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The Alumni Blog : September, 2011

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    Corporate Governance and Director Training in Japan ... of All Places!

    Recent events around the world have once again demonstrated the extreme importance of corporate governance and risk management to our future well-being, and the need for training of effective board members. 

    I founded The Board Director Training Institute of Japan (BDTI) as a grass-roots, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the improvement of corporate governance in Japan through simple training and information sharing - the most effective and underutilized methods.  Our mission is to help revitalize Japan, raise awareness of governance, and promote the domestic and cross-border dialogues which at the end of the day will be the primary drivers of ESG (environmental, social and governance) advances in Japan and elsewhere.  The world has a lot of work to do, if we are to make governance work for a more sustainable world.  

    BDTI has been certified as a rare "public-interest organization" by the Japanese government, and its founders and advisors are ...

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    Posted by Nicholas Edward Benes, J.D. on Sep 30 2011 7:20AM | 0 comments

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    Simply Adorkable

    What an amazing time for geeks! First, Stanford is ranked as the 2nd nerdiest college in the United States by Localicious ( Then, this week I was introduced to a new term which will forever be cemented into the lexicon of my geeky life: "Adorkable." Seriously? Adorkable? How have I missed this? Or rather, how did I not coin this phrase years ago? Regardless, whatever FOX intern/producer/writer coined the phrase to describe Zooey Deschanel's character on the new sitcom New Girl is my new hero. 

    For anyone who has watched the pilot and 2nd episode of New Girl, you'll totally get what I'm talking about here. Zooey's character is quirky, smart, geeky, prone to spilling and, well, simply adorkable. With her glasses askew and a proclivity for singing her own theme song ("It's Jess!"), Zooey's role captures all that I love about geeks, dorks and nerds - the ability to be completely self-effac...

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    Posted by Mrs. Katie Mauro Zeigler on Sep 29 2011 5:05PM | 0 comments

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    My Mother the Spy

    Few and far between are the moments when a mother gets to be a fly on the wall. Seems like we’re either in it or out of it. We’re either in the room, covered in spit-up and dirty diapers and that toothless grin that makes you melt, or we’re hearing about the horrible thing that so-and-so said on the playground and wishing we were there to squeeze that kid’s face till his cheeks deflate. But rarely are we there, behind the scenes, able to watch our children navigate through life without them knowing we’re there. If your children are like mine, they can smell me a mile away. (Hopefully I smell like White Linen and Ivory Soap and fresh-made snickerdoodles....but I fear I smell like a mixture of burnt toast, Pine-Sol and cheese sticks.)

    It’s as if my sons have a radar built in their very souls that beeps when I’m near. They can spot me from a mile away – still with a big wave and a smile, thank God.

    But today,...

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    Posted by Mrs. Katie Mauro Zeigler on Sep 20 2011 10:08AM | 2 comments

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    Design Taste Cross Cultures

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    Posted by Dr. Soren Ingomar Petersen on Sep 18 2011 6:34PM | 0 comments

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    The State of the Student: Home Rules vs. School Rules

    When your kids are little, you work hard to establish ‘home rules.’ You know, things like, “Remember to flush the toilet” or “This is a family, so everyone has to pitch in and do chores.” Garbage day is Monday, the cat needs to be fed every day, if you can’t see your floor, it’s time to clean your room, etc.

    Then, the day comes – more quickly than you can imagine – when your kid heads off to college. You (and your student) discover that there are now NEW rules…dorm rules, dining hall rules, new rules for friends, RA’s, professors. Suddenly, ‘home rules’ are obsolete.

    But here’s the big secret: The real difference between Home Rules and School Rules is that at college there are NO rules.

    No one to wake your kid up in the morning to make sure she gets to class. No one to oversee what or when he eats (or doesn’t eat). No one to check whether homework gets...

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    Posted by Charlene Scholtes Margot, M.A. on Sep 16 2011 7:06PM | 5 comments

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    Come On, Get Happy

    Has anyone ever asked you what you hope your children will be like when they grow up, and you reply, “It doesn’t matter, as long as they’re happy.”  It sounds good to say, and heck, you probably mean it when you say it.  I mean it when I say it, at least I think I do.

    But then, I end up spending most of my time grooming them to be “the right kind of people” when they grow up and not a lot of time focused on making my kids happy.  I’ve put a lot of effort into making them smart, healthy, athletic, attractive, savvy, and polite.  I guess I always expected ‘happy’ to be a by-product of the rest.  As if being the straight-A student will make my son happy.  Or getting to the next level in ballet class will make my daughter happy.  Hearing the grandparents tell them how good they are with their “please and thank yous” makes them happy.

    It does to some degree because chil...

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    Posted by Ms. Eileen Hung-Kwong Tse on Sep 15 2011 10:28PM | 2 comments

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    Almost Time for College? Really?!

    Wow, Cameron is now a junior in high school. You know what that means, right?

    [Cue the ominous music, like the theme from Jaws or something....]

    It's time to start thinking about where to go to college - aaack!!

    Sure, all of my Stanford friends just say, "Um, Stanford is pretty much perfect for everyone, so why would you even bother to look anywhere else?" Even though part of me agrees with that, I have to remember that it's not me going off to college in a couple years, it's him. As great as I think Stanford is, I do think it's very important to find a place that's the right fit for him.

    What does "the right fit" look like? Heck if I know. Heck if he knows, either. So we're encouraging Cameron to take some time, starting now, to do his research. There is time now, and we don't want this whole process to turn into a mad, last-minute scramble. He did pretty well on the PSAT last fall, so he gets a fairly steady stream of m...

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    Posted by Mr. Marty Beene on Sep 7 2011 8:29AM | 0 comments

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    Questioning Economic Growth and Happiness

    Focusing on wealth only, leads to perverse behaviors and results in strongly reduced happiness


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    Posted by Dr. Soren Ingomar Petersen on Sep 5 2011 10:38AM | 0 comments