Skip to content Skip to navigation

2016 SGSI Course Overview

Adventures in Design Thinking participants experientially explore design thinking methodology.

VPGE 2015

Explore ~ Experience ~ Expand

Adventures in Design Thinking: A Experience

  • Leticia Britos Cavagnaro, PhD, lecturer,; deputy director, National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation

  • Colleagues from the and across campus

This week-long immersive workshop will lead you in the experiential exploration of design thinking, a methodology for creative and human-centered problem solving that will prepare you to lead innovation in teams at Stanford and in your future endeavors. Along the way, you will discover different factors that stimulate and inhibit creativity and innovation in individuals, teams, and organizations.

Behavior Change: Tools for Building a Better You

  • Aneel Chima, PhD, head and academic coordinator, The Stanford Wellness Education Program

  • Frederic Luskin, PhD, senior consultant for wellness, The Stanford Wellness Education Program; founder and director, The Stanford Forgiveness Project

This experiential course presents the latest scientific evidence on how to change your behaviors for the better and implement behaviors that enhance life satisfaction and flourishing. We will cover ways to decrease procrastination and enhance productivity, improve time management, limit the overuse of technology and harmful substances, and show you how the experts tackle other simple yet confounding life challenges. Drawing upon insights in neuroscience, psychology, and other disciplines, we will facilitate practice in motivational interviewing, peer coaching, cognitive reframing, meditation, and guided-imagery to minimize unwanted behaviors and create desired new ones.

Designing the Professional: Addressing the question, "Once I get my degree, how do I get a life?"

  • Taught by members of the Life Design Lab, led by Kathy Davies, MS Design and Fellow

What do you want out of life after Stanford?  Wondering how to weave together what fits, is doable, and will be truly meaningful?  Join us for Designing the Professional.  This course applies the innovation principles of design thinking to the "wicked problem" of designing your life and vocation in and beyond Stanford.  We'll approach these lifelong questions with a structured framework set in a seminar where you can work out your ideas in conversation with your peers.

Digital Publishing at a Crossroads: The Case of Stanford's Arcade

  • Roland Greene, PhD, director, Arcade; professor, English and Comparative Literature

Explore the opportunities and challenges of open­‐access digital publishing through the case of Arcade, a "digital salon" for literature and the humanities that welcomes thousands of visitors weekly. Arcade is regarded as a model of intellectual exchange designed by and for scholars of literature; at the same time, it can be adapted to other fields, and most of the technical, legal, and practical issues it confronts demand a multi-disciplinary approach. You will collaborate in small, interdisciplinary teams with other students to think constructively about and propose solutions to these problems faced by Arcade and other websites—in digital publishing and in general.

Energy@Stanford & SLAC: Energy Research for the 21st Century

  • Sally Benson, PhD, co-director, Precourt Institute for Energy; director, Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP); professor, Energy Resources Engineering

  • Tom Devereaux, PhD, co-director, Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Sciences (SIMES); professor, Photon Science, SLAC; senior fellow, Precourt Institute for Energy

  • Arun Majumdar, PhD, co-director, Precourt Institute for Energy; professor, Mechanical Engineering

Jumpstart your energy education at Stanford. Build your personal energy network at Stanford and learn about current research from over 35 distinguished Stanford energy faculty and expert speakers. Develop a broad perspective on energy and meet Silicon Valley energy entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. Visit a local energy company in Silicon Valley. This four-day course will allow you to meet fellow incoming graduate and professional school students who also have an interest in energy and build an interdisciplinary community across campus. You are not required to have a background in energy; students from all departments are encouraged to apply.

Jumpstart Your Academic Job Search

  • Chris Golde, PhD, assistant director of career communities-PhDs & postdocs, BEAM, Stanford Career Education

  • Laura Dominguez Chan, associate dean of career education & director of career communities, BEAM, Stanford Career Education

  • Arne Bakker, PhD, assistant dean & associate director of career communities–PhDs & postdocs, BEAM, Stanford Career Education

Are you about to enter the job market for a faculty position? Get a jumpstart on preparing yourself and your application materials. This course is practical and experiential, involving practicing and editing. We will work on both written and oral parts of your job search preparation, including CVs, cover letters, research and teaching statements, and the job talk. Experts from across Stanford will present. An interdisciplinary class of peers will support you.

Leadership Laboratories

  • Evelyn Williams, F.M. Kirby Foundation Chair of Leadership Development and professor of practice, Wake Forest University

When you graduate from Stanford, you face a world that expects you to demonstrate not only talent and knowledge, but effective communication and influence skills. Whether you have studied engineering, medicine, education, social sciences or other fields, as a Stanford graduate you may find yourself in positions where your ability to navigate change and interpersonal dynamics is just as important as your subject matter expertise and analytical skills. The Leadership Laboratories are a series of experiential simulations and modules, designed to cultivate the skills critical to navigating complex, interdependent teams and organizations. We focus on skills that help you influence outcomes, motivate others, and build productive working relationships—skills that will have a positive multiplier effect on your impact in the workplace.

Learning by Design: Designing Courses for Effective Student Learning

  • Mariatte Denman, PhD, director of graduate teaching and peer learning programs, Vice Provost for Teaching & Learning

  • Tim Randazzo, PhD, associate director of graduate teaching and peer learning programs, Vice Provost for Teaching & Learning

  • Katherine Breeden, doctoral student, Computer Science; teaching consultant, Vice Provost for Teaching & Learning

This new SGSI course provides graduate students and postdoctoral scholars with a collaborative and immersive environment in which to use effective course design principles to design a new course. You will apply the research on teaching and learning to the development of a syllabus and/or selected class materials for your course. Topics will take into account your and other participants’ needs and interests, and may include: making course content decisions, creating assignments that solidify learning, teaching with technology, grading and other assessments of student learning, and understanding and engaging students.

Local Agriculture and Sustainable Food Systems

  • Patrick Archie, director, Stanford Educational Farm Program, School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences

This SGSI course is designed specifically for graduate students interested in sustainable agriculture and food systems who have not had the opportunity to explore these areas extensively through their coursework. The course takes advantage of cutting-edge work being done in the Bay Area through field trips to innovative farms engaged in transforming local food systems. We will examine the challenges and opportunities in food and farming systems in conversation with thought leaders in the field and through direct experience on local farms. You will be encouraged to connect with and learn from each other across disciplines through their shared interest in food and agriculture.

Public Policy Negotiation and Decision-making

  • Janet Martinez, senior lecturer, Law; director, Gould Negotiation & Mediation Program, Stanford Law School

This course is aimed at graduate students in all disciplines to focus on the analytical and practical skills of negotiation and decision-making. We will integrate theory with practice through literature, cases, and negotiation simulations in select public policy circumstances.

Race, Diversity, and Democracy

  • Tomás Jiménez, PhD, associate professor, Sociology; director, Undergraduate Program in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (CCSRE)

More than 50 years after after the zenith of the Civil Rights Movement, debates about the role of race in American democracy are as prevalent as ever. Whether it is the police shootings of unarmed black men, politicians barking about what to do about immigration, the perceived security threats posed by some immigrant groups, or the climate on college and university campuses, race has proven a durable organizing principle in American life. This new SGSI course goes behind the headlines to understand what race is and how it operates in multiple facets of life. Each day you will engage with the world’s leading scholars of race about what is arguably the greatest challenge to American democracy.

Stanford Ignite

Stanford Ignite is a four-week certificate program run by the Graduate School of Business that teaches innovators how to formulate, develop, and commercialize their ideas. You will learn core business skills and experience working on a team to develop a business plan around a new product or service for an existing organization or a new venture. It is designed for non-business students. The cost of participating in Stanford Ignite is heavily subsidized for Stanford graduate students and postdocs, but a fee to such participants is still charged, given the intensive nature of the program. Apply immediately, since admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis.

(NOTE: Stanford Ignite is run by the Graduate School of Business; its $500 fee for Stanford students is highly subsidized by the VPGE Office. The application deadline is in March 1, 2016 annually.  The program fills quickly.)


For any additional questions, please email