Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education
The VPUE Faculty QuarterlyVPUE Arches Logo

Winter Quarter 2010 - 2011


Dear Faculty Colleagues:


Happy New Year and welcome to the first VPUE faculty newsletter of 2011. We will continue to publish a quarterly newsletter to inform you of new developments and opportunities available through the VPUE. This is indeed an exciting time in undergraduate education at Stanford. The seven subcommittees of the Study of Undergraduate Education (SUES) are all under way and SUES will report to the Faculty Senate next Fall. Over the course of this next year, you will also hear about new VPUE initiatives focused on advising, curriculum, technology, and pedagogy. Our objective is a simple one: to keep Stanford at the forefront of innovation and excellence in undergraduate education.   


With the support of VPUE funding, faculty colleagues have continued to make significant strides in developing undergraduate research at Stanford. This year the VPUE will award over 4 million dollars for undergraduate research to deserving students, faculty, and departments.  A faculty committee has determined the awardees from our Fall call for proposals and you can view the entire list of grantees on our website. As you will see, these projects represent exciting opportunities for faculty and undergraduates to work together in the creation of new knowledge.  These projects demonstrate ways in which undergraduates can grow as researchers as well as productively contribute to a faculty member's research agenda.


Also included in this newsletter are deadlines for other research and curriculum grant opportunities. We look forward to our continued partnership with you. Have a great quarter.




Harry J. Elam, Jr.

Olive H. Palmer Professor in the Humanities
Freeman-Thornton Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education

Grants and Prizes
We are pleased to announce the most recent round of awardees of VPUE Undergraduate Research Grants. The Faculty selection committee awarded grants for projects ranging from "Improving Water Management, Sanitation, and Hygiene in East Africa" to "Physics Magnetic Imaging of Individual Biologically Derived Nanomagnet Chains." To see a list of this year's grants, please visit our 2010-2011 grants page. There is one additional deadline for 2010-2011 Faculty Grants on January 12, 2011. For more information on how to apply, please see the request for proposals. To view successful grant applications from past years, please see our selection of sample grant proposals. For more information, contact Brian Thomas at (650) 723-0051 or

Curriculum Development Grants

In the first round of proposals for the 2010-2011 academic year, VPUE awarded seven curriculum development grants. This program provides modest one-time support for curriculum development projects. The goal is to support development of new courses and modification of existing courses that expand undergraduates' opportunities for intellectual excitement and academic rigor. Grant support typically ranges from $1,000 to $5,000 for curricular innovation and up to $8,000 for a more substantial faculty project. We are accepting applications for spring and summer quarters, with a deadline of February 15, 2011. For more information on how to apply, please see the request for proposals. For questions, contact Sharon Palmer at (650) 723-4504 or


Students in Berlin

Hoagland Award

The establishment of the Hoagland Award Fund for Innovations in Undergraduate Teaching makes resources available for faculty projects that enhance student learning and enable teaching innovations. Awarded to individual faculty or teams, three to four grants are given each year in the $20,000 to $30,000 range. The possibility exists of occasional $50,000 grants being awarded for particularly ambitious, worthy projects. The request for proposals will be published to the Hoagland Award website in mid-March with proposals due no later than April 30, 2011.


On behalf of Pam Matson, Dean of the School of Earth Sciences, Jim Plummer, Dean of the School of Engineering, and Richard Saller, Dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences, we seek your help in identifying worthy nominees for the Deans' Award for Academic Accomplishment. This award, inaugurated in the spring of 1988, is given each year to between five and ten truly extraordinary undergraduate students who deserve campus-wide recognition for their academic endeavors that might not otherwise be celebrated. If you have encountered a student whose brilliant academic accomplishment places him or her among the best Stanford Madrid Walkingundergraduates, we invite you to write a letter of nomination.  The deadline for nominations is February 25, 2011; more information is available on the VPUE faculty site.


Undergraduate Program Enhancement Grants were given to more than 25 departments and programs for activities such as peer advising, pre-major recruiting, faculty-student lunches, honors support, and celebrations for graduating seniors. 

Teaching Opportunities

Introductory Seminars
Introductory Seminars integrate explorations into current questions in a particular field together with training in critical inquiry skills. They are designed to allow students to explore potential areas of interest and to see the shape that more advanced investigations in a particular field might take. To propose a new Freshman or Sophomore Seminar or Sophomore Dialogue for 2011-12, or to renew an Introductory Seminar that you have taught before, we ask you to enter your course description and biographical information into the redesigned proposal database. Please keep your department chair and relevant departmental staff informed about your plans to offer an Introductory Seminar, either as part of your regular teaching load or as an overload. Ellen Woods at (650) 723-9378 or is available if you would like to discuss a specific idea for a course. Proposals may be submitted until 5 p.m. February 1, 2011.

Have you ever considered teaching abroad for a quarter with the Bing Overseas Studies Program? Comments from faculty colleagues have included "It was a great experience that allowed me to renew my passion for teaching," and "Overall an amazing professional and personal experience." These faculty teach classes in their own disciplines, often developing courses that incorporate unique features of the local culture and environment. Information about Faculty-in-Residence appointments and the application process for 2012-13 is now available on the BOSP website. The deadline for applications is February 15, 2011. For questions, please contact Trudi Reinhardt at (650) 725-0232 or
Teaching Resources

The Resilience Project
The Resilience Project presents a collection of videos and stories from Stanford faculty, alumni, students, and staff, sharing their experiences dealing with setbacks. The project was launched at Mid-Year Convocation on January 4, 2011. Please visit the Project's website. The Resilience Project is a collaborative effort of The Center for Teaching and Learning, Undergraduate Advising and Research, Judicial Affairs, and the Career Development Center.

Oral Comm ProgramFree Presentation Coaching
Faculty are encouraged to share Oral Communication Program resources with their students. Highly-trained peer Oral Communication Tutors (OCTs) are available to provide coaching on all stages of presentation organization, rehearsal, and delivery. OCTs can also advise on designing effective visual aids, reducing speech anxiety, and practicing for job interviews. For more information, please visit the Oral Communication Program's website.

Free Peer Tutoring
Faculty may want to remind their students of the tutoring resources available on campus from CTL. Tutors in over 300 courses are available during drop-in hours in many residences and by appointment. Tutors focus on helping students develop the problem-solving and analytical skills needed to understand, synthesize, and/or apply complex material. Tutoring is used by students from freshman through senior years and at all levels of understanding. For more information, please visit our Undergraduate Academic Life tutoring website.
Upcoming Events

Award-Winning Teachers on Teaching Lecture SeriesCohen Headshot

The Center for Teaching and Learning's longest-running lecture series, Award-Winning Teachers on Teaching, invites faculty winners of Stanford's major teaching awards to deliver a lecture on a teaching topic of their choice. The winter quarter lecture will be given by Ralph Cohen, Senior Associate Dean for the Natural Sciences, Barbara Kimball Browning Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, and a Bass University Fellow in Undergraduate Education. The event will be held on February 10, 2011 from noon - 1:05 p.m. in the Hartley Conference Center, Mitchell Earth Sciences Building.

Science/Engineering Faculty Teaching Lunches
Hosted by CTL, these topical lunches provide an informal way for science and engineering faculty to exchange ideas about teaching and to connect with relevant resources and literature. Winter quarter lunches are at noon on Tuesday, January 18, Wednesday, February 16 and Monday, March 14, 2011. Please contact Robyn Dunbar at (650) 723-3920 or for more information or to be added to the distribution list for these events.

Encouraging Resilience and Academic Risk-Taking: A Faculty Conversation

Berlin FacultyJoin faculty and university staff colleagues in a CTL-hosted dinner conversation about student resilience and academic risk-taking. What attitudes about grades, success, and "academic fit" do students bring to our classrooms? How do we tap the positive and help reorient the negative as we encourage our students to approach their learning with reflection, self-direction, and persistence? Based on our own experiences, as well as the research on student learning, we will share ideas for what works. A dinner event will be held on Thursday, March 3, 2011 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. in the Faculty Club Gold Room. To pre-register or to find out more about the event, please contact Mariatte Denman at (650) 723-6487 or

Engaging Large Classes
Teaching large classes can be much more than lecturing - your students can actively participate and be engaged even in large groups. Join CTL staff and Stanford faculty colleagues as we discuss simple but effective teaching strategies that you can start using in your class immediately, and techniques and technologies that you can incorporate in the design of future courses. The event will be held on Friday, March 11, 2011 from noon-2:00 p.m. in Sweet Hall, room 029. Lunch will be provided, registration is limited. To pre-register or to find out more about the event, please contact Marcelo Clerici-Arias at (650) 725-0127 or

Stanford University VPUE

Sweet Hall

590 Escondido Mall

Stanford, California 94305