Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education
The VPUE Faculty QuarterlyVPUE Logo

Summer Quarter 2010 - 2011


Dear Faculty Colleagues:


I hope that your summer is going well. Here at the VPUE, we are energetically preparing for the new school year. Certainly, a major part of that effort means preparing for the incoming class of 2015. My thanks to all of those faculty members who have agreed to serve as pre-major advisors. Thanks to you we have a record number of PMAs, including a higher percentage of faculty advisors than ever before. Our many engaging conversations with faculty over the course of the past school year have fostered some pioneering initiatives that we are in the process of implementing. I would like to take a moment to describe two major innovations here.

First, with support from the President's Fund, we are developing the Technology in Pedagogy Initiative, a three-year pilot focused on how technology can enhance the learning experience. We are currently in the process of hiring a new Associate Director for Technology in Teaching who will be housed in the Center for Teaching and Learning.

The second and central initiative that we have developed at the VPUE this year is Faculty College, a site where faculty incubate ideas for new and innovative courses or curricular change within a department or interdisciplinary program. More information on Faculty College can be found in the Teaching Resources section below.   
On other fronts, I am sorry to announce that Bob Sinclair will be leaving the post as Director of the Bing Overseas Studies Program. After a successful year at the helm of BOSP, Bob will be returning full time to the position of Chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. The Overseas Studies Seminars, put on hiatus during the economic downturn, will return in the summer of 2012. Recognizing the strong presence of BOSP in Europe, Bob has sought to focus the seminars on non-European sites and has recruited faculty who will teach in India, Brazil, East Africa and Turkey. Bob has enthusiastically agreed to stay on until we select a new director. We thank Bob for all his fine efforts.

In this summer issue you will find a new feature, an interview with a faculty member, in this case, Professor Elizabeth Hadly, about her experiences with undergraduate research. In subsequent issues, we will continue to have interviews with faculty concerning their involvement with other aspects of undergraduate education. This summer newsletter also contains information on some exciting new curricular grant opportunities for faculty as well as information on our grants to support undergraduate research. We will have even more information on undergraduate research deadlines in our fall newsletter. Until then, we hope that you continue to have a wonderful and productive summer.    

With thanks,




Harry J. Elam, Jr.

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

Faculty Spotlight

Dr. Hadly has leveraged a number of VPUE programs in her efforts to engage with undergraduate researchers. To learn more, visit the Undergraduate Research page on the faculty website, and stay tuned for more information in our Autumn newsletter.

"I tremendously enjoy working with the VPUE to help undergraduate students in my lab accomplish their research goals. Almost every summer, I am able to take a few undergraduates into the field and/or into my lab for research experience using VPUE funds. Over the many years that I have participated, I have been able to engage with Hadly Headshotthese undergraduate students first as freshman or sophomores, just as they are deciding what they want to focus on for the rest of their time at Stanford. Even if these students do not end up working closely with me after this experience, to get to watch them develop professionally is a real treat. Once students decide on research topics, which they often build into honors projects, they are motivated to find funding for their work. VPUE again provides access to these funds, allowing my students to travel to museums, to work with other faculty in other institutions and to purchase equipment or training to help them achieve their goals. The success of my students is a testament to what these talented individuals can do with just a little independence and some seed money to try their hand at research. I am grateful to VPUE for the opportunity! 

-Elizabeth Hadly

Professor of Biology and, by courtesy, of Geological and Environmental Sciences

Grants and Prizes

VPUE provides support to academic departments and programs through a variety of funds,
including the Curriculum Development Grant (CDG), Undergraduate Program Enhancement Grant (UPEG), Undergraduate Research (both departmental and faculty grants), Hoagland Award, TA Training Grants, and Bing Honors College. Proposal deadlines for the CDG, UPEG, Undergraduate Research, and new grants described below will be in October. A grants overview and updated RFPs will be sent to department chairs and program directors, directors of undergraduate study, and program administrators the week before fall classes begin. To make sure that you are on the list for this email, please contact Omar Ochoa at  For more detailed information, see the VPUE Faculty website, where updated RFPs will be posted by mid-September.

Two New Awards in 2011-12!

The first new award will be a new category of faculty and departmental grants to support the development of courses engaging the arts. VPUE particularly encourages projects to create new interdisciplinary courses or enhance existing courses that incorporate the arts. In addition, VPUE will continue to support interdisciplinary courses that conjoin arts engagement with the targeted initiatives of the Stanford Challenge campaign priorities. A full description and proposal deadline for the VPUE Arts Award will be posted on the VPUE Faculty website by September 15, 2011.


The Revs Program at Stanford is focused on the human experiences of designing, making, restoring, driving, being driven by, living with, admiring, and dreaming of the automobile; the causes and effects of the automobile on every aspect of social and cultural life; the automobile itself as machine, work of art, and cultural symbol. The Revs Program at Stanford Curriculum Development Grants will be awards designed to encourage and provide support for faculty developing teaching and learning opportunities related to the automobile across the curriculum, including new courses, significant revision of a course, introduction of vehicle-related content in an existing course, or support of student research.  Initiatives may be in the arts, humanities, or social sciences, as well as in any other field, discipline, or school. A detailed RFP will be posted on the VPUE Faculty website by mid-September and mailed to department chairs and program heads the week before classes begin.   


2010-2011 Teaching Grants and Awards Recipients

The past year brought a round of exciting proposals to support undergraduate teaching, and we congratulate the following colleagues and projects!


Funded, in whole or part, by the Hoagland Award Fund for Innovations in Undergraduate Teaching:

  • Visualizing Evidence: Professors Kären Wigen and Zephyr Frank, Dr. Martin Lewis, and Kathy Harris  
  • Embedding Ethics Education in the New Bioengineering Major: Professors Russ Altman, David Magnus, and Karl Deisseroth, and Dr. Katrina Karkazis  
  • Creating an Interactive Video Library of Introductory Physics Demonstrations: Professor Hari Manoharan and many collaborators  
  • Expanding Writing in the Chemistry Classroom: Dr. Jennifer Schwartz and Dr. Charlie Cox

Funded by the Rhodes Fund for Undergraduate Education: 

  • The Senior Reflection: Professor Susan McConnell and Dr. Andrew Todhunter 

Projects funded by VPUE Curriculum Development Grants are available on our Faculty website.

Teaching Opportunities
2012-13 Introductory Seminars

Over the past few years, student demand has far outstripped the supply of Introductory Seminars in the fields of engineering, business, law and education. If you are interested in teaching a Freshman or Sophomore Seminar, especially in one of these targeted areas, we encourage you to begin planning now and in Autumn 2011. The February 1, 2012 deadline comes so early in Winter quarter that many faculty have regretted that they missed out on this teaching opportunity due to the timing of the proposal process.


Effective seminars provide students an opportunity for intensive intellectual engagement without prior advanced specialization, and they produce unexpected fresh perspectives on the subject as well as lasting relationships between faculty and students. For seminar development information, check the Introductory Seminars website or contact Russell Berman, director of the Introductory Seminar Program at Funding is available for course development assistance.

TRTeaching Resources


Faculty College

With excitement the VPUE launched the inaugural Faculty College program in June. Faculty College will bring small faculty teams together over the course of the academic year to plan, study, and develop innovative curricular and pedagogical ideas. It will provide these faculty teams with the space, time, and resources to work collaboratively on projects such as new team-taught courses, a major change to a department's curriculum, or new cross-disciplinary teaching endeavors. The hope is that the focused time spent in Faculty College will lead to critical improvements in undergraduate education at Stanford and that Faculty College can be an exciting space that continually helps to rejuvenate and foreground the importance of undergraduate education at Stanford.


2011-12 Faculty College Teams:

  • Ethics of War: Professors Scott Sagan, Debra Satz, Allen Weiner, Paul Wise, and Dr. Joseph Felton
  • Division of Literatures, Cultures and Languages, new core sequence: Professors Dominic Brookshaw, Adrian Daub, Monika Greenleaf, Sepp Gumbrecht, Hector Hoyos, and Laura Wittman
  • Electrical Engineering, new energy and environment track: Professors Bert Hesselink, John Pauly, Balaji Prabhakar, Olav Solgaard, and Howard Zebker
  • Social Animals, Social Revolutions, and Social Networks: Professors Dan Edelstein, Deborah Gordon, and Eric Roberts
  • Integrating Design into Bioengineering Major: Professors David Camarillo, Drew Endy, Christina Smolke, and Paul Yock
  • Integrated Learning Environments in the Arts: Professors Jonathan Berger, Janice Ross, and Bryan Wolf

Course Design Boot Camp  

Ten assistant professors, who applied and were selected last spring, will spend much of the week of September 6, 2011 in the Center for Teaching and Learning's new Course Design Boot Camp-a collaborative and immersive environment in which early career faculty can design a new course or modify an existing course. This first year, with a focus on science and engineering, is led by Professor Sheri Sheppard (Mechanical Engineering, Design) and Dr. Robyn Dunbar (Center for Teaching and Learning). Participating faculty will apply the research on engineering and science learning to the development of a syllabus and/or selected class materials for one of their Stanford courses. Boot Camp appreciates strong endorsement by the Deans of Humanities and Sciences, Engineering, and Earth Sciences, and gratefully acknowledges funding support from the Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity, as well as from VPUE and CTL. Beginning in 2012, Boot Camp will expand to include faculty and courses in more disciplines. Stay tuned for more!

Upcoming Events



The 10th annual Symposium of Undergraduate Research and Public Service (SURPS) will take place on Thursday, October 20th, 2011 in the Arrillaga Alumni Center from 3:30p.m. until 6:30 p.m. More than 100 student presenters will show posters about their research and creative projects. This will be an unparalleled opportunity for students and faculty alike to talk with undergraduate researchers about their independent projects across a wide range of disciplines.  To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the event, a panel of alumni undergraduate researchers will be on hand to talk about the impact their projects have had on their intellectual and professional lives since leaving Stanford. All members of the Stanford community are cordially invited to attend and learn more about the range of original work these students are undertaking, and about where these exciting experiences can lead. Students interested in presenting can learn more at the SURPS website


New Student Orientation

During New Student Orientation (Tuesday, September 20 - Sunday, September 25, 2011) the university will welcome the Class of 2015 and transfer students with a range of programs and events. Undergraduate Advising and Research (UAR), which organizes NSO, is delighted to expand the offering of academic programs during this year, most notably with a new program in Memorial Auditorium. First Lecture will instruct students about the nature, purpose and value of a liberal education and will inspire them to fashion their undergraduate years in such a manner so as to take full advantage of the liberal education provided at Stanford. The inaugural lecture will be given by Abraham Verghese, Professor for the Theory and Practice of Medicine at Stanford's School of Medicine. You are invited to attend a live video simulcast of the lecture in neighboring Pigott Theater at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 23, 2011. Immediately following the lecture, students can choose two of sixteen Engaging with Faculty sessions at which presenters will share their experiences forging their own academic trails, conducting research, and working with undergraduates. Later in the day and on Friday morning, each Pre-Major Advisor will lead his/her group of advisees in a discussion of the themes presented in the First Lecture. The full NSO calendar of events will be available online after September 1, 2011 on the undergrad website. For additional information about New Student Orientation, please contact Edith Wu-Nguyen at (650) 725-3115 or


Majors Night

Autumn Quarter Majors Night is an opportunity for departments to share information and answer student questions about majoring in the department. This year Majors Nights will take place on October 5, 2011. Faculty are encouraged to participate in staffing these department tables and engaging in dialogue with the students on opportunities and areas of interest within their majors.  To participate in the event, please contact Jayne Patterson at (650) 736-8853 or  

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