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Building communities centered on care and learning

Alex Bradfield, who grew up in Louisville, Colorado, will graduate in June with a bachelor’s degree in bioengineering and a minor in education. After working at Stanford Sierra Camp this summer, he plans to pursue a career in STEM, and later, become a high school teacher.

(Image credit: Andrew Brodhead)

Alex Bradfield loves helping frosh navigate life at Stanford as a resident assistant – finding the laundry room, figuring out which classes to take, struggling through those first awkward, hopeful moments of new friendships.

“The amazing thing about being an RA at Stanford is that you’re not a scary enforcer,” said Bradfield. “You’re a peer and a friend first, someone that people feel like they can trust coming to with the things that scare them and the things that are hard.”

When he arrived as a frosh at Stanford, Bradfield felt lost and overwhelmed as he adjusted to life on campus, but he joined communities where he found support and opportunities to care for, teach, and welcome others.

In addition to serving twice as an RA, Bradfield has staffed three summers at Sierra Camp, been a chairman of the Stanford Axe Committee, competed with Stanford’s club baseball team, and participated in Preschool Counts, a service-learning program that gives Stanford students the opportunity to tutor local kindergartners in math.

That experience, along with Jennifer Wolf’s Education 101 class and work developing course materials for senior bioengineering lecturer Ross Venook, led Bradfield to a minor in education and major in bioengineering, with a specific interest in the biodesign process. He plans to work in a STEM field after graduation, and later to teach high school science, where his students can benefit from his on-the-job experiences.

“I love helping people learn, and I love the lightbulb moments of someone getting it, whether it’s in math or biology or computer science,” he said. “Being able to teach and bring real-life experience to the classroom is something that I’m really excited to do.”