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2017-2018 DIF Projects

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African Humanities Collective (AHC)

Contact: Kristin Wilson,

The African Humanities Collective (AHC) seeks to provide a supportive community to African/African-American students (graduate and undergraduate) engaged in humanistic study at Stanford. It also aims to provide this supportive community to STEM students who may want to pursue an African Studies minor or go on to pursue graduate degrees in the humanities.

CENTRIFUGE: Stories of Refugees & Displacement

Contact: Thao P. Nguyen,

This is JUST ART: Stanford Artist/Activist Collective's third production. CENTRIFUGE: Stories of Refugees & Displacement is an exciting collaboration that brings together narratives about displaced peoples from Syria and Palestine, unaccompanied minors from Central America and southern México, and refugees from Vietnam. Our play will go up at a time of increased political instability for refugees and migrants both within and without the United States. Our production goal is to critically examine the interweaving histories of immigration and asylum in the United States. How have legal processes and policies of immigration and asylum changed over time and across different migrant communities? What are the political, economic, and ideological influences on such policies? How does the enforcement of national boundaries impact the construction of subjecthood and citizenship within national borders? These are some of the questions that we are bringing to the fore through these narratives. In April 2017, the collective put on 20 Minutes of Action and in November 2017, the collective produced Marigold & Lavender.

Challenge Accepted: Empowerment of the Bay Area Black Youth

Contact: Candace Jones,

The aim of Challenge Accepted is to bridge the gap between the black graduate community at Stanford, and black youth in the local Bay Area. We recognize that over 60 years since the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling, there still exists a great disparity between the educational outcomes of marginalized communities of color, and their non-minority peers. The lack of quality education among black Americans has had a debilitating effect on the community, and its ability to achieve social, economic, and political mobility. We hope that by establishing a connection to these communities, we can attack this educational divide at its core in the Bay Area. This project will give youth participants a variety of opportunities to engage with students of color at Stanford. Not only are youth participants mentored by a Stanford graduate student, but they will also receive access to professional development workshops, survey lectures on a range of disciplines, and ultimately the exposure to people of color who are pursuing PhD, JD, MD, and MBA degrees at one of the most prestigious universities in the world. By mitigating the discrepancy in the educational outcomes of black youth and their non-black peers, we hope to contribute to the continued and concerted efforts of many, whose ultimate goal is to achieve educational equality for all.

Documentary Study Group

Contact: Azar Kafaei,

A series of biweekly film screenings and discussions aimed at investigating a diverse range of films and filmmaking approaches with an emphasis on people of color and women filmmakers. Through discussing the various alternative approaches to the issues and perspectives of documentary production, as well as inviting people of color and women filmmakers and editors to hold masterclasses, the graduate filmmaking students in the Documentary Study Group closely familiarize themselves with the potentials and limitations of the documentary form.

Feminist Fridays

Contact: Lauren Sukin,

Feminist Fridays meets once a month with female-identifying students from across the graduate community at Stanford. We read books, essays, short stories, and other materials written by womyn or dealing with issues of gender. Our discussion group acts as a safe space to engage with art and literature as well as modern issues affecting womyn in our community and elsewhere. Moreover, Feminist Fridays offers a fun opportunity for diverse students to gather together, fostering enhanced communication between various communities of womyn on Stanford's campus.

Generation Science Conference: "The Next Generation"

Contact: Susanna Brantley,

The goal of the Generation Science Conference is to excite underrepresented students from community colleges excited about a broad range of STEM topics and to serve as a resource for students interested in scientific research. We will achieve this goal through keynote talks by diverse Stanford faculty on their research and educational journey, as well as student talks and posters on a broad range of current STEM topics inspired by the theme “The Next Generation.” We will also host a panel discussion and workshops on pursuing research positions and graduate education as a first-generation college student. In addition, our conference will train current Stanford graduate students and postdocs to effectively communicate their science to a non-expert audience.

Geneticists for Diversity in Science

Contact: Kimberly Tsui,

Geneticists for Diversity in Science (GDS) aims to promote gender, economic and ethnic diversity in science, starting with the Department of Genetics. Our goal is to equip women and members of underrepresented minorities in science with a network of support and resources for succeeding in academia and the workforce through seminars, networking lunches and workshops. Our events are highly targeted to the challenges of navigating a career path in the modern biosciences, weaving together mentorship and science in talks by successful scientists from varied backgrounds.

GSB Veterans Club

Contact: Andrew Sparks,

The GSB Veterans Club hosted an event in recognition of National Mental Health Awareness month. The event included a screening of the new award-winning documentary "Almost Sunrise" followed by a panel discussion with drinks and appetizers. The panel discussion included the producer and director of the film, as well as three leading physicians in the Mental Health field. The event brought in over 125 attendees from both Stanford University as well as the surrounding Bay Area. Over 50 veteran-affiliated organizations were involved in outreach to veterans in the Bay Area. The purpose of the event was to build awareness about the mental health challenges faced by veterans returning from war. The event sought to enhance the conversation around this topic, as well as to serve as a resource for veterans seeking assistance. The SF Veterans Affairs office attended the event and provided resources to veterans in need.

Interdisciplinary Race and Ethnicity Reading Group

Contact: Vivian Yan,

This interdisciplinary workshop promotes a deeper and more critical analysis of how scholars in the humanities and the social sciences understand, interpret, and apply the concepts of race and ethnicity. We host three meetings each quarter to invite graduate students and faculty from Stanford and elsewhere to present and discuss their work.

Math Directed Reading Program

Contact: Abigail Ward,

The Directed Reading Program (DRP) is an initiative in the math department which pairs undergraduate students with math graduate student mentors to meet one-on-one to study a topic. During the quarter, DRP mentors and their students meet once a week for about an hour to discuss the chosen topic, and at the end of the quarter all participants meet to hear short presentations by the undergraduate students. This program creates an accessible way for any Stanford undergraduate to gain cultural capital in mathematics; we are actively recruiting women and members of other groups which are currently underrepresented in the field. Our hope is to initiate connections between and within the undergraduate and graduate populations and create a community in our department which is accessible and welcoming to all.

Minorities and Philosophy (MAP)

Contact: Hannah Kim,

MAP (Minorities and Philosophy) is an international organization for English-speaking philosophy departments, with a branch at Stanford. Its goal is to examine, address, and ameliorate issues concerning diversity in academic philosophy. At Stanford, MAP works through a reading group on social philosophy, and for the past two years, a conference featuring diverse voices in philosophy as an opportunity for a diverse cast of philosophers to share their work and their experiences in philosophy. Nationally, MAP works to network philosophers towards a wide array of resources concerning diversity in philosophy. Given both the traditional subject matter of philosophy, which has tended over the years to obscure the need for considering diverse experiences, and the current underrepresentation of many diverse groups in philosophy, the goal of MAP both nationally and at Stanford is to open dialogues about what can be done better, both in terms of content and professionally.

Mothers in Academia

Contact: Tina Cheuk,

Mothers in Academia (MIA) is a network of mothers, expectant mothers, and allies designed to empower participants to navigate the academy as graduate students and postdocs, advance our voice and influence within the academy, and build the tools and support necessary to be successful here at Stanford and beyond. The broad goal of this network is to support the community of graduate student and postdoc mothers and educate the broader academy on how to support and integrate pregnant and parenting students into the academy. In particular, this group will work together to unpack complex issues, emotions, and professional questions around working and learning as a mother in the academy.

Physics Equity and Inclusion Graduate Action Committee

Contact: TJ Wilkason,

We will hold events open to graduate students in the Physics and Applied Physics departments (and any associated groups and labs) interested in equity and inclusion issues. Students at each meeting brainstorm around a specific item from the Physics Equity and Inclusion (E&I) Strategic Plan relevant to graduate life, and devise actionable items to help make progress on implementation of the strategic plan. Students also follow up on action items from previous meetings, and learn about the current status of work being done by the Physics Equity and Inclusion Committee. The goal of these meetings is to solicit input from graduate peers outside the full departmental E&I committee on the parts of the E&I Strategic Plan that affect graduate life in the departments (graduate recruitment, student climate, and student-advisor interactions, for example). Being open to all graduate students interested in participating, these meetings should increase awareness of equity/inclusion issues and the work being done to address them at the department level, as well as enable a more diverse array of voices to openly discuss these issues and aid in desired actions.

Psychology Department Diversity Committee

Contact: Caitie Handron,

There is often an imbalance in the distribution of the resources, tools, and information necessary to apply for and attend graduate school such that first-generation and minority students are less likely to have access or be exposed to them. The purpose of this event will be to provide undergraduates and individuals considering pursuit of a PhD from underrepresented and minority (URM) groups with practical information for applying to graduate school in psychology. Participants will learn 1) reasons to pursue graduate education 2) how to choose the right graduate program, and 3) how to craft a compelling application. A primary objective of this event will be to equip people who are interested in or curious about graduate school in psychology with clarity about the range of research and career paths available in the field, and to provide them with tools to get to graduate school. A secondary goal of the event will be to communicate Stanford’s commitment to diversity and inclusion to those in and around the Stanford community. This event will be a one-day workshop on Stanford’s campus planned by the Psychology Department’s Diversity Committee. The event would be available by application to up to 30 people in the Bay Area and would feature sessions and talks by Stanford Psychology faculty, staff, and graduate students from diverse backgrounds and research areas.


Contact: Ariel Calderon,

The Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) is an inclusive organization dedicated to fostering the success of Chicano/Hispanic and Native American scientists, from college students to professionals, in attaining advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership in STEM. We aim to provide programming that specifically aims to increase diversity in STEM by creating a community of current students, undergraduate and graduate, and alumni that supports each other through sharing resources and knowledge, inspiring underrepresented youth, and developing personal and professional skills.

Solidarity, Leadership, Inclusion, Diversity (SoLID)

Contact: Amber R. Moore,

The goal of SoLID is the connect Biosciences students with faculty who can provide mentorship on issues that may fall outside the bounds of research. Through this program, students will connect with faculty across the Biosciences to gain valuable support and guidance during their graduate tenure. The program will create a venue to discuss any obstacles students may encounter regarding identity, imposter syndrome, stereotype threat, and/or related challenges. SoLID will also give students access to a wider mentorship support network made of up faculty advocates who are committed to promoting inclusion and retention across the Biosciences. Establishing a deeper connection between faculty and students will benefit both groups, as participating mentors will gain a window into the lives and daily challenges of graduate students, providing them with insight they can use to guide their own trainees more effectively.

Stanford Hermanas in STEM

Contact: Paola Moreno-Roman,

Hermanas in STEM translates to “Sisters in STEM” from Spanish. Our main goal is to keep building and maintaing a community of support among Latina (female) graduate and postdoctoral scholars on campus. We plan to do this by hosting monthly meetings that offer rotating topics of interest to the Latinas in STEM community. These topics will rotate every month between: Latina Faculty Chat, Lunch Mixer, and Undergraduate Outreach Lunch. By offering a safe space for Latinas in STEM, we expect to build up a community where scholars will find peers who they can relate to and thus, becoming mentors and/or mentees of each other. Also, the constant interaction will foster collaboration between people from different departments.

Stanford Law Women in Politics

Contact: Emily Hayes,

Stanford Law Women in Politics (WIPs) is a non-partisan group founded on the belief that increasing the representation of women in political office is essential to social progress. After decades of stagnant or slowly increasing female political representation, we aim to inspire and inform Stanford women about running for elected political office. WIPs approaches this goal three ways: workshops teaching practical skills, speaking events educating women about different types of office, and networking to create the connections women need to enter the political sphere.

Stanford Women in Fluid Dynamics (SWiFD)

Contact: Nicole Xu,

The mission of Stanford Women in Fluid Dynamics (SWiFD) is to build an interdepartmental support network for women in the field of fluid mechanics, in order to promote their intellectual and professional development. As fluid mechanicians, we are scattered among several departments and are often underrepresented in courses, seminars, and conferences. SWiFD will create an interdepartmental resource that focuses on women preparing for careers in academia or research labs. This project will enhance Stanford’s diversity by creating an environment that enriches the graduate and postdoctoral experience for women in fluid mechanics, helping to both retain and recruit this underrepresented minority. We will accomplish this through faculty seminars, small-group discussions, networking dinners, professional development workshops, and outreach and volunteer activities.

Stanford Women in Math Mentoring

Contact: Evangelie Zachos,

This program pairs undergraduate women interested in math with graduate student mentors from math, statistics, and ICME to meet once a month. These meetings provide a social web welcoming the undergraduates into the mathematical community and supplying helpful information. The graduate mentors encourage the participating students to consider graduate school and fellowships in the mathematical sciences and to interact positively and actively with mathematics at Stanford. The mentors' collective knowledge about opportunities such as summer programs and conferences is also available to each undergraduate. Meanwhile, the graduate mentors learn more about the other participating departments, deepen their understanding of diverse undergraduate experiences, and become empowered through their guidance of younger mathematicians. There are also program-wide meetings, to network and to hear about a variety of pathways to STEM fields and jobs.

Strength in Diversity

Contact: Heather Chiamori,

“Strength in Diversity” is a three part, interactive seminar series focused on the intersection of engineering culture and the importance of diversity. Within the engineering community, technical proficiency is often promoted as the end goal of education; however, learning to discuss engineering culture and understanding the need to incorporate diverse perspectives into engineering solutions are not often addressed in engineering education. As future leaders, entrepreneurs, faculty, researchers, and members of our engineering community, we will be instrumental in not only working on teams, but also building teams. While strength in engineering comes from having expertise in many disciplines, it is nearly impossible to decouple one’s cultural and environmental experiences that shape one’s perspective, views and insights into situations. Thus, the goal of these seminars is to develop a space where graduate and post-doctoral engineering students are allowed to advance their understanding of diversity and how it effects their profession, colleagues, community and their selves.