Archive for the ‘Seen on Campus’ Category

Doctoral candidates in the Stanford Graduate School of Education win national dissertation fellowships

June 2nd, 2014

Two dooctoral students at Stanford Graduate School of Education – ERIC TAYLOR and ILANA UMANSKY  –  have been awarded National Academy of Education/Spencer Dissertation Fellowships for 2014-2015.

About 600 students applied for the highly competitive dissertation grants, which went this year to 31 candidates, according to the NAEd, which administers the awards in partnership with the Spencer Foundation. The program “aims to identify the most talented researchers conducting dissertation research related to education,” the group says. The fellowships provide $25,000 in support for such work on the history, theory or practice of formal or informal education.

Eric Taylor

Eric Taylor

Taylor and Umansky are in the interdisciplinary education research program offered through Stanford’s Center for Education Policy Analysis.

Taylor studies the economics of education, and conducts research on personnel in the education sector. Working with co-authors, he had two papers recently in the American Economic Review:The effect of evaluation on teacher performance” and “Information and employee evaluation: Evidence from a randomized intervention in public schools.” Prior to Stanford, he worked at Harvard University’s Center for Education Policy Research, and at the Los Angeles Education Partnership. He received a masters in public policy from from UCLA.


Ilana Umansky

Ilana Umansky

Umansky’s research combines policy analysis, sociological theory and quantitative methods to shed light on the educational opportunities, experiences and outcomes of immigrant and English learner (EL) students. She has examined such subjects as course access, language of instruction, reclassification, and the impact of the EL label. She works in close partnership with school districts, grounding her research in questions and responses that support greater educational equity and excellence for immigrant and EL-classified students. She recently co-authored a paper with GSE professor Sean Reardon: “Reclassification patterns among Latino English Learner students in bilingual, dual immersion and English immersion classrooms.”

Umansky has worked with the World Bank, the Organization of American States, Research Triangle Institute, and Sesame Workshop and has conducted educational equity and quality research in Nicaragua, Mexico, Colombia, El Salvador and other countries in Latin America. She has a master’s degree from Harvard Graduate School of Education and a master’s in sociology from Stanford.

Umansky’s grant proposal is titled “Peeling back the label: Studies of educational opportunity among students learning English.”

To learn more about the winners’ dissertation projects, visit the full story on the Graduate School of Education’s website.


Stanford students host a Day of Solidarity with UC Santa Barbara

May 29th, 2014

Stanford students on Thursday, showed their support for the UC Santa Barbara community with wrist ribbons signifying solidarity, signs on White Plaza and a planned evening vigil. The events were in response to the tragedy Friday, May 23, that left six UCSB students dead and several seriously wounded. The events were sponsored by the Associated Students of Stanford University, the Inter-Sorority Council and the Inter-Fraternity Council.


Laurette Beeson wins Fidler Award for contributions to Stanford Student Affairs

May 28th, 2014
Laurette Beeson Photo Laurette Beeson (Photo: Joy Leighton/Student Affairs)

Laurette Beeson won the 2014 Margaret Ann Fidler Award.  Photo Laurette Beeson (Photo: Joy Leighton/Student Affairs)

The nameplate had just been sealed onto her plaque for the Amy J. Blue Award when LAURETTE BEESON learned that she had received another honor last week.

On Tuesday, May 20, Beeson, an assistant dean for graduate life, was awarded the Margaret Ann Fidler Award for Distinguished Service in Student Affairs. The highest honor given in the Division of Student Affairs, the Fidler award honors a staff member who demonstrates an extraordinary dedication to the division and the mission of the university.

Established in 2000 in honor of MARGARET ANN FIDLER, a former associate vice provost for student affairs, the award recognizes individuals who demonstrate extraordinary integrity and a commitment to teamwork.

Each year, the award is a well-guarded secret until it is announced at a May meeting.

Beeson was very surprised when her name was announced by Fidler, who was on hand to personally give the award. KEN HSU, assistant vice provost for student affairs, was sitting at the table with Beeson and said he could not look at her for fear that she would realize she was this year’s honoree.

The awards committee selected Beeson for nearly 25 years of dedicated service in Student Affairs, “continually demonstrating her commitment, collaboration, patience, flexibility, compassion, respect and results,” the citation read.

“These are the tenets of what Laurette continues to demonstrate as she performs her duties and contributes to her many campus engagements with graduate students, undergraduate students, faculty, staff, parents and others. That there is nothing she will not offer to assist with, no task that is too complicated or difficult for her to tackle, and no topic that she will shy away from for the benefit of the Stanford community, was also one of the main factors in her selection for this award,” the citation continued.



Graduating senior Kaela Farrise receives Stanford Alumni Association’s Outstanding Achievement Award

May 28th, 2014

dish_kaelaKAELA FARRISE, ‘14 has received the Stanford Alumni Association’s Outstanding Achievement Award for making a significant impact on the campus community.

HOWARD WOLF, vice president for alumni affairs and president of the Stanford Alumni Association, announced the award at a private reception on Friday, May 23.

Farrise has been actively engaged in the Stanford community from the moment she arrived on campus. She has served as a member of the executive cabinet of Associated Students; a leader in the Black Student Union;  chair of the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education Student Advisory Board and is currently a member of the Senior Gift Committee. One of her nominators described her as “a distinctly talented and motivated young scholar. She is also an activist who combines an unwavering commitment to social justice with exemplary leadership abilities. She is a mature, caring young lady who is organized, dependable, easy to get along with and is committed to being a leader among today’s students.”

The Outstanding Achievement Award was created in 2011 to honor up to three members of the graduating class who have made a significant or unique impact on the Stanford community.

The Stanford Alumni Association also announced the winners of the Class of 2014 Award of Excellence, which recognizes graduating seniors whose undergraduate activities demonstrate the strong potential for continued service to the university and the alumni community. Nominations were submitted by faculty and staff from across campus. This year 150 members of the Class of ’14 received the award and were honored at a reception at the Alumni Association on May 15. Their names will also be listed in the program for the Class Day Lecture, which is hosted by the Alumni Association and takes place during Commencement Weekend.

— BY CARA HANELIN, Stanford Alumni Association

More than 2,034 Stanford bicyclists participate in Bike to Work Day

May 19th, 2014
Bike to Work Day at Stanford, May 8, 2014

Bike to Work Day at Stanford, May 8, 2014 (Photo courtesy of Parking & Transportation Services)

During the Bay Area’s 20th annual Bike to Work Day on May 8, Stanford’s bicycle program recorded 2,034 bicycle commuters and 133 walkers coming onto campus. Bicyclists logged a total of 8,783 miles and averaged nearly 11 miles per trip. By biking instead of driving, these commuters eliminated an estimated 7,958* pounds of CO2 emissions that day.

Riders and walkers stopped at one of a dozen Stanford Energizer Stations, which were co-hosted by the university, Stanford Hospital, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.  To date, more than 420 Stanford bicyclists have pledged to wear their helmets for every ride and follow the rules of the road.

Stanford affiliates who take Stanford’s bike safety pledge during May, National Bike Month, will be entered into a drawing to win a free Breezer Downtown EX bicycle. The deadline to pledge is May 31. Parking & Transportation Services will conduct prize drawings for Bike to Work Day and the bike safety pledge on June 9.

* The per-mile emissions factor used for automobiles is 0.411 kg CO2/mile (or 0.906 lb. CO2/mile). This is based upon an average passenger vehicle fuel economy of 21.4 mpg (2011) figure from U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics).


Stanford graduating seniors Hunter Kodama, Chiney Ogwumike, win Alumni Association’s Sterling Award

May 16th, 2014
Howard Wolf, director of the Stanford Alumni Association with Hunter Kodama, '14, a 2014 Sterling Award winner.

Howard Wolf, president of the Stanford Alumni Association, with Hunter Kodama, ’14, a 2014 Sterling Award winner. He shared the award with Chiney Ogwumike ’14.

Graduating seniors HUNTER KODAMA and CHINEY OGWUIMKE have received the Stanford Alumni Association’s 2014 J.E. Wallace Sterling Award for outstanding service to Stanford.
HOWARD WOLF, president of the Alumni Association and vice president for alumni affairs, presented the awards at the SAA Board Meeting on Thursday, May 15.
Kodama, who will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in public policy, has been actively involved in campus life. He was a Junior Class President, a Freshman Transition Coordinator, a four-year member of the Dance Marathon planning team, the 2014 Associated Students elections commissioner and is currently a Senior Gift co-chair.
“He’s both an individualist and entrepreneurial. He is the definition of what it is to be a student leader at Stanford,” one of his nominators wrote. Other references commented on his warmth and humility, compassion, work ethic, genuine nature and enthusiasm for Stanford.
The Sterling Award cites Hunter“…For the deep level of respect and trust afforded him by his classmates, due not only to the countless ways he has served them and his university, but also to the gracious sincerity and generous spirit he brought to this work.
Ogwumike, who will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in international relations, has been a stand-out student-athlete. She was a member of the varsity women’s basketball team for four years and received numerous honors on the conference and national levels. She was a captain of the team for two years, a member and committee co-chair of the Cardinal Council and was  an active participant in community volunteer engagements. She was the driving force behind Nerd Nation.
One of her nominators described some of the ways in which Chiney is a stand-out leader: “Chiney has a magnetic personality that makes people want to be around her.  Not only does she have high standards for herself, but also she helps make others around her better.  She is selfless, encouraging, motivating, inspiring and most of all, a person with unquestioned integrity.”
The Sterling Award cites Chiney for being an “incredible role model to young girls,” and “for teaching us all that life is about playing hard, working hard….And for saying with unmitigated love and pride ‘I am Stanford!’ while everyone everywhere agrees unanimously, ‘Yes, you are Stanford.’”
Ogwumike was unable to attend the May 15 dinner becasue she is busy training with the Connecticut Sun, the WNBA team that selected her as the Number One draft pick in April.
The Alumni Association presents the Sterling Award annually to a graduating senior whose undergraduate activities have made an impact on campus and who demonstrates the strong potential for continued service to the university and the alumni community. This is the first time since 1999 that the award has been presented to two seniors.
The award is named for the late J.E. Wallace Sterling, who served as Stanford’s president from 1949 to 1968.

 — BY CARA HANELIN, Stanford Alumni Association

Stanford alumnus Michael Tubbs the subject of ‘True Son’ documentary; screening and discussion Sunday

May 14th, 2014

44345On Sunday, May 18, at 3:30 p.m. in CEMEX Auditorium on Stanford’s campus, there will be a screening of True Son, a documenatary that chronicles MICHAEL TUBBS‘s, campaign to win a seat on the Stockton, Calif. City Council.

Tubbs, ’12, MA ’12, ran for office while completing his bachelor’s degree in comparative studies in race and ethnicity and a master’s in the Graduate School of Education. He won the election in 2012, becoming the youngest person to gain a seat on that troubled city’s council.

True Son follows Tubbs’ campaign, which took place during a year of record homicides and impending bankruptcy. The film premiered at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival.

In addition to the screening, Sunday’s event will include a panel moderated by Stanford President JOHN HENNESSY. The documentary’s filmmakers  – all Stanford grads – will participate in the discussion along with Tubbs himself. Tickets for the event are free, but registration requested. More details are available here:

Three Stanford alums are national finalists for 2014 Student Academy Awards for their thesis films

May 13th, 2014

Three of the 35 films selected as national finalists in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 41st Student Academy Awards competition are from Stanford students in the MFA in Documentary Film and Video class of 2013.

LESLIE TAI is a finalist in the alternative category for The Private Life of Fenfen, a documentary film experiment in which a feisty young Chinese migrant worker’s tragic love story is broadcast to migrant workers across China. In the documentary category, finalists are HELEN HOOD SCHEER for The Apothecary, about the sole pharmacist in a 4,000 square mile region in the American Southwest and the profound divide between his public and private life, and J. CHRISTIAN JENSEN for White Earth, a winter portrait of North Dakota’s oil boom seen through unexpected eyes.

“These three 2013 thesis films are contributing to a proud tradition,” said JAN KRAWITZ, professor and director of the MFA program in documentary film and video. “The Stanford graduate program has garnered more Student Academy Awards in the documentary category than any other school. In 2011, two MFA thesis films were awarded a bronze and a silver medal. We hope that the documentaries produced by Christian, Helen, and Leslie will achieve the same degree of recognition.”

It was gratifying for Jensen to see his name listed among all the nominees, but he said that moment was made even sweeter when he saw the names of his two good friends Leslie and Helen listed as well. “The MFA documentary program only graduates seven to eight students a year so we become very close. These nominations are definitely a testament to the quality of Stanford’s program that really puts you and your films through the refiner’s fire over the course of two unforgettable years.”

Scheer said, “It’s an honor to be selected as a national finalist, regardless of whether we win or not. It will likely help us get into more film festivals, share our work with broader audiences, and stand out a bit more on the job market. I came to Stanford’s documentary program hoping to gain more fluency in dealing with complex storytelling and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to do so.”

Per the Academy’s press release, the Student Academy Awards were established in 1972 to support and encourage excellence in filmmaking at the collegiate level. Past Student Academy Award® winners have gone on to receive 46 Oscar® nominations and have won or shared eight awards. They include JOHN LASSETER, PETE DOCTER, ROBERT ZEMECKIS, TREY PARKER and SPIKE LEE.

Academy members will now vote to determine up to three winning films in each category. The winners, but not their medal placements, will be announced later this month. The winning students will be brought to Los Angeles for a week of industry activities and social events that will culminate in the awards ceremony on Saturday, June 7, in Hollywood, at which time the gold, silver and bronze medalists will be revealed.

White Earth — [Trailer] from J. Christian Jensen on Vimeo.

The Private Life of Fenfen (Trailer) from Leslie Tai on Vimeo.


Stanford community comes out for Cardinal Walk 2014

May 10th, 2014

Members of the Stanford community brought their walking shoes and good cheer to the eighth annual Cardinal Walk. Walkers gathered at Stanford Stadium before embarking on the 1.5-mile trek around campus. The event, which took place Friday, May 9, was sponsored by BeWell at Stanford. University Photographer LINDA A. CICERO captured the spirit in pictures.

George W. Bush shares presidential insights with Stanford students

May 6th, 2014
Former President George W. Bush (Photo by Rod Searcey)

Former President George W. Bush at Stanford May 5. (Photo by Rod Searcey)

On Monday, May 5, former President GEORGE W. BUSH met with Stanford students for an hour-long conversation that touched on many of the defining moments and policies of his presidency.

In a relaxed and sometimes self-deprecating exchange, Bush talked about the limits of congressional power and his relationships and personal diplomacy with other world leaders. His tone was more serious when discussing what he described as universal desires for freedom, his military strategies following 9/11, and his commitment to addressing Africa’s HIV/AIDS pandemic.

MARIANO-FLORENTINO CUÉLLAR, director of the university’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI), moderated the session. Stanford President JOHN HENNESSY and CONDOLEEZZA RICE – Bush’s secretary of state and national security adviser who has returned to teaching political science and business at Stanford – joined the conversation.

“FSI has a terrific track record of convening leaders at Stanford, from the head of the International Monetary Fund to prime ministers and presidents,” Cuéllar said. “On this occasion, we wanted our students to have an opportunity for a candid conversation with one of the key policymakers of the early 21st century, and we think such experiences will further prepare them for leadership in a complex world.”

About 30 students were invited to the session at Encina Hall, but they didn’t know they were meeting Bush until the 43rd president walked into the room. The substance of the questions and Bush’s remarks were off the record.

“I suspect he misses this sort of engagement,” said GREGORY SCHWEIZER, a second-year law student who was part of the discussion that also covered immigration reform, national education policies and the Edward Snowden affair.

“The media always portrays him as being disengaged from current affairs,” Schweizer said. “But I’m impressed with how interested and engaged he still is.”

Along with representatives from Stanford Law School, other students were invited from the Ford Dorsey Program in International Policy Studies. Honors students from FSI’s Center for International Security and Cooperation and the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law also joined the conversation.

Bush’s visit was arranged with the help of BRAD FREEMAN, a former university trustee, and RONALD SPOGLI, who is currently on Stanford’s Board of Trustees. Freeman and Spogli are longtime friends of the former president and philanthropists who donated a naming gift to FSI in 2005. Bush appointed Spogli as ambassador to Italy in 2005 and as ambassador to San Marino a year later.

Stanford has a tradition of hosting current and former heads of state, including German Chancellor ANGELA MERKEL and former Russian President DMITRY MEDVEDEV – both of whom visited in 2010.

— BY ADAM GORLICK, communications manager for Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. The original story is published on the FSI website.