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People Spotlights

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  • Bakari Smith

    Stanford has been a journey of enormous self-discovery for me.
  • Manuel Amieva

    We’re really like walking planets to the microbes that inhabit us. For me, looking in the microscope is like being in a submarine, exploring landscapes that most people will never get to see.
  • Debbie Senesky

    It’s an exciting time to be an aerospace engineer. There have been amazing breakthroughs in the field, such as the realization of rockets that can launch, land and launch again.
  • Calvin Qi

    I enjoyed my time on the Stanford Jumprope team—the most optimistic, wholesome, and fun group ever.
  • Kathryn Gin Lum

    Studying religion lets me ask what people care deeply about and what they do about it. 
  • Jonathan Calm

    At times, art has been an escape from a reality that I didn’t see myself as being a part of. It’s served an escape from some of the brutality I’ve witnessed. 
  • Elizabeth Reese

    Growing up, my mom took me to ceremony and instilled values from my Native culture and heritage, and my father—who loves history and the classics—read to me from Homer and took me to Shakespeare plays.
  • Noah Folefac

    I’m passionate about social justice in the black community in the UK and passionate about statistics.
  • Naomi Girma

    For me, Stanford has the best of both worlds in academics and athletics.
  • Elizabeth Fox

    Ultimately I want to screenwrite, but I’m really, really interested in physics.
  • Roy Perkins

    Roy Perkins

    Roy Perkins, BS ’19, has taken home medals from three different Paralympic Games. Now it’s time for his next big achievement: receiving his diploma.
  • Bertrand Delorme

    Bertrand Delorme

    Delorme works as a research scientist at Alphabet’s Tidal, an X division moonshot project that aims to pioneer technologies that can help us understand what is happening underwater.
  • Alex Nguyen-Phuc

    Alex Nguyen-Phuc

    It was a reward and privilege that we could shape the educations of so many students through decisions like what articles to include with homework, or how to structure exams to test interdisciplinary application
  • Wendy De La Rosa

    Wendy De La Rosa

    The focus of most of my research is figuring out ways to help people make better financial decisions.
  • Ashutosh Thakur

    Ashutosh Thakur

    These projects take the theoretical tools and apply them to real-world problems and systems in practice.
  • Andrew Leon Hanna

    Andrew Leon Hanna

    I believe most people care deeply and want to unite when it comes to helping others in need
  • Sam Shapiro

    Sam Shapiro

    You can work with your own personality to find your own leadership style.
  • Alice Song

    Alice Song

    They have motivated me to work harder, aim higher, and be more compassionate.
  • Rachel Portillo

    Rachel Portillo

    Portillo is working with nonprofits near her hometown to help improve water management of traditional communal irrigation canals called “acequias” in her community.
  • Susan Cherry

    Susan Cherry

    These very large, detailed data sets allow us to study economic behavior and human behavior. It’s an exciting time to be doing research.
  • Maya Guzdar

    Maya Guzdar

    Maya Guzdar, who grew up in New York and California, will graduate in June with a bachelor’s degree in international relations. A senior class president and a scholar of Mandarin, she’ll soon begin a one-year master’s program as a Schwarzman Scholar at Ts
  • Emily Núñez Cavness 

    “I grew up with a sense of duty, of wanting to devote myself to public service,” she says. She was also inspired by one her uncles, an astronaut. She recalls visiting Cape Canaveral at age 5 to watch him blast off on a space mission and being instilled by
  • Derrick Boone Jr.

    Derrick Boone Jr.

    "If I can draw one thread through my entire life, it would probably be that I want to understand,” Boone says.
  • Tesay Yusef

    Tesay Yusuf

    "I declared a minor in AAAS [African and African American Studies] because once I got to Stanford, I realized that I had never critically thought about race and how I fit into Blackness."
  • David Albán Hidalgo

    David Albán Hidalgo

    "CSRE (Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity) courses give us the language and space to engage with questions we have always wanted to ask – and sometimes didn't know we wanted to ask –across a range of disciplines."
  • Savannah Pham

    Savannah Pham

    "Being open to how Asian American Studies intersects with other fields is key. My passion is destigmatizing mental health problems within the Asian American community, for example."
  • Jasmín Espinosa

    Jasmín Espinosa

    "Studying race and ethnicity has made me more empathetic toward others with different life experiences, and much more critical of my own actions. At Stanford, I try to encourage others to explore how race and ethnicity factor into their lives, and the liv
  • Marlette Jackson

    Marlette Jackson

    "As a part of my doctoral research, I studied the barriers women face in career advancement. I’m devoted to illuminating the ways conscious bias, unconscious bias and structural or organizational policies, processes, etc. impact a woman’s ability to grow
  • Danielle Cojuangco Abraham

    Danielle Cojuangco Abraham

    "I grew up in the Philippines. When I reflect back on my high school days, I remember doing well in math and science, but being most interested in art and anything that involved building things. I was a maker from the start."
  • Tawanda Mahere

    Tawanda Mahere

    Tawanda Michael Mahere was in Thailand two years ago and there was much to celebrate: The startup he’d been working at was being acquired by Google, he had a job offer from there, and he’d just applied to Stanford GSB.
  • Aryan Kenchin

    "The GSB is a place where you can not always do everything. One has to prioritize."
  • Diana Nassar

    Diana Nassar

    "The GSB has pushed me beyond what I thought was possible. It exposed me to opportunities and enabled me to connect with people from all over the world who are as passionate as I am to change lives, change organizations, and change the world."
  • Denley Delaney

    Denley Delaney

    As an Earth Systems major in the oceans and climate track, Delaney learned more about the physical, biological, and chemical underpinnings of the ocean system that are so vital to the economic and environmental security of The Bahamas.
  • Richard Nally

    Richard Nally

    Nally is a fourth-year graduate student in Kachru’s group studying black holes and number theory. He spoke about the experiences that led him to physics, the excitement of seeing math come alive and the inherently social nature of his work.
  • Dara Bobb-Semple

    Dara Bobb-Semple

    "In my own experience, without the support of various programs and many mentors, I would not be where I am today. It has been my personal mission to give others this same kind of support."
  • Usua U. Amanam

    Usua U. Amanam

    Engineer Usua U. Amanam hopes to continue what his father began in Nigeria.
  • Benjamin Yeh

    Benjamin Yeh

    Identical twins discuss the bonds they share, and the similar paths they have taken.
  • Christopher Yeh

    Christopher Yeh

    Identical twins discuss the bonds they share, and the similar paths they have taken.
  • Sharon Tran

    Sharon Tran

    "The spring of my sophomore year marks not only the midpoint of my Stanford career but also a need for a change of pace, which came to me in the form of the SiNY program. While I have grown and learned a lot at Stanford, I wanted the challenge and experie
  • Anthony Muro Villa III

    Anthony Muro Villa III

    "I feel there is still a lot of work to be done to work towards equitable access to subjects like mathematics, which is a subject that offers unparalleled advantages to higher education and social mobility."
  • Yanichka Ariunbold

    Yanichka Ariunbold

    "Turns out, the term 'mongolism' first rose to popularity in medical circles when John Langdon Down began categorizing patients as 'Mongolian idiots' and suggested that their condition, now known as Down syndrome, was somehow related to ethnic appearance.
  • Carrie Moore

    Carrie Moore

    "Being in STEP forces me to be highly reflective. I don’t just think about being the best teacher you can be; I have to show up as that teacher every day."
  • Jorge Cueto

    Jorge Cueto

    "[The DGen Office] made me feel like, yes, I have a place in this campus. I belong here."
  • Jessica Zhang Mi

    Jessica Zhang Mi

    "Although my identity is not specifically defined within first-generation and low-income, I have still found community with other FLI students. That goes to show the huge range of experiences of people who identify as FLI."
  • Chris Middleton

    Chris Middleton

    "When you’re a first-gen student, you kind of buy into that idea of the American Dream in the sense that if I do all these things, there will be no more problems—like, I will have made it and it’s a permanent thing—and I think, from my experiences so far,
  • Cedric Brown

    Cedric Brown

    As chief of community engagement at the Kapor Center for Social Impact in Oakland, Calif, Cedric Brown, MA ’90, aims to make U.S. tech entrepreneurship more diverse and inclusive.
  • marisol jimenez

    Marisol Jimenez Espinoza

    Mentorship has been a key part of life for Marisol Jimenez Espinoza, POLS ’19. Her family has always valued education and hard work, and as a first-generation college student, Marisol credits mentorship from counselors, professors, managers and colleagues
  • Auriel August

    Auriel August

    From selfies while on call to peer-reviewed research, August has been publicly chronicling her experience as an openly gay, black, female surgeon.
  • Heidi Marisol López

    Heidi Marisol López

    Heidi Marisol López, finance assistant and graduate fellowships coordinator at the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (CCSRE), recently won an Amy J. Blue Award, which honors staff members who are exceptionally dedicated, supportive of c
  • Shamit Kachru

    Shamit Kachru

    "Biology was the place I entered science as a kid. I used to get these cards from the World Wildlife Federation with pictures of pandas and belugas and raccoons – you know, whatever they put on these cards. And so you grow up already with a natural affini
  • Claire Miles

    Claire Miles

    Tawanda Michael Mahere was in Thailand two years ago and there was much to celebrate: The startup he’d been working at was being acquired by Google, he had a job offer from there, and he’d just applied to Stanford GSB.
  • Odette Harris

    Odette Harris

    "I went to an all-girls school and was taught science by a woman, and really quite enjoyed it – all those clichés about girl schools and empowering girls and women, I think they’re true. It was then, at this all-girls high school, that I developed a huge
  • Joy Franco

    Joy Franco

    "Looking at things under a microscope is my absolute favorite thing to do. When you’re on the microscope and you’re looking at the worms as they’re moving around, it is just beautiful."
  • Michael Tubbs

    Michael Tubbs

    My cousin would not die in vain. I wanted to make a difference in my hometown and the community there. So I ran for Stockton City Council while still pursuing my master’s — and won!
  • Norma Francisco

    Norma Francisco

    “In my heart of hearts, I also secretly dreamed of opening a private school. I applied to Stanford’s Graduate School of Education because of its stellar reputation.
  • Anna Ly

    Anna Ly

    [My grandparents] sacrificed to send their children to school, and, consequently, my parents sacrificed to educate us kids.
  • Jean Maddock Clark

    Jean Maddock Clark

    For more than a decade, she fought poverty and hardship to become the kind of teacher she wanted to be.
  • Pumsaran Tongliemnak

    Pumsaran Tongliemnak

    “In 2010, I finished my program and returned to Thailand to work for the Ministry of Education. It was an opportune time because the notion of using economic ideas to find solutions to problems in education had begun to receive attention from educators an
  • Jess Adepoju

    Jess Adepoju

    Depicting peoples’ lives through the lens of a camera helps Miles make connections that don’t always come across in the classroom.
  • Jessica Mendoza

    Jessica Mendoza

    “Now that I am actually sitting in the booth for our ESPN Sunday Night Baseball broadcast, there are moments — regularly — that I can't believe I am here. "
  • Reyno Peralta

    Reyno Peralta

    “Sometimes students fall asleep in the lounge because they’re studying for midterms or finals,” said Peralta, the lead custodian in the residence hall, which is home to more than 500 undergraduate students. “I remind my coworkers that we can vacuum later.
  • Laura Hubbard

    Laura Hubbard

    Each morning when Laura Hubbard arrives at Encina Commons, she lingers a moment under the sign “Center for African Studies” that hangs in the arcade outside its door.
  • Elizabeth Fischbach

    Elizabeth Fischbach

    To see the fruits of Elizabeth Fischbach’s labors, one need only ascend the Grand Staircase in the Bing Wing of Green Library, step into the light-filled Munger Rotunda and stroll its perimeter, pausing at illuminated exhibit display cases to contemplate
  • Tyler Dumm

    Tyler Dumm

    Tyler Dumm, ’05, who is blind, gives Stanford a large part of the credit for the fascination with the human body that now drives his practice as a physical therapist in University Park, Washington.
  • Stanford Faculty: Paula Moya

    Stanford faculty

    “In 2010, I finished my program and returned to Thailand to work for the Ministry of Education. It was an opportune time because the notion of using economic ideas to find solutions to problems in education had begun to receive attention from educators an
  • Tawanda Mahere

    Tawaun Lucas

    A Stanford Biosciences PhD student, Tawaun eventually hopes to serve students in the California State University system who aspire to be scientists.
  • Carly Kohler

    Carly Kohler

    A Stanford undergraduate who majored in psychology and minored in Native American studies, Carly (‘13) describes her active involvement in Stanford's Native American community.
  • Dorothy Tovar

    Dorothy Tovar

    A Stanford Biosciences PhD student, Dorothy fell in love with Stanford through her participation in the Stanford Summer Research Program. She hopes to work in the public sector, where she can have broad impact by influencing international health policy.
  • Sergio Redondo

    Sergio Redondo

    A Stanford Biosciences PhD student, Sergio seeks to become a research and teaching professor, increase participation in science, and contribute to the diversity of the scientific community.
  • Paola Moreno-Roman

    Paola Moreno-Roman

    A Stanford Biosciences PhD student, Paola seeks to become a professor and contribute to the growth of the scientific community in her hometown in Peru.
  • Hana Al-Henaid

    Hana Al-Henaid

    An undergraduate who majored in comparative studies in race and ethnicity, Hana (‘14) shares her experience with public service and the campaign to found The Markaz, a recently-created center for Stanford students to engage with the cultures of the Muslim
  • Allyson Hobbs

    Allyson Hobbs

    Allyson Hobbs, an assistant professor of history, describes the personal origins of her scholarly explorations of African American racial passing and the history of Black travel in the Jim Crow era.
  • Imani Franklin

    Imani Franklin

    Imani (‘13), describes her passion for cross-community relations and involvement in a number of Stanford communities and centers, particularly the LGBTQ and Black communities.
  • James Huynh

    James Huynh

    A first-generation college student who majored in human biology, James (‘15) describes his experience of Stanford's student diversity and immersion in the Asian American community.
  • Miranda Stratton

    Miranda Stratton

    Miranda Stratton is a Stanford Biosciences PhD student in the biology, cell and molecular biology track. Her long-term career goal is to become a professor and mentor to the next generation of scientists.
  • charles wattley

    Charles Wattley

    Our program is powered by the scholarship and stories our students bring to their studies. We asked them to reflect on why they declared African and African American Studies, and here is what they had to say…