Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Andrea Lewis, 2008 Knight Fellow, radio personality, dies

November 20th, 2009

Andrea Lewis

Andrea Lewis

ANDREA LEWIS, a long-time broadcast and print journalist best known for her co-anchor roles on KPFA radio, died Nov. 15 of an apparent heart attack. She was 52. Lewis spent the 2007-08 academic year on Stanford’s campus as a Knight Journalism Fellow. “In my mind she was just a real sweetheart, a good person whom I liked enormously and one whom I’m going to miss enormously,” JIM BETTINGER, director of the Knight program, said in a KPFA obituary.  While at Stanford, Lewis studied the role of alternative journalism in contemporary American culture and democracy, Bettinger added. “She took intensive Spanish classes, fiction and non-fiction writing workshops, as well as classes in virtual reality and sound art. She also made strong connections at the Stanford Women’s Community Center, which was in keeping with her deep commitment to gender issues.”

A memorial service is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 24, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the First Unitarian Church of Oakland, 685 14th St., Oakland, CA 94612.

Photo: John S. Knight Fellowships

GSB alum shares Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics

October 12th, 2009

OLIVER E. WILLIAMSON, Stanford MBA 1960, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences today. Williamson, a professor emeritus of business, economics and law at U.C. Berkeley, was cited  “for his analysis of economic governance, especially the boundaries of the firm.”  He shares the prize with Elinor Ostrom of Indiana University.

Cardinal is the new green

September 29th, 2009

Washington football Coach Steve Sarkisian must have been feeling green with envy after his Huskies lost to the Cardinal 34-14 last Saturday. Sarkisian had said on his radio program last week that he was turning off the practice music to get his team used to “a somewhat more quiet atmosphere” at Stanford Stadium. Didn’t help much. Stanford fans were cheering from the get-go, after sophomore CHRIS OWUSU returned the opening kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown. Owusu was named Pac-10 Special Teams Player of the Week.

According to ARIADNE SCOTT, the university’s bicycle program coordinator, the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, which provides free bike valet parking for the Stanford home games, had much to cheer about after the game as well. They parked 1,002 bikes last weekend and 974 bikes the weekend before. Scott called these “record numbers to date for the most bikes parked for one game.”

seedfutureBeWell@Stanford and Athletics also have gotten into the green act by printing “Seed the Future” cards, which they are handing out at BeWell events, such as this Saturday’s football game against UCLA. The holder of the card can “redeem” it online for a tree that will be planted in a global reforestation project of the holder’s choice. The card, printed on seeded paper, also can be planted. Instructions are included.

And if the notion of hundreds of multitasking, distracted and preoccupied students whizzing by on bicycles BikeFrogmakes you turn another shade of green, there is some comforting news, Scott reports:

  • An estimated 90 percent of new freshmen registered their bikes during New Student Orientation, which means that these frosh are equipped with a front headlight, handed to them free upon registration.
  • At the Medical School’s orientation,  first- and second-year students who took an anonymous poll indicated that their entire class wear helmets while riding a bike. Scott called them “great role models and helmet heroes.”  We need all the help we can get since only an estimated 10 percent of undergraduates wear helmets.
  • Scott’s office joined the Department of Public Safety in hosting a bike safety show Sept. 18 at Bechtel International Center, to a standing-room-only crowd of 75 new international students who learned all the rules of the road, including the top three citations issued by Public Safetyredhelmet to bicyclists: not stopping at stop signs, not having a headlight at night, and wearing earbuds in both ears. A show of hands at that event indicated that all international students wear helmets or planned to buy one.
  • Free bike safety classes continue this quarter. There is one today (Wednesday, Sept. 30) from 4 to 5 p.m. at 340 Bonair Siding, Conference Room L. This class is an interactive presentation with video clips on how to ride on campus and follow all the rules required by law, how to maintain a safe bike, and how to properly lock a bike to avoid theft. Attendees also can receive a coupon from Public Safety to purchase a $40 retail-priced helmet for only $10 by attending the class. More information is available at the Public Safety’s bicycle programs website. Bike Safety Stations are set up every Friday at White Plaza from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. offering bike registration on site ($3.50, valid for up to 3 years), free bike safety information and free bike safety check-ups.

- Elaine Ray

What’s in a name?

September 28th, 2009

“Name a well-known university. Move the last letter three places earlier in the name. The result will be a phrase meaning ‘represent.’ What’s the university and what’s the phrase?”

“Stanford” and “Stand for.”

Joe Gregory of Windsor, Colo., said it didn’t take him long to come up with the answers to the Sept. 20 Sunday Puzzle challenge on National Public Radio. After all, he told puzzlemaster Will Shortz and host Liane Hansen on this Sunday’s program, he was a Pac-10 graduate himself – not Stanford, but UCLA Medical School.

- Elaine Ray

What they did during summer vacation

September 23rd, 2009
Chrysanthe Tan ('09), left, and Alexis Ortega ('09) show off their Equality rings at Commencement.

Chrysanthe Tan ('09), left, and Alexis Ortega ('09) show off their Equality rings at Commencement. (Photograph by Urvi Nagrani)

In a new twist on “How I spent my summer vacation,” here’s what some Stanford students didn’t do: tie the knot. In response to the passage last November of Proposition 8, a group of undergrads launched the National Marriage Boycott (NMB) and have vowed to swear off marriage until the federal government repeals the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Their slogan: “We won’t, until we all can.” Members of the movement encourage allies, including straight married couples, to wear “Equality” rings on their left ring finger. In an interview with the Huffington Post in June, ALEXIS ORTEGA, ’09, one of the boycott’s directors, cited findings that show that “gay (and questioning) youth are four times more likely to commit suicide than the national average. The repeal of DOMA is one step of many in moving toward social change, and it can’t wait. We hope that by creating a visible, nationwide movement committed to marriage equality, not only will our voices be heard, but also, we hope that our strong, visible support will produce an environment where these kids feel safer and more supported.” NMB members began recruiting branches at schools across the country last spring, and according to junior SARAH MASIMORE, the group’s chief operating officer, there now are about 20 campus branches including Columbia, Dartmouth, University of Alabama, UCLA, University of Miami and several high schools across the country, including Gunn High School in Palo Alto.

On Sept. 15, the boycott garnered a $10,000 grant from ideablob, a social entrepreneurship website that connects grassroots organizations with those willing to contribute seed money. The proposal was submitted by sophomore KENZIE SEAL, the NMB’s chief financial officer, who said the boycott sold about 80 rings per month on Stanford’s campus last year, and has sold about 70 rings per month on their website. “I hope to get similar numbers from our other branches,” Seal said.

- Elaine Ray

Stanford joins forces with its peers

September 12th, 2009

“There’s something very authentic about universities working together to share knowledge,” says LISA LAPIN, assistant vice president for communications at Stanford, and a founder of Futurity, an online channel covering the latest scientific research taking place at 35 American and Canadian universities. Lapin calls the site an ad-free, agenda-free approach to reporting discoveries in science, engineering, the environment and health. “Futurity is a direct link to the research pipeline. If you want a glimpse at where research is today and where it’s headed tomorrow, Futurity offers that in a very accessible way,” Lapin says.

In a statement issued Sept. 4, President JOHN HENNESSY and the leaders of seven other universities called on policy makers to step up their support for universities to promote global health. They issued a statement in advance of the first annual meeting of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) in Bethesda, Md., which took place Monday and Tuesday. In addition to Hennessy, the statement was signed by the presidents of Boston University, Duke, Emory, Johns Hopkins, the University of California and the University of Washington, as well as the principal of McGill University. The inaugural CUGH annual meeting was titled “Future of global health: Funding, development, research, education.”


Memories of the Farm: Valerie Jarrett; other teachable moments

September 9th, 2009
Valerie Jarrett as an undergraduate student with her dormmates from Olivo-Magnolia, now known as Ujamaa.
A Stanford Quad photograph of First-Friend-to-be Valerie Jarrett as an undergraduate student with her dormmates from Olivo-Magnolia, now known as Ujamaa.

Gracing the cover of the September/October issue of Stanford magazine is alum VALERIE JARRETT. In a profile written by alum ROY JOHNSON, Jarrett, White House adviser and assistant to the president for intergovernmental relations and public liaison, aka “First Friend,” calls her undergraduate experience on the Farm “the best years of my life . . . except for the four coming up.” There’s a great Stanford Quad photo of Jarrett and her dormmates from Olivo-Magnolia, the African American theme dorm now known as Ujamaa. And speaking of fabulous photos: Photographer ROD SEARCEY, Class of  ’84, walks readers through a portrait gallery of some of the most memorable teachers and administrators from his undergraduate years. Titled “Teachable Moments,” the photo essay features President Emeritus DONALD KENNEDY, history Professor ESTELLE FREEDMAN, psychology Professor EWART THOMAS and former dean of admission FRED HARGADON, among others . . .

- Elaine Ray

Building 170′s Green Team

September 7th, 2009

The Building 170 Green Team pilot project to increase building sustainability through individual effort has officially ended, but the savings continue, according to TOM FENNER, the deputy general counsel affectionately referred to as Capt. Compost. Fenner recently reported that daily electricity use in Building 170 is down approximately 20 percent since the project began in the spring.  Power-saving settings on computers, smart power strips, timers, education, and the decommissioning of unnecessary equipment and excess lighting all contributed to the savings. According to FAHMIDA AHMED, manager of sustainability programs, this inaugural pilot is serving as a foundation for the design of the Department or Building Level Sustainability Program. In addition to the General Counsel’s office, Building 170 houses the Vice President for Public Affairs and the Provost’s Budget and Faculty Affairs offices.

Multitasking experts juggle multitude of media calls

August 31st, 2009

The authors of a study released last week on media multitasking did quite a bit of media juggling of their own. Communication Professor CLIFFORD NASS and his colleagues, lead author EYAL OPHIR, a researcher in Stanford’s Communication Between Humans and Interactive Media Lab, and ANTHONY WAGNER, associate professor of psychology, found that those of us who try to manage tasks on multiple electronic devices at the same time are not effective at any of them. But perhaps that does not apply to media coverage. Nass “appeared” by live feed from the Stanford Video studio on several outlets including KQED Radio, NPR, BBC Radio (twice) and NBC television. Ophir did a live feed from the studio to WBUR in Boston. And that does not include all the attention the study received from newspapers and magazines including the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, Reuters, U.S. News and World Report, USA Today and the Times of London. According to IAN HSU, Stanford’s director of Internet media outreach, the Stanford News Service story and accompanying video by ADAM GORLICK, a social sciences writer, and JACK HUBBARD, associate director for broadcast, was viewed tens of thousands of times, mostly via social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.

Alum primed to be Japan’s next premier . . .

August 31st, 2009
Alums Yukio Hatoyama, presumptive prime minister of Japan, and John Roos, U.S. ambassador to Japan, share a Cardinal moment.

Alums Yukio Hatoyama, presumptive prime minister of Japan, and John Roos, U.S. ambassador to Japan, share a Cardinal moment. (Phtotograph by Junko Kimura/Getty Images)

Redesigning Japan’s government and economy probably wasn’t what YUKIO HATOYAMA had in mind when he studied engineering at Stanford. But more than three decades after leaving the Farm, a promise to shrink his country’s bureaucracy and shore up its economy helped Hatoyama lead his Democratic Party to a landslide victory in Sunday’s election, and secure for him the role as Japan’s presumptive next prime minister. Hatoyama earned a master’s in electrical engineering in 1972 and a master’s in operations research a year later. In 1976, he received a doctorate in operations research. On Thursday, Hatoyama met with another alum, JOHN ROOS, U.S. ambassador to Japan, in Tokyo.

JEFF GILBERT, the lead principal at Hillsdale High School in San Mateo, Calif., had his mettle tested when he and two other staff members averted disaster by tackling a former student who showed up at school with 10 pipe bombs, a chain saw and a sword. Two of the bombs went off in an empty hallway before a teacher wrestled him to the floor. Gilbert and a counselor helped restrain the 17-year-old until police arrived. No one was injured. Gilbert, who earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Stanford in 1989 and a master’s from the Stanford Teacher Education Program in 1990, was hailed as a hero by JON WEISMAN, a Los Angeles Times blogger and former freshman dorm mate. Hillsdale High School is one of STEP’s partner schools.

On a lighter note: Alums DRUE KATAOKA and SVETLOZAR KAZANJIEV tied the knot at MemChu Saturday, following a flurry of feature stories about their gift wish list, dubbed “The World’s First Startup Wedding Registry.” Their venture, the non-nuptial one, is called Aboomba, which is described by the New York Times as “a consumer Web company that is still in stealth mode.” A visit to the Aboomba website last week gave no clues, but directed you straight to the registry. “You know that whole department store imposed wedding registry ritual thing? We thought, like, why not rebel against it,” Kataoka, best known for her Japanese brush paintings, said in a video on the registry site. The couple, who met at Stanford, asked for such gifts as $134 for an upgrade from a first-aid kit to a week’s worth of real health insurance and $385 to feed a lawyer for an hour. Gifts under $100 included Red Bull on tap for a week ($52.41) and pizza for a week ($62.93 for Domino’s and $97.93 for Round Table). At the end of the gift list was a photo of an RSVP card. “Your attendance on August 29th: Priceless!”