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2021 SGSI Course Overview

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Adventures in Design Thinking: A Experience

  • Leticia Britos Cavagnaro, PhD, adjunct professor and co-director, University Innovation Fellows program,
  • Sam Seidel, PhD, adjunct professor and co-director, K-12 Lab program,
  • Meenu Singh, instructor, Teaching and Learning Studio,
  • Aleta Hayes, lecturer, Theater and Performance Studies (TAPS)

If you want to succeed in a rapidly changing world, you will need to work with others outside of your discipline and learn from everyone and from every situation. This hands-on workshop will give you the opportunity to develop abilities used by designers towards these goals.

Audience: Open to all graduate students in any discipline who are interested in design thinking as a methodology for interdisciplinary collaboration and have not previously taken a quarter-long course. This is not a product or service design class.

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

  • Kathy Davies, MS, design and managing director, Life Design Lab
  • John Armstrong, MA, lecturer and fellow, Life Design Lab
  • Chris Simamora, lecturer and fellow, Life Design Lab
  • Shanice Webb, MEd, lecturer and fellow, Life Design Lab

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.

Audience: Open to all graduate students in any discipline, as well as postdoctoral scholars, if space allows. If oversubscribed, preference is given to doctoral students near completion of their degree.

Diversity and Inclusion in STEMM

  • Miriam B. Goodman, professor, Molecular and Cellular Physiology 

Creativity, persistence, and knowledge thrive in diverse and inclusive environments. These skills are not only valuable in the humanities, but are crucial to success in science, technology, engineering, math, and medicine (STEMM). Despite decades of change, female researchers and researchers of color are few and far between. Learn what factors limit diversity and inclusion in STEMM and work in teams to invent interventions to counteract these factors.

Audience: Open to all graduate students in any discipline, as well as postdoctoral scholars, if space allows.  Will be most beneficial for individuals unfamiliar with social science research related to diversity and inclusion.

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

  • Yi Cui, PhD, director, Precourt Institute for Energy; professor, Materials Science and Engineering 
  • Harold Hwang, PhD, deputy director, Stanford Institute for Materials & Energy Sciences (SIMES); professor, Applied Physics and Photon Science

Jumpstart your energy education at Stanford! Build your personal energy network and hear about current research from distinguished Stanford energy faculty and expert speakers. Develop a broad perspective on energy and meet Silicon Valley energy entrepreneurs. Compete in the En-ROADS team challenge. This three-and-a-half-day course will allow you to meet fellow incoming graduate and professional school students who share and interest in energy, and build an interdisciplinary cross-campus community.

Audience: An energy background is not required. Open to incoming graduate and professional school students in any discipline are encouraged to apply.

Ethics & the Academy

  • Anne Newman, research director, McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society

Who gets admitted to selective universities and why? Who should benefit from university resources? When controversies erupt, what values should guide their resolution? This course will address perennial ethical questions on campus. We will explore the values (e.g. justice, equality, diversity) underlying campus debates (e.g. about admissions, free speech, student integrity policies, and intellectual property.) Participants will gain insight into their role at the university, learn to recognize values inherent in campus policies, and reflect on norms that shape their training.

Audience: Open to all graduate students in any discipline, as well as postdoctoral scholars, if space allows.

Exploring Planetary Stewardship: Sustainability Solutions in a Rapidly Changing World

  • Nicole M. Ardoin, Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources (E-IPER), Woods Institute for the Environment, Graduate School of Education
  • Noah Diffenbaugh, School of Earth, Energy, & Environmental Sciences, Woods Institute for the Environment
  • Mele Wheaton, research scholar, Social Ecology Lab, Woods Institute for the Environment & Graduate School of Education

Explore planetary stewardship from a range of perspectives, including systems and solutions orientations. Through guest speakers, large- and small-group discussions, hands-on workshops, and a panel with faculty designing Stanford’s new climate and sustainability school, you will hone your knowledge and skills in areas from alternative energy to waste management, from climate change to community engagement, and more. By the end of the week, you will have expanded your network of colleagues in the fields of environment, energy, and sustainability, and you will leave with actionable next steps to apply a sustainability lens to your own scholarship.

Audience: Open to all graduate students in any discipline, as well as postdoctoral scholars, if space allows. If oversubscribed, preference is given to doctoral students in the first 3 years of their program.

Flourishing: The Art and Science of a Life Well Lived

  • Aneel Chima, PhD, director, Division of Health and Human Performance and the Stanford Flourishing Project
  • Frederic Luskin, PhD, director, Stanford Forgiveness Project

Explore human flourishing and how to practice it in an age of hyper-complexity and ever-accelerating pace. This course will engage these ideas through research-informed reading, class discussion, and guided practice related to the psychological, emotional, and social factors that promote a well-lived life. Graduate students from a range of disciplines will learn how transform this learning from concept to lived experience.

Audience: Open to all graduate students in any discipline, as well as postdoctoral scholars, if space allows.

Inclusive and Effective Teaching

  • Jennifer Randall Crosby, PhD, Psych One coordinator, Department of Psychology

Are you looking for tools and strategies to connect with all of your students, proactively plan and execute inclusive and effective approaches to student engagement and learning, and create space for productive discussions in your classes? This course will combine examining research and writing on identity and academic experiences with developing practical and intentional approaches to teaching and course design. Students in this course will gain an expanded toolkit of specific teaching strategies for student engagement and greater confidence addressing challenging issues in the classroom.

Audience: Open to all graduate students in any discipline, as well as postdoctoral scholars, if space allows.

Jumpstart Your Academic Job Search

  • Chris Golde, PhD, assistant director of Career Communities–PhDs & postdocs, BEAM, Stanford Career Education
  • Arne Bakker, PhD, director of Meetings and Community for Science, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

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.

Audience: Open to advanced doctoral students and postdoctoral scholars entering the faculty job market during 2021-22.

Public Policy Negotiation: Multiparty Problem-solving and Conflict Resolution

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

As a professional, you will probably negotiate more than you do anything else. You will negotiate with your boss, your colleagues, your assistant, as well as with other organizations, the public, perhaps the media, and so on. In doing so, you will communicate across institutional, cultural, linguistic, even national boundaries.

This course will help you develop an understanding of negotiation, as well as practical skills for collaborative problem-solving. The experience is highly interactive with simulations, small- and plenary group discussions, reflections, and feedback.

Audience: Open to all graduate students in any discipline interested in the public policy decision-making processes (particularly those who have not had a chance to explore these issues extensively through their coursework), as well as postdoctoral scholars, if space allows.

Research with Impact: Developing Skills as a Community Engaged Scholar

  • Joanne Tien, PhD, senior program director of engaged scholarship, Haas Center for Public Service
  • Luke Terra, PhD, associate director of community engaged learning and research, Haas Center for Public Service

Stanford’s vision calls on the university to pursue research that accelerates solutions to the world’s most pressing problems and there are many efforts on campus that engage graduate students in carrying out this kind of problem-focused research. Join us to learn from leading scholars about different approaches to community engaged scholarship and how you can develop a research agenda that addresses priorities and needs of the broader community. Each session will involve scholars from across campus, and by the end of the week participants will draft a brief research memo to guide their next steps.

Audience: Open to all graduate students in any discipline, as well as postdoctoral scholars, if space allows.

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. Note: Stanford Ignite does NOT take place the same week as SGSI. See the Ignite web page below to learn more.


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