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2018-2019 DIF Projects

Challenge Accepted- Youth Empowerment Conference Collaboration

Participating Department(s): All
Keyword(s): Outreach, Diversity, Mentoring
Contact: Christopher Still II,

The goal of Challenge Accepted is to introduce high school students from underrepresented backgrounds to the prospects of graduate/ professional schools. We facilitate this through a series of workshops, discussions, and lab tours as well as by providing current graduate/professional students that can help mentor these students. Students have been recruited from all over, including out of state. Recently we have collaborated with BSU’s youth empowerment conference. This collaboration facilitates a better program due to the increased student size, increased amount of people event planners, as well as allowing for more interaction between undergrads and graduate/professional students.

DAC NGSO, Diversity Summit, and DAC Programming

Participating Department(s): All
Keyword(s): Solidarity, Funding, Community
Contact: Kristen H. Wilson,

More than ever, in light of local, national and international events, we need the GSC’s DAC to bring together graduate students from across Stanford to build solidarity and promote diversity and inclusion. We plan to do this by 1) introducing new graduate students to community spaces on campus, 2) connecting students with university administrators and staff engaged in work on issues of diversity and inclusion, and 3) support student-led programming that centers students with minoritized identities. Together, these initiatives will connect students with each other and the university and empower students to contribute to creating an inclusive campus.

Diversity and Inclusion in Sociology (DAIS)

Participating Department(s): Sociology
Keyword(s): Diversity, Community, Recruitment
Contact: Josh Gagne,

Diversity And Inclusion in Sociology (DAIS) is a student group with two primary aims: (1) support the community of first generation, low income, and minority students within the sociology department and (2) assist in the recruitment of diverse students and faculty. We approach this in three ways: (1) community group meetings to share experiences, needs, resources, and support; (2) coordinating reach out and responses to diverse applicants during the application period; and (3) meeting with department-invited speakers from traditionally excluded backgrounds.

Diversity Perspectives: Exploring Pathways to Career Success

Participating Department(s): All
Keyword(s): Diversity, Inclusion, Mentorship
Contact: Matthew Gebbie,

The proposed seminar will bring a trainee-nominated speaker to campus to present a talk on their personal experiences of navigating diversity and inclusion in the academy. The event will also host an informal discussion between the speaker and trainees, and will include coffee and lunch meetings with students and postdoctoral scholars from diverse affinity groups. The seminar will be open to the entire campus community and provide valuable advice and personal perspectives on how underrepresented and marginalized individuals can navigate career-related hurdles, work productively with colleagues, mentors, and allies, and promote an inclusive and diverse culture at Stanford and beyond.

Documentary Film Screening & Speaker Series

Participating Department(s): Art & Art History
Keyword(s): Documentary, Film, Filmmaker
Contact: Ellie Wen,

A series of monthly film screenings and discussions geared towards exploring the works of a diverse group of filmmakers. There will be a focus on films by women, people of color, and LGBTQ individuals. We will host screenings and invite guest filmmakers to participate in Q&As and teach master class workshops. The screening and speaker series will be an opportunity for the Documentary Film MFA graduate students to extend their discourse beyond the classroom, but it will also be open to all members of the Stanford community, in hopes of fostering a greater dialogue about documentary film.

Female Academics in Foreign Policy (FAFP)

Participating Department(s): Communication, History, International Policy Studies, Law, Materials Science and Engineering, Political Science 
Keyword(s): Foreign Policy, Women
Contact: Rachel Myrick, 

Female Academics in Foreign Policy (FAFP) is an interdisciplinary working group of female graduate students and post-docs interested in contemporary U.S. foreign policy issues. It aims to diversify the voices involved in foreign policymaking by helping women acquire tools to identify policy-relevant research areas and develop skills for “bridging the gap” between academia and policymaking. In Fall and Winter, FAFP hosts senior academics and policymakers to lead conversations about foreign policy issues of their choosing. Speakers identify gaps in policy-relevant research and discuss successful op-eds and policy articles. In the Spring, FAFP members create and workshop their own policy writing.

Feminist Fridays

Participating Department(s): All
Keyword(s): Feminism, Book Club, Intersectional
Contact: Lauren Sukin,

For the past year, this group has served as an opportunity for graduate students to engage with each other and their gender identities through discussions of creative, intersectional feminist works. Every month, students from across the university are invited to examine a different text dealing with pertinent issues impacting primarily non-male individuals in the modern world. The students then assemble over refreshments in a comfortable forum designed to foster (1) positive discussion of identity, (2) a sense of a supportive community for the women, intersex, and trans-individual at Stanford, and (3) a robust inter-departmental intellectual community.

Future Advancers of Science and Technology (FAST)

Participating Department(s): Aeronautics & Astronautics, Applied Physics, Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Biology, Biophysics, Cancer Biology, Chemical and Systems Biology, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Computer Science, Developmental Biology, Earth System Science, Education, Electrical Engineering, Genetics, Geological Sciences, Materials Science and Engineering, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Medicine, Neurobiology, Neurology & Neurological Sciences, Neurosciences, Physics, Statistics, Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine, Structural Biology
Keyword(s): FAST, Mentoring, STEM
Contact: Cooper Galvin,

The Future Advancers of Science and Technology (FAST) forms a partnership between Stanford University graduate students and students and teachers at Andrew Hill High School (AHHS), a diverse low-income school in East San Jose. FAST increases participation of underrepresented minority students in STEM by mentoring students do self-generated science projects. Stanford mentors meet every other week with students to brainstorm and carry out these projects. Many enter science fairs and all participate in a final symposium at Stanford. With the support of a SPICE grant this year, we will expand FAST to another high school and expand the curriculum.

STEM Roundtable Series & Tools to Succeed Series (GradSWE)

Participating Department(s): Aeronautics & Astronautics, Bioengineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering, Management Science & Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering
Keyword(s): Interdisciplinary Discussions, Female Empowerment, STEM Research and Media
Contact: Isamar Rosa,

GradSWE seeks to promote engineering, provide professional development, and enhance the diversity of the Stanford Engineering community. We focus primarily on supporting female graduate engineers through community building, mentorship, leadership, and networking. The STEM Roundtable Series will serve as a forum to foster interactions among the diverse student community where students can feel free to present their research or lead discussions on relating to Women/Minorities/STEM. The Tools to Succeed Series will draw upon resources from across campus to offer talks on how underrepresented groups in STEM can succeed in academia or industry.

Inaugural Day of LGBTQ+ Visibility at Stanford Medicine

Participating Department(s): Anesthesia, Biochemistry, Biomedical Informatics, Biophysics, Cancer Biology, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Chemical and Systems Biology, Comparative Medicine, Dermatology, Epidemiology and Clinical Research, Health Research & Policy, Immunology, Medical Scientist Training Program, Medicine, Microbiology & Immunology, Neurobiology, Neurology & Neurological Sciences, Neurosciences, Neurosurgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ophthalmology, Orthopaedic Surgery, Otolaryngology (Head and Neck Surgery),Pathology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine, Structural Biology, Surgery, Urology
Keyword(s): LGBTQ, Medicine, Healthcare
Contact: Timothy Keyes,

In 2017, the SOM's Office of Faculty Development and Diversity disseminated a survey regarding LGBTQ diversity and inclusion at Stanford Medicine. The survey indicated that ~14% of the Stanford Medicine community identifies as LGBTQ+; for students, this percentage is considerably larger (>25% ). Further, 94% of LGBTQ-identifying respondents rated the SOM as having "only some" or "a weak sense of community.”

In response, the SOM's affinity group for sexual and gender minority-identifying medical students (LGBTQ-Meds) and the LGBTQ+ Subcommittee of the Dean's Diversity Cabinet are organizing a medical campus-wide event to celebrate the LGBTQ and allied communities in healthcare.

Mothers in Academia

Participating Department(s): All
Keyword(s): Mothers, parents, Pregnant
Contact: Tina Cheuk,

Mothers in Academia is a network of mothers 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. This network supports graduate student and postdoc mothers and educate the broader academy on how to support and integrate pregnant and parenting students into the academy. Together, we discuss and problem-solve complex issues, emotions, and professional questions around working and learning as a mother in the academy.

MSTP: Preview and Mentorship for Underrepresented Prospective Students

Participating Department(s): Medical Scientist Training Program, Medicine
Keyword(s): Recruitment, Pipeline, MSTP
Contact: Akshay Sanghi,

Medical scientist training programs (MD/PhD programs) across the nation have trained few students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Stanford MSTP students are organizing an MSTP preview event to recruit and engage with undergraduates from underrepresented backgrounds. The event will clarify the MSTP career path and build attendees’ career skills. Furthermore, each attendee will have a long-term big sibling, which will be a current Stanford MSTP. The near-peer mentorship and a social justice training session will allow us to learn about the educational experiences of disadvantaged students while enhancing our recruitment and admission of diverse future classes.

Paths to a PhD: How to Pursue a Career in Psychology

Participating Department(s): Psychology
Keyword(s): Graduate School, Underrepresented Minorities, Psychology
Contact: Caitlin Handron,

There is often an imbalance in the distribution of the resources 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 and research positions 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.

Queer Perspective Speaker Series

Participating Department(s): All
Keyword(s): STEM, Queer, Seminar
Contact: Christopher Siefe,

Queer Perspectives is a speaker series that empowers queer Stanford students (undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral) to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by hosting successful queer academics and professionals from those fields to talk about their experience and the intersection of their identity and career. The Queer Perspectives Speaker Series is coordinated by the Stanford Chapter of Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (oSTEM@Stanford) and provides an opportunity for networking, community building, and professional development between students and openly queer individuals advanced in their careers.

Reclaiming Social Theory: Engaging Works Silenced by and Produced Beyond the Academy

Participating Department(s): Anthropology, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Music, Theater and Performance Studies
Keyword(s): Critical Theory, Feminist Collaboration, Engaged Scholarship
Contact: Allison Kendra,

This project collectively encounters and engages with works systematically silenced in academia or produced beyond it, counteracting social theory canons that marginalize diverse producers and forms of work important to academic and practical thought about humans, societies, and their past, present, and future becomings. Grounded in feminist collaboration, this project builds a platform for thinking along with innovative creators and creations in social theory, broadly defined. It seeks to rebuild and reclaim research methodologies and approaches, syllabi, discussions inside and outside of the classroom, bibliographies, collegiality, and other structural and enacted forms of engaging diverse producers of critical social thought.

Solidarity, Leadership, Inclusion, Diversity (SoLID) Mentorship Program

Participating Department(s): Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Biology, Biomedical Informatics, Biophysics, Cancer Biology, Chemical and Systems Biology, Developmental Biology, Immunology, Microbiology & Immunology, Molecular & Cellular Physiology, Neurosciences, Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine, Structural Biology
Keyword(s): Mentorship, Solidarity, Community
Contact: Amber Moore,

SoLID gives students access to a wider mentorship support network made of up faculty advocates who are committed to promoting inclusion and retention across the Biosciences. This program creates a space for students to discuss issues that may fall outside the bounds of research, including identity, impostor syndrome, stereotype threat and/or related challenges. Establishing a deeper connection between faculty and students benefits both groups, as participating mentors 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.

Someone Like Me: A Postdoc-Graduate Student Mentoring Program for Trainees with Minoritized Backgrounds

Participating Department(s): All
Keyword(s): Mentoring, Academic Community
Contact: Ioana Marin,

The proposed postdoc-graduate student mentoring program seeks to provide more professional guidance to graduate students from minoritized backgrounds, who often struggle to find relatable role models at the faculty level. Postdocs comprise a more diverse population, often seek opportunities to mentor, and intimately understand the current academic climate. The program will bring together postdocs and students at monthly themed lunches with group discussions on topics chosen based on surveyed attendees’ needs and interests. Through this format, we aim to educate attendees and to build a robust community of mentors and mentees.

Stanford Exposure to Research and Graduate Education (SERGE)

Participating Department(s): Aeronautics & Astronautics, Applied Physics, Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Biology, Biomedical Informatics, Biophysics, Chemical and Systems Biology, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Computational Geosciences, Computer Science, Earth System Science, Earth Systems Program, Electrical Engineering, Geological Sciences, Geophysics, Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering, Management Science & Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Mathematical and Computational Finance, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Microbiology & Immunology, Molecular & Cellular Physiology, Neurobiology, Neurology & Neurological Sciences, Neurosciences, Statistics
Keyword(s): Graduate, Diversity, Retention
Contact: Matthew Clarke,

The goal of SERGE is to support the School of Engineering’s mission of recruiting a diverse pool of high achieving and high aptitude college students to advance Stanford University’s research enterprise and contribute to the advancement of the broader society. SERGE seeks to achieve this goal through the following: Supporting the academic success and interests of a diverse graduate student or postdoctoral scholar population. Enhancing the quality of the educational experiences of a diverse graduate student or postdoctoral scholar population. Cultivating interest in academic careers and diversifying the professoriate. Encouraging undergraduate students to consider PhD programs and a research career.

Stanford Language Teachers (SLaTe)

Participating Department(s): Education
Keyword(s): Language, Teaching, Education
Contact: Kimiko Lange,

Stanford Language Teachers (SLaTe) is a cohort of past, present, and future world language teachers. By banding together, we provide support, advice, and empowerment for each other as we pursue this extraordinary path. SLaTe hosts regular open meetings and quarterly events to address questions and explore ideas about language teaching, particularly in K-16 settings.

Stanford Law Women In Politics

Participating Department(s): Law
Keyword(s): Empowerment, Leadership, Strategizing
Contact: Sarah Dohan,

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 Math Directed Reading Program (DRP)

Participating Department(s): School of Humanities & Sciences
Keyword(s): Mathematics, Mentorship
Contact: Weston Ungemach,

The Mathematics Directed Reading Program (DRP) pairs undergraduate students with graduate student mentors one-on-one to meet weekly as they read an agreed-upon mathematical text over the course of a quarter; this culminates in a colloquium in which the undergraduates give short talks about what they learned. The goal is to build connections between the undergraduate and graduate student communities by helping undergraduates and graduates engage in substantive mathematical projects together, and to facilitate the transfer of mathematical cultural capital to our undergraduate participants. This program is based on similar programs successfully operating at Berkeley, UChicago, UConn, UT Austin, and Maryland.

Stanford Science Penpals

Participating Department(s): Aeronautics & Astronautics, Applied Physics, Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Biology, Biomedical Informatics, Biophysics, Cancer Biology, Chemical and Systems Biology, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Computer Science, Developmental Biology, Earth System Science, Electrical Engineering, Genetics, Geophysics, Immunology, Materials Science and Engineering, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Medical Scientist Training Program, Medicine, Microbiology & Immunology, Molecular & Cellular Physiology, Neurobiology, Neurology & Neurological Sciences, Neurosciences,  Neurosurgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, Physics, Statistics, Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine, Structural Biology
Keyword(s): Diversity in Academia, Science Outreach, Letter-Writing
Contact: Teni Anbarchian,

Stanford Science Penpals was established by Stanford graduate students to:

1. Engage more Stanford members in science outreach by providing flexible and impactful outreach opportunities.
2. Provide science role models for 6th-12th graders in disadvantaged schools across the U.S., and expose them to scientific careers. Stanford graduate students and postdocs working in science-related fields write letters to students in different states. These letters introduce young students to academic and career options in sciences and inspire them to pursue their dreams. In turn, Stanford members hone their science communication and mentorship skills while learning about different cultures and perspectives.

Stanford Women in Earth Science

Participating Department(s): Computational Geosciences, Earth System Science, Earth Systems Program, Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources, Geological Sciences, Geophysics
Keyword(s): Gender, Earth Science, Networking
Contact: Katerina Gonzales,

Stanford Women in Earth Science’s (WES) mission is to9 promote gender diversity in scientific fields of study related to the Earth. We seek to empower women in earth science at Stanford, build networks within and outside of Stanford, and cultivate a safe, supportive community across the School of Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences and related programs. We hold professional development workshops, host successful scientists, and organize mixers and discussions for our members.

Stanford Women in Math Mentoring (SWIMM)

Participating Department(s): Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering, Mathematics, Statistics
Keyword(s): Women in STEM, Math Outreach
Contact: Evangelie Zachos,

This program has two components: organizing group events for women in mathematics at Stanford and pairing undergraduate women interested in math with graduate mentors from math, statistics, and ICME to meet regularly. Both group and individual meetings provide a social web welcoming the undergraduates into the mathematical community. The program helps undergraduates to learn more about graduate school, fellowships, careers in the mathematical sciences and how to interact positively and actively with mathematics at Stanford. 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.

STEM Outreach Training Workshop Series for See Mechanical Engineering (SeeME)

Participating Department(s): School of Engineering
Keyword(s): STEM Outreach, Outreach Development, Engineering
Contact: Hilario Torres,

SeeME is an annual outreach event that is hosted in the mechanical engineering department. Over the course of a day high school students from the bay area have the opportunity to take several "mini courses" that are designed and administered by graduate students from the mechanical engineering department. This DIF grant supports a workshop series to help our student teachers develop effective "mini courses" for SeeME. The topics covered in the workshop series include but are not limited to: effective course design, setting learning goals, and communicating technical material to non-technical audience.

Summer Math and Science Honors Academy - Medical Exposure Curriculum

Participating Department(s): Health Research & Policy, Medicine, Surgery
Keyword(s): STEM, Medical Exposure, Underrepresented
Contact: Miquell Miller,

Our project is a STEM-intensive college preparatory program for underrepresented and low-income high school students of color in the local area. Our collaborators, Level Playing Field Institute will recruit students and lead computer science, engineering, and design thinking courses. Our focus will be introducing medical workshops designed to stimulate interest and encourage confidence in pursuing healthcare careers. The proposed medical curriculum includes five 90-minute workshops during the summer of 2018. These workshops will give Stanford students and faculty an opportunity to interact with and be mentors for a diverse youth and provide valuable hands-on medical experiences for high schoolers.

Summer Mentors in STEM

Participating Department(s): Applied Physics, Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Biology, Biomedical Informatics, Biophysics, Cancer Biology, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Computer Science, Developmental Biology, Electrical Engineering, Immunology, Materials Science and Engineering, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Medicine, Microbiology & Immunology, Molecular & Cellular Physiology, Neurobiology, Neurology & Neurological Sciences, Neurosciences, Particle Physics & Astrophysics (SLAC),Physics, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Psychology, Sociology, Statistics, Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine, Structural Biology
Keyword(s): Mentorship, Summer, High School
Contact: Derek Huang,

Summer Mentors in STEM aims to train and support graduate students and postdoctoral scholars as they mentor high school students from groups traditionally underrepresented in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). High school students from underrepresented groups face significant barriers to taking full advantage of summer research opportunities available at Stanford. To address this inequality, Summer Mentors in STEM will host events for mentors to learn about working with students from diverse backgrounds. During the summer, mentors will meet to discuss how to navigate their roles as educators and guides for their high school student interns.