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Student Testimonials


Daniel Ibarra, PhD student, Environmental Earth System Science

EDGE-STEM was an integral part of my first year pursuing a PhD at Stanford. Through EDGE, I interacted with fellow students from diverse backgrounds and academic interests, and built a support network outside of my research group and department that I know will be essential to my success over the next several years.


Rea Rostosky, PhD student, Electrical Engineering

EDGE fellows gain access to a valuable community of supportive mentors and peers from across all STEM fields at Stanford. The EDGE program is an important resource for me and it continues to enhance my graduate experience as a woman in engineering.


Felix Alfonso, PhD student, Chemistry

EDGE is an opportunity to meet and connect to a group of talented individuals. Sharing my first year experiences with them has been rewarding and enlightening.


Aaron Strong, PhD Candidate, Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources

Being an EDGE mentor has been a fantastic experience: it's taught me that being a good mentor isn't about following a protocol, it's about engaging at a personal level, and it's done by sharing what you've learned through your own journey. Graduate school is an "all-in" kind of experience: it's a decision that involves the totality of one's scholarly, professional, social and personal self and guiding someone through that process is an incredibly rewarding experience.


Tiffany Brannon, PhD, Psychology, Former EDGE-SBE Mentor

I have been a participant in the SBE-EDGE program since my first year of graduate study. My participation in the program has tremendously enhanced my graduate experience through opportunities to meet and network with peers in different departments, attend national conferences, as well as participate in summer training institutes.


Tamara Sims, PhD, Psychology, Former EDGE-SBE Mentor

EDGE has provided me with opportunities for both academic and social support. There are numerous events in which members can hear about research by their fellow students and present their own research to receive feedback from a variety of perspectives across disciplines. Additionally, students cultivate relationships with each other, so there's a sense of community and support throughout the ups and downs of graduate school.


Ali Adam Valenzuela, PhD, Political Science, Former EDGE-SBE Mentor

EDGE-SBE has been a great way to connect with diverse grad students in social sciences outside of political science, which is important in an ever-more interdisciplinary world. The program provides a flexible structure for us older grad students to reach out and engage with the younger students as they enter and continue their Ph.D. programs. Over the years I've had a chance to get to know many of the EDGE fellows, and whenever possible pass on info that might be useful to know, or that I wish I had known coming in to my program, back when EDGE didn't exist! When I started political science back in 2005, I was the only US-born Latino, but now there are five and EDGE-SBE has been an important factor in attracting and keeping these excellent students.


Ariel T. Méndez, PhD Candidate, Political Science, EDGE-SBE Mentor

I was attracted to the EDGE program because of the wonderful opportunities it gives to support diversity in graduate education. The chance to meet and interact with a diverse group of students in other departments on a regular basis is fantastic, and I have found the mentor program to be invaluable. The program is a great source of support.


Jason Okonofua, PhD Candidate, EDGE-SBE Mentor

I joined EDGE in hopes of learning from and giving back to the diversity community at Stanford. I am in my first year, and so far, EDGE has been a great asset in navigating my new life as a graduate student and underrepresented student. It is great to be a part of such a welcoming and helpful community.