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People Spotlights

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…
I felt like Stanford truly cared and encouraged its students to embrace all their identities and be proud of them.
Although she works in a neuroscience lab, Franco is a mechanical engineering graduate student seeking a way to grow touch-sensitive neurons in a dish. Her hope is to open up new ways to study how touch works and why, sometimes, it doesn’t.
Identical twins discuss the bonds they share, and the similar paths they have taken.
A former Navy officer reflects on physics, fatherhood, and being a man.
Diversity really is what brings forth some of the best ideas we have in the world, and I find it to be a beautiful thing.
"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 love for the physical sciences and chemistry."
Engineer Usua U. Amanam hopes to continue what his father began in Nigeria.


“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 a profound sense of possibility. “It taught me that you really can do anything you set your mind to.”

To me, diversity is the incredible power that comes from the contribution of an individual's own unique experiences to a larger group.