupation, we shortchange both our students and our schools. This program is designed to stop the revolving door.”

The fellows, who will be on campus until Aug. 1, are broken into four subgroups: science, math, English and history. Each fellow applied to the program with at least one colleague from his or her own school to ensure school support and commitment.

Mayra Chavolla and Vivian Delgado of Latino College Preparatory Academy in San Jose, California

Mayra Chavolla and Vivian Delgado of Latino College Preparatory Academy in San Jose, California

Stanford instructors from the GSE and departments university-wide will teach in the content areas. They include: Carlson, Grossman, HILDA BORKO, BRAD FOGO and BRYAN BROWN of the GSE; NOAH DIFFENBAUGH of the School of Earth Sciences; CHRIS CHIDSEY of chemistry; DEBORAH GORDON of biology; and HELEN QUINN, emeritus professor of physics.

The fellows will also hear presentations from Stanford PRESIDENT JOHN HENNESSY on why teaching matters; Stanford’s dean of admissions, RICHARD SHAW, on how to better work with students applying to college; and others.

The fellows’ time on campus will be complemented with a day-visit to San Francisco where they will visit the Exploratorium, the de Young Museum, Alcatraz Island and other points of interest.

To read more about the fellows and their projects, visit the CSET website.

—  BROOKE DONALD, Stanford Graduate School of Education

Chiney and Nneka Ogwumike make history as first sisters to participate in WNBA All-Star Game

July 18th, 2014


Former Stanford stars CHINEY and NNEKA OGWUMIKE became the first pair of sisters ever selected to participate in the WNBA All-Star Game, which takes place Saturday, July 19, in Phoenix. Chiney, ’14, will be a reserve for the East, while Nneka, ’12, will come off the bench for the West.

The sisters continue to make history after becoming only the second set of siblings selected No. 1 overall in an American professional sports draft. Nneka was taken with the top pick in the 2012 draft by the Los Angeles Sparks, before Chiney went No. 1 to the Connecticut Sun earlier this year. Chiney’s all-star selection in her rookie season comes during Nneka’s second all-star-worthy season and third year in the league overall.

Nneka is averaging 14.8 points per game, a career high, and grabbing 7.5 rebounds per game for the Sparks to rank 13th in the league in both categories. She has started all 20 games so far in 2014 and 87 of 88 during her three years in Los Angeles.

Chiney ranks in the top 10 in scoring (8th, 15.4 points per game), rebounding (7th, 8.4 per game) and blocks (6th, 1.2 per game) in the WNBA. She leads the league in offensive rebounds with 86 on her way to nine double-doubles, good for second-best in the league. She has scored in double figures in all but one game this season, including a 25-point, 10-rebound outburst at Minnesota in her second career game.

Reserves were chosen by the WNBA’s 12 head coaches. Coaches were not permitted to vote for players on their own team. They selected reserves by voting for six players within their own conference, including two guards, three frontcourt players and one player regardless of position.

Saturday’s WNBA All-Star Game at US Airways Center in Phoenix will be nationally televised on ESPN, with tip-off at 12:30 p.m. PT.

Read more on the Athletics website.


Our war on food: Stanford lecturer Maya Adam offers a prescription for making peace

July 17th, 2014

MAYA ADAM is a medical doctor who has taught at Stanford since 2009. Her courses on child health and nutrition are offered through the Program in Human Biology. At TEDxStanford in May, she talked about our unhealthy relationship with food.

Cardinal football players grab attention

July 16th, 2014


Stanford players continue to be named to watch lists for a host of annual football awards including senior TY MONTGOMERY, above, who on Tuesday was selected to the list for the Bilentnikoff Award, which recognizes the outstanding receiver in college football. Montgomery has previously been named to watch lists for the Maxwell Award (player of the year) and the Hornung Award (most versatile).

As of Tuesday, 10 Cardinal football players have been named to preseason watch lists for various awards, several for more than one honor. They are:

Maxwell Award (Player of the year)
Kevin Hogan
Ty Montgomery

Bednarik Award (Defensive player of the year)
Henry Anderson
Alex Carter
Jordan Richards
A.J. Tarpley

Hornung Award (Most versatile)
Ty Montgomery 

Rimington Award (Most outstanding center)
Graham Shuler

Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award (Most outstanding place kicker)
Jordan Williamson

Bronko Nagurski Award (Outstanding defensive player)
Henry Anderson
Alex Carter
Jordan Richards
A.J. Tarpley

John Outland Trophy (Outstanding interior lineman)
Henry Anderson
Andrus Peat

Jim Thorpe Award (Best defensive back)
Jordan Richards

Rotary Lombardi Award (Lineman of the year)
Henry Anderson
Andrus Peat
A.J. Tarpley

Butkus Award (Outstanding linebacker)
A.J. Tarpley
James Vaughters

Biletnikoff Award (Outstanding receiver)
Ty Montgomery

Read more about the honors on

Man on a mission: Working to help veterans who have lost limbs

July 14th, 2014


DAN BERSCHINSKI lost both of his legs in 2009 when he stepped on an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Afghanistan. His immediate thought, the West Point graduate told CBS news, was that his life was over, but soon came to realize that a whole new chapter had begun.

“Look, I was an officer,” he told JACQUELINE GENOVESE, assistant director of the Arts, Humanities, and Medicine Program in the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, who interviewed Berschinski for the School of Medicine’s SCOPE blog.

“I couldn’t sit there feeling sorry for myself. My soldiers were still in Afghanistan, still getting killed. And the hospital was full of guys with injuries as bad or worse than mine.”

In January, Dan Berschinski (MBA ’15) introduced Gen. Stanley McChrystal, former leader of the Joint Special Operations Command who also led all U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, when the retired military leader visited the Graduate School of Business.

In January, Dan Berschinski (MBA ’15) introduced Gen. Stanley McChrystal, former leader of the Joint Special Operations Command who also led all U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, when the retired military leader visited the Graduate School of Business.

Now an MBA student at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, he is learning how to develop a company he started, Two-Six Industries, which distributes manufactured products to military bases, into a thriving enterprise that employs other veteran amputees.

Genovese writes that the fact that Berschinski is able to walk on his prosthetic legs is a stunning achievement.

“Let’s just say that nobody with my injury has ever walked out of Walter Reed,” the Army veteran told her.

“Berschinski’s right prosthetic leg attaches to his hip – there was nothing left of his leg to salvage. On his left side, he must force the portion of his thigh that is left into a sleeve…Berschinski is quick to point out that he feels lucky. Pointing to his left hand, which is missing a finger and is marked by a large portion of a skin graft.

“The use of IEDs and the length of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan mean that there are veteran amputees in numbers not seen since the Civil War. But in a society where only less than 1 percent of the population participated in those wars, these veterans are somewhat invisible. Berschinski is out to change that by raising the visibility of veterans who have lost limbs. In addition, he wants to shine light on civilian amputees, particularly children, who often cannot afford prosthetics. He serves on the board of the Amputee Coalition, using what he describes as this ‘new change in my life’ to help others who he believes aren’t as fortunate as he,” Genovese continues.

“I have the advantage of being cared for by the government. I have access to cutting edge prosthetic limbs and care. Most people don’t have that,” Berschinski said.

Read the full post on the SCOPE blog.