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2023 SGSI Course Overview

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Adventures in Design Thinking: A Experience 

Course is closed

  • 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.

Coaching High-Performance Teams & Individuals 

Course is closed

  • Evelyn Williams, teaching professor, Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business; formerly director, Stanford Center for Leadership, Development, & Research and lecturer at the Graduate School of Business

How can you take any group of reasonable people and turn them into a high-performing team?  That’s the central question we answer in this boot-camp style experiential class.  The purpose of the Coaching High-Performance Teams & Individuals course is to change the way you think about team problems, opportunities, and yourself. Through challenging team exercises, coaching sessions, and lots of hands-on experiences, this course is definitely NOT a spectator sport.  However, in one week, participants leave this course with team analysis and coaching tools that will empower you to impact the world in profound ways.

Audience: Open to all graduate students in any discipline, as well as postdoctoral scholars (if space allows), who are interested in becoming a strong team member and team leader.

Designing the Professional

Course is closed

  • Dustin Liu, lecturer and fellow, Life Design Lab
  • Urmila Venkatesh, lecturer and fellow, Life Design Lab
  • Shanice Webb, lecturer and fellow, Life Design Lab
  • Kathy Davies, managing director, Life Design Lab, Department of Mechanical Engineering

What do you want out of life after graduate school? Wondering how to weave together what fits, is doable, and will be truly meaningful? Join us for Designing the Professional, from the people who brought you Designing Your Life. This course applies the principles of design thinking to the "wicked problem" of designing your life and vocation while 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 interaction and 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.

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

Course is closed

  • 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 at Stanford and hear about current research from over 25 distinguished Stanford energy faculty and expert speakers. Develop a broad perspective on energy and meet Silicon Valley energy entrepreneurs. Tour Stanford's state-of-the-art energy facilities. Connect with Explore Energy and the robust energy community on campus. This four-day course will allow you to meet fellow incoming graduate and professional school students who share an interest in energy, and build an interdisciplinary community across campus. An energy background is not required; students from all schools and departments are encouraged to apply.

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

Course is closed

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

Ethical questions arise in all aspects of campus life. This course will examine some of these perennial questions and the foundational values that underlie them (e.g., justice, merit, equality). We will explore these values by considering current debates on campuses about issues like admissions, research ethics, anti-racist policies and practices, university finances, and most broadly, what a justice-promoting university might entail. We will discuss short readings and hear from guest speakers to learn about relevant campus norms and their rationales.

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 

Course is closed

  • Nicole Ardoin, associate professor, Environmental Behavioral Sciences, Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability

Join us to explore planetary stewardship from a range of perspectives, including systems and solutions orientations. Through guest speakers, large- and small-group discussions, and hands-on workshops with faculty and academic staff deeply engaged in Stanford’s new Doerr School of Sustainability, you will hone your knowledge and skills in areas from systems thinking 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 

Course is closed

  • Frederic Luskin, PhD, director, Stanford Forgiveness Project
  • Jessica Jacobson, Psy.D

This course explores human flourishing and how to practice it in an age of hyper-complexity and ever-accelerating pace. We 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 to 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.

Jumpstart Your Academic Job Search 

Course is closed

  • Chris Golde, PhD, assistant director of Career Coaching and Education for PhDs & Postdocs, 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, the job talk and, research, diversity, and teaching statements. 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 2023-24.

Public Policy Negotiation: Multiparty Problem-solving and Conflict Resolution 

Course is closed

  • Jan Martinez, PhD, senior lecturer in Law
  • Brenna Powell, PhD, lecturer in Law

This course is designed to help you develop your understanding of negotiation and your awareness of yourself as a negotiator. The course will provide tools and concepts to analyze and prepare for negotiations; enhance your negotiation skills through simulations, cases, reflection and feedback; and extend those skills into collaborative problem-solving and conflict resolution in public policy contexts you may encounter in your professional life.

This is a highly interactive and intensive course organized around simulations, small group and plenary group activities, guest speakers and discussions. We place a strong emphasis on peer-to-peer as well as instructor 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.

Race and Diversity in Higher Education: Problems, Strategies, Opportunities 

Course is closed

  • Vaughn Rasberry, associate vice provost for graduate education: professor, Department of English

As many universities promote diversity and equity and foster the study of race and racial inequality, various political actors today seek determinedly to undermine these efforts. Faculty and graduate students who study race worry about the future of their fields—and are strategizing ways to fight back. How do we make sense of this landscape, and what can be done to navigate and to counteract these pressures? In this course, we will wrestle with this question by reading and discussing recent scholarship, by sharing our own knowledge and experience, and by developing practical skills for publication, research opportunities, and more.

Audience: Early-stage graduate students.

Research with Impact: Developing Skills as a Community Engaged Scholar 

Course is closed

  • Clayton A. Hurd, PhD, director of community engaged research, Haas Center for Public Service
  • Joanne Tien, PhD, director of RAISE Doctoral Fellowship Program, Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education

Stanford’s vision calls on the university to pursue research and creative activity 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 scholarship. 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 incoming and current graduate students in any discipline, as well as postdoctoral scholars, if space allows.

Teaching as Research (TAR): Leverage Your Skills as a Scholar to Improve Your Teaching 

Course is closed

  • Dr. Sarah Pickett, associate director, faculty and lecturer programs

Are you curious about what influences student learning and experience in the classroom? Join this community to ignite your curiosity, utilize and develop research skills, and discover pedagogical literature that will guide your design of a project centered on understanding and ultimately improving student outcomes. Designing this TAR project will help you become a more reflective instructor that can use classroom evidence to improve and inform your teaching. Completing the TAR project afterwards will fulfill a significant portion of the requirements for the Practitioner level CIRTL@Stanford teaching certificate and may also help with future job applications and interviews.

Audience: Open to all graduate students in any discipline, as well as postdoctoral scholars, if space allows. If oversubscribed, preference to those more advanced in their teaching careers or who have completed the Associate level CIRTL@Stanford teaching certificate.

For any additional questions, please email