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Cardinal Conversations

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    '60s Dollie Freddie Baumstark Jackson

    Dollies in moccasins, not go-go boots? You bet. Flash back to 1964-65, when Freddie Baumstark Jackson, '67, was one of the five Dollies who danced with the Incomparable Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band. Freddie talks about life with the Band--and on the Farm--in the era of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King. Excerpts:



    What's different about Dollies today?


    The biggest difference is we were the Stanford Indians. We had Prince Lightfoot. He was actually a tribal leader of a Pacific Northwest tribe. He was very dignified and came to the games in full regalia. He was a Native American Indian and a chief of the tribe. He used to come to the games dressed with the feathers, full dress. Our everyday uniforms, we actually wore a headband with a feather on it. For Big Game, we all wore white with fringe and white headbands, and we wore moccasins. For the regular season, our feather was red wit...

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    Posted by Ms. Karen Springen on Apr 7 2010 3:31PM | 0 comments

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    Overseas studies director Norman Naimark

    We'll always have…Florence! With the 50th anniversary of Stanford's program in Italy coming up in June, overseas studies director Norman Naimark, '66, MA '68, PhD '72, talks about life off the Farm. Excerpts:

    What percent of students head overseas now? About half of our undergraduates go abroad. We send roughly 800 students a year. We've raised the numbers over the past years. We're back to its height.

    When was the peak period?

    The late '60s. People went then for six months. Now they usually go just for a quarter. The majors are so demanding. The students have so much going on back on campus.

    You run programs in 11 places--Australia, Beijing, Berlin, Cape Town, Florence, Kyoto, Madrid, Moscow, Oxford, Paris and Santiago?</...

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    Posted by Ms. Karen Springen on Mar 19 2010 4:43AM | 0 comments

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    Taylor Phillips, '10, Dollie

    Red minidresses. Go-go boots. High leg kicks to "All Right Now." Hello-o-o, Dollies! As the newest crop of five women gets ready for a waterlogged inaugural performance (the "Dollie Splash" in the Claw on May 7), former Dollie Taylor Phillips, '10, talks about life with the Band. Excerpts:


    When did you serve as a Dollie?


    The Dollie year goes from May 1 to the following May 1, so it was predominantly my junior year. It was the '08-'09 year.


    Are most Dollies juniors?


    Over time it shifts. Lately it's been very common to be the end of your freshman year, going into your sophomore year. People assume you have time, you're not as intensely studying for your major. The newest Dollies have one girl who will be a senior, and the rest will be in t...

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    Posted by Ms. Karen Springen on Mar 5 2010 6:18PM | 5 comments

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    Senior class president


    Commencement speakers. Full Moon on the Quad. "Pub" Night. Aria Florant, one of four senior class presidents this year, talks about all of the above--and more. Excerpts:


    You and the other senior class presidents polled your classmates about potential Commencement speakers. How many names did you suggest, and was U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, '86, at the top of your list?

    The class presidents have a lot less influence over Commencement speakers than most people think! We polled our class and cabinet, and actually didn't come up with Susan Rice. Not that she wouldn't have made the list, but just nobody suggested it or thought of it. We're super excited to have her. We were really jazzed about Cory Booker ['91, MBA '92, the mayor of Newark, N.J.].


    Why Cory Bo...

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    Posted by Ms. Karen Springen on Feb 23 2010 2:05PM | 0 comments

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    Women's gymnastics coach Kristen Smyth

    Stanford students literally flip for Kristen Smyth--and not just because is the women's gymnastics coach. She knows how to create team spirit and scholar-athletes. Of the women's gymnastics team's 81 All-America honors, 60 have come during her tenure. In her nine years on the Farm, she has led the team to its best-ever record. Stanford finished the 2004 and 2008 seasons in third place nationally. Currently the team--which competes from January through April-- stands eighth out of 64 Division I gymnastics programs nationwide. Smyth, a three-time All-American at UC-Berkeley who graduated in 1993 with a degree in mass communication, talks about her gymnasts, her family, her coaching philosophy--and Shawn Johnson.

    Gotta ask--how tall are you?

    I'm 5-2. Most of them are taller! Blair [Ryland], our senior leader on the...

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    Posted by Ms. Karen Springen on Feb 12 2010 5:16PM | 0 comments

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    Teacher of the Year

    Dan Klein, ’90, is the People’s Choice. Last year the Associated Students of Stanford University (better known as the ASSU) named him “teacher of the year.” His course, Drama 103: Beginning Improvising, is always oversubscribed. Klein also coaches the Stanford Improvisers (aka the SImps), a 19-year-old improv troupe that performs on campus and in the community. In his spare time, he teaches performance skills to employees of companies like Cisco and Visa. Klein talks about how to connect with an audience, how to wing it, and why people should just say yes! Excerpts:


    I saw the SImps in action, and they bragged that you were teacher of the year. How did that feel?


    It was a grea...

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    Posted by Ms. Karen Springen on Feb 3 2010 6:09AM | 3 comments

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    Stanford Admissions Dean Rick Shaw

    Alumni wonder whether they'd get into Stanford today--and often conclude, "no." Rick Shaw, dean of undergraduate admission and financial aid since September 2005, talks about who gets a "yes" packet, why he left Yale for the Farm, and how he and the University's 22 admissions officers are handling nearly 32,000 applications this year. Yikes! Excerpts:

    What was your Dartmouth class?

    '72--500,000 years ago. 

    How is applying to college different than when you wrote an essay about the actor Jimmy Stewart and got into Dartmouth?

    You know too much! I suppose it hasn't changed at all. We ask students to speak about themselves and try to get beyond trying to determine what they think we want to read. We would like kids to write from their heart and try to spend some time really contemplating who the...

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    Posted by Ms. Karen Springen on Jan 14 2010 2:38PM | 0 comments

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    Dean for Religious Life

    William L. "Scotty" McLennan is the University's dean for religious life. He talks about Mem Chu, the many religions at Stanford, his Stanford-grad kids, his unusual combination of Harvard degrees (a master of divinity and a J.D.), and his new book, "Jesus Was a Liberal." Excerpts:            



    It's just an ethnic name for somebody with Scottish heritage. I'm about the fourth generation of William L. McLennans. So when my father named me William, they decided they didn't want another Bill. I was nicknamed after my uncle, who was nicknamed Scotty, who was killed in the Second World War. His name actually was George, though!


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    Posted by Ms. Karen Springen on Dec 11 2009 3:23PM | 0 comments

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    Dean Julie

    Students simply call her Dean Julie. Julie Lythcott-Haims, dean of freshmen and undergraduate advising and associate vice provost for undergraduate education, instills "The Great Class of [fill in the year]" spirit from the day freshmen arrive at the Farm. She knows what it's like to be a Stanford student: She received her undergraduate degree in American Studies in 1989. (She went on to get her J.D. from Harvard Law School--but we'll forgive her!) Stanford's former senior class president talks about why Stanford housing and life is better than ever--and what makes Stanford special. Excerpts:

    My son is 10, and my daughter is 8. My husband and I both went here, and we want them...

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    Posted by Ms. Karen Springen on Dec 2 2009 2:08PM | 1 comments

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    Facebook expert BJ Fogg

    It's possible that someone, somewhere, knows more about Facebook than BJ Fogg. Start searching. The director of Stanford's Persuasive Technology Lab has taught classes on Facebook (including "Facebook for Parents") and is at work, with colleagues, on his fourth book, The Psychology of Facebook. Now Fogg, MA '95, PhD '97, is trying to use technology to promote peace. The Peace Dot initiative encourages organizations to highlight the work they are doing for peace, and tracks data such as the number of Israel-Palestine or India-Pakistan "friend" connections made each day. I talked with Fogg about his projects, his advice on Facebook etiquette--and his own use of social media. Excerpts:


    I don't own [Facebook] stock! I have no vested interest.


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    Posted by Ms. Karen Springen on Nov 19 2009 1:23PM | 2 comments

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    LSJUMB adviser Seth Snyder

    Seth Snyder, MA '08, is "special assistant to the dean of student life." But students know the 31-year-old as the good-natured drummer who is the adult adviser to the 150 or so members of The One, The Only, The Truly Incomparable Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band. The group, which started its famous "scatter" style in 1963, plays at about 160 events a year. It's still irreverent, but now tries hard not to be too offensive. (This is the group that once spoofed Patty Hearst's kidnapping by forming a "Hearst Burger"--two buns and no patty.) I talked with the Band's guardian angel about the Dollies, clothes, Cal and "All Right Now." (Note: The multi-talented Seth Snyder shot all the photos below.) Excerpts:

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    Posted by Ms. Karen Springen on Oct 29 2009 11:55AM | 1 comments

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    Athletics director Bob Bowlsby

    Three years ago, athletics director Bob Bowlsby moved from an area with many farms (the University of Iowa) to The Farm. Now 57, the soft-spoken former wrestler is going to the mat to preserve the quality and quantity of sports at Stanford. In June, Stanford nabbed its 15th consecutive NCAA Learfield Sports Directors' Cup, given to the nation's top college athletic program. And this fall, the Cardinal football team is off to a 4-1 start, its best since 2001. But Bowlsby must grapple with millions of dollars in budget cuts; earlier this year, Athletics laid off nearly two dozen staff members. I talked with the AD about money, football and the future. Excerpts: 
    Well, I've had to replace two major coaching positions, and I guess other than that, it's just been the general difficulty with finances. The whole university is struggling, especially with the downturn in the endo...

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    Posted by Ms. Karen Springen on Oct 14 2009 8:55AM | 1 comments

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