April 18 marks the 106th anniversary of the great 1906 Bay Area earthquake. Cardinal Conversations talked with Andrea Davies, MA '96, MA '03, PhD '05, director of programs and research at Stanford’s Clayman Institute for Gender Research and author of Saving San Francisco: Relief and Recovery after the 1906 Disaster. Excerpts:
What led to your interest in researching the 1906 earthquake?
My interest was sparked by my work as a San Francisco firefighter. When I came back to Stanford to become a social historian, I really wanted to understand how people lived in the past. I wondered if a disaster could be a window into their lives. I studied with Estelle...
Stanford sociologist Michael Rosenfeld is known for his research into online dating. Today the author of The Age of Independence: Interracial Unions, Same-Sex Unions, and the Changing American Family is running a National Science Foundation-funded study of how couples meet. He talked with Cardinal Conversations about matters of the heart. “It’s fun to be a go-to guy for Valentine’s Day,” he says. “There are worse things.” Excerpts:
Is it too late to find a date for Valentine’s Day?
It’s never too late! A lot of what people post [online] is, “I have two tickets to a concert tonight. Who wants to come with me?” It’s sort of like, “Who’s free this afternoon?” There’s definitely been a little bit of a buildup in the online chat sites about Valenti...
Five months ago Arizona native Robert Shelton, '70, Engr. '72, became executive director of the Fiesta Bowl – just in time to watch Stanford take on Oklahoma State on January 2 at the University of Phoenix Stadium. He carefully avoids showing any favoritism. (Note that his jacket is yellow, not red.) But he met his wife, Adrian (Millar, '70), pictured at left with Shelton, freshman year. And his three kids all spent at least four years on the Farm. He shares some thoughts about this other "big game" and about Stanford. Excerpts:
You were president of the University of Arizona for the past five years. Why did you leave academia for sports?
My goodness! First of all, it happened very suddenly. From the time of initial contact to when we announced the deal was maybe three weeks. It wasn't something I'd been thinking about, but I'd done this job at the Uni...
Since the first Occupy Wall Street gathering on September 17, protesters have demonstrated on streets across the nation to express their unhappiness about growing financial disparities, among other things. To find out more, I talked with professor Doug McAdam, director of the urban studies program at Stanford, who researches youth activism and social movements—from Teach for America to Occupy Wall Street. Excerpts:
How do you define this movement? Is it mostly a protest against income inequality in the United States?
Inequality broadly is clearly underlying the protests. A lot of the encampments harken back to the anti-globalism, anti-neoliberal protests of the '90s and the 2000s, starting with the Battle in Seattle in 1999. Those folks have always been opposed to rampant capitalism and its effects around the world.
What has Oc...
In June, the U.S. Department of Agriculture—supported by Surgeon General Regina Benjamin and First Lady Michelle Obama—announced that the government was replacing the 19-year-old food pyramid with a plate divided into quarters (fruits, vegetables, grains and protein) with a cup of milk on the side. This month, Harvard's School of Public Health announced its alternative, which calls for similar quarters (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy protein) with a cup of water on the side. We talked with nutrition scientist Christopher Gardner, associate professor of medicine at Stanford and a 30-year vegan, about the pros and cons to the government’s MyPlate and Harvard’s Healthy Eating plate.
Both plates give protein a quarter of the dish space. What’s yo...
As the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks approaches, war, technology and culture expert Priya Satia, '95, a Stanford associate professor of history and an American of Indian descent, reflects on the effects of the attacks, the importance of understanding others' historical experiences, and how 9/11 affects her own small children.
By Karen Springen, '83
Your 3-year-old son is on a Department of Homeland Security blacklist because of his name, Kabir, which is Arabic for "great." Can you get him off the list?
He can't be completely taken off the blacklist. The burden of proof is on me to call up the Department of Homeland Security and prove his innocence. He will be removed from that watch list and placed on a different watch list. He will be given a number, like a pin code, tha...
Most Americans (even Stanford grads!) remain confused about the last-minute deal to increase the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt limit. To figure out what it means, Cardinal Conversations turned to Stanford economics professor Michael Boskin, a Hoover Institution senior fellow who was chairman of George H.W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers from 1989 to 1993. Excerpts:
HOW MUCH DOES THE FINAL RESULT SURPRISE YOU?
This is more or less what I expected. I thought it would go up to the wire and then pass. I have long had four rules about elected officials’ behavior on economic matters. No. 1, they usually wait to act until they’re forced. No. 2, there’s a disturbing tendency to ignore long-term costs to distribute short-term benefits. No. 3, they will try to circumvent the laws of economics – for example, to think that massive debt will n...
In the past 24 hours, we've seen well over 200 tweets about our July/August story on the 40th anniversary of the infamous Stanford Prison Experiment. "The Menace Within" revisits professor emeritus Phil Zimbardo, his colleagues, and prisoners and guards four decades later.
We are offering Cardinal Conversations as a place for readers to comment and have discussions about the story and events from 1971. Alumni can log in and comment directly. Those without a stanfordalumni.org account can email email@example.com and we'll post your comments here.
In 1776, Thomas Jefferson & Co. signed the Declaration of Independence, saying “all men are created equal . . . with certain unalienable rights,” which included “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Unfortunately, the document – though admirable in many ways – left out women, African Americans, and other groups. Estelle Freedman, a history professor and award-winning teacher who co-founded Stanford’s Program in Feminist Studies, talks about what she thinks about feminism, gay marriage and the importance of the famous Fourth of July treatise. Excerpts:
Moving beyond just the Declaration, what do you consider to be other great moments of American independence?
I’ll start with the ways the Declaration of Independence has been redefined, appropriated and expanded. I can’t help but think about Elizabeth Cady Stanton in 1848 rewrit...
With NASA’s last space shuttle mission set to launch July 8, we touched base with former astronaut Scott Parazynski, ’83, MD ’89. Among other things, the Renaissance man is known for his five NASA flights (including seven space walks); for being astronaut John Glenn’s doctor in outer space; for being a little tall (6’ 2”) to squeeze into the tiny Russian SOYUZ capsule; and for becoming the first astronaut to climb Mount Everest. Parazynski, a member of NASA’s Astronaut Corps from 1992 to 2009, today serves as chief technology officer and chief medical officer at the Methodist Hospital Research Institute (TMHRI) in Houston, and as chairman of the board of the Challenger Center for Space Science Education. Excerpts:
My family just went to Disney World and tried “Mission: Space.” H...
On Saturday, May 14, at 7:15 p.m., shots were fired in the Lagunita parking lot after a student event. The community was alerted in less than an hour, and while nobody was injured, the incident was shocking to many. We talked to Chief of Police Laura Wilson, '91, about the shooting and crime on campus.
Last Saturday, shots were fired. Can you tell us where things stand with that? Do you suspect people from off campus?
We've been doing a lot of follow-up on the case. We did recover a firearm in the grove area where two of the suspects were seen fleeing the car that was involved in the pursuit. And because of tips from the community we actually had someone provide us with a picture of the license plate of one of the cars—of the car we didn't have in custody. So [I was] real...
Could we get an earthquake to rival the 9.0-magnitude trembler in Japan? Earthquake engineer Haresh Shah, MS ’60, PhD ’63, professor emeritus at Stanford and head of the university's risk committee before the 1989 Loma Prieta seism, talks about lessons from the past. Excerpts:
Photo by Chuck Painter/Stanford News Service
What level of quake could Stanford withstand?
That's a million dollar question. We believe in the last two decades, Stanford has done an outstanding job with the older buildings as well as all the newer buildings. In a major earthquake—whether on the Hayward Fault or on the San Andreas Fault—Stanford could do reasonably well. In something similar to 1989 earthquake, we'd do just fine. Let's say up to 7 it would do just fine, unless the center o...
Sure, Jim Harbaugh—who led Stanford to a 12-1 record—left for the San Francisco ’49ers. But there is still joy in Mudville (a.k.a. the Farm), thanks to new head football coach David Shaw, ’94. In January, athletic director Bob Bowlsby announced that the offensive coordinator would take over the top job. Though Shaw isn’t yet a household name, he has worked with the Philadelphia Eagles, the Oakland Raiders and the Baltimore Ravens. And as a Stanford student, he was a wide receiver. Days before the April 9 annual Cardinal & White Spring Game, the sociology major talks about his new job, his vision and his thoughts (all positive!) about Stanford. Excerpts:
How was it being picked for the job?
Mr. Bowlsby did a search. I feel very fortunate that he thought I was the right guy for the job. I was extremely pleased that he did pick me,...
Britt Billmaier, '07, MA '08, is fresh off a stint on ABC's The Bachelor. She flipped for Brad Womack -- but in a tumbling kind of way. The former member of Stanford's gymnastics team showed the famous single guy a couple of flip-flops while they were on a date. Here she talks about Stanford and her post-Bachelor plans. Excerpts:
How did your Stanford degree prepare you for The Bachelor?
In general, just having the perspective you gain at Stanford kind of teaches you to sit back and view everything in a laid-back way -- to take everything that's coming at you and realize you're just being put in a giant social experiment. I felt like I came away unscathed.
What was your major at Stanford?
I graduated undergrad with communications, and then I did the co-term master's in the media studies program in '08. You can go either dig...
Rachel Buehler, '07, was captain of the Cardinal women's soccer team (for three years!). Recently she became the 12th woman to be named co-captain of U.S. women's soccer. She talks about sports, Stanford and her future. Excerpts:
What do you do as co-captain?
Christie Rampone is the other captain. She's very experienced. A lot of what I do is kind of help her. Part of the reason I got chosen to be captain is I'm a younger player. The national team has a range of ages. We have one girl in college that's in our pool of players; we have Kristine Lilly, who's 39 and a mom. A few of the women on the team [including Rampone] have kids, and several of them are in their mid-30s.
How many people are on the team?
There's a pool of players. That pool probably ranges from like 25, 30 players, that get brought into training camps pretty often. For tourname...
Dr. Abraham Verghese directs Stanford University’s internal medicine residency program and serves as senior associate chair for the theory & practice of medicine. Yet the infectious disease specialist and internist still finds time to write—most recently, the best-selling novel Cutting for Stone. (If your book group hasn’t tackled it yet, it undoubtedly will soon!) Previously, he penned the true stories My Own Country: A Doctor's Story of a Town and Its People in the Age of AIDS and Tennis Partner: A Doctor's Story of Friendship and Loss. Verghese talks about practicing medicine, teaching students—and squeezing in writing time. Excerpts:
How were you lured to the Farm?
I was very fortunate. The chair of medicine, Dr. [Ralph] Horwitz, was very interested in what I did and had tried to recruit me to Yale when he was there....
For a quarter-century, Nanette Gartrell, MD ’71, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California-San Francisco (and a distinguished scholar at the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law), has been following lesbian moms who planned to become pregnant through artificial insemination. In the current issue of Pediatrics, she and a colleague in Amsterdam reported that the offspring in their National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study were more likely to rate higher in academic performance and less likely to break rules and behave aggressively. Gartrell--a former Harvard Medical School faculty member and the author of My Answer Is No--If That’s OK with You: How Women can Say No and (Still) Feel Good About It--talks about Stanford’s role in her research and in her life. Excerpts:
Alan Garber, MD '83, founding director of the health care program at the National Bureau of Economic Research, directs Stanford's Center for Health Policy at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and Stanford's Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research at the School of Medicine. He's also, well, a genius: He graduated summa cum laude from Harvard, where he got his bachelor's degree and his PhD in economics. He talks about how to improve health care quality and costs--and about why the Farm is so special. Excerpts:
You have said that limiting costs is the key to health reform working. How can we do that? After all, most patients want the best care, no matter the cost.
There's a lot of care that's provided that doesn't offer the patient a lot of benefit. For exa...
Who better to co-chair the Pulitzer Prize board than a Pulitzer Prize winner? Enter historian David Kennedy, who received his bachelor's degree from Stanford in 1963 and returned to teach at the Farm in 1967 (after getting his PhD from Yale). In a Class Day speech a few years ago, Kennedy urged students to "get out and make things happen." Today he talks about how everyone--from award-winning authors to students to alumni--can seize the day and "make the world move." Excerpts:
Since 2002, you've served on the Pulitzer Prize board--and Columbia University just announced that you would co-chair it for the next year. What does this mean for you? Lots of trips to New York? Mega-hours spent reading long books?
This is the culmination of that tour of duty. The board routinely meets in New York twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring to s...
A quarter century ago, Stanford became one of the nation's first universities to start a center dedicated to public service. Today an estimated two-thirds of Stanford undergraduates do volunteer activities during their four years on the Farm. The Haas Center for Public Service's co-leaders--executive director Thomas (Tom) Schnaubelt and Peter E. Haas director Dr. Gabriel (Gabe) Garcia, also associate dean of medical school admissions--talk about alumni involvement, what Donald Kennedy means to the center, and future projects. Excerpts:
How many students work with the Haas Center?
Gabe: It's very hard to give you a firm number. Our focus has traditionally been on undergraduate students. There are hundreds of students that have deep and substantive participation in our program. Many times what we will do is refer a student to a program that we don't run, but it is in line with the i...
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