Alumni Newsletter
November 18, 2021

A Message from the STS Director

Hello STS Alumni,
Well, it’s been another very, very STS year. We’re coming up on the 1-year anniversary of the SARS-COV-2 vaccine rollout. It’s a technoscientific miracle that exists because of research done after the 2003 SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) coronavirus outbreak, along with decades of research on messenger RNA as a vehicle for conveying information to the human immune system. Yet the covid virus’s origin remains unknown, with insufficient evidence to either confirm or deny suspicions of a lab leak, and no close ancestor of the virus yet found in nature. Meanwhile, uptake of the vaccine has been slowed by myth and misinformation widely spread on social media, and other public health responses have been blunted by denialism and politicization. As STS graduates, you’re in a better position than most to understand these dynamics and their dangers.

We’ve also just finished the 26th Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change – as contentious as ever, but with encouraging glimmers of hope for serious efforts to decarbonize the global economy, and new ambitions to keep global heating below the 2°C (3.6°F) target of the Paris Agreement. The organized denialism that long blocked action on climate change seems finally to be fading out, yet covert campaigns to sow doubt and cover up previous malfeasance continue. The science, however, is clear and unequivocal: without rapid transformation of our energy infrastructures, humanity will face severe, potentially catastrophic climate changes within this century.

I’m proud to have played a small role in climate science myself. For the last three years, I served as one of the 234 Lead Authors on the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, released in August 2021. This January, I’ll travel to the Svalbard archipelago – at 78°N the northernmost inhabited place in the world – for a new joint research project with another Stanford STSer, Prof. Gabrielle Hecht. There, we’ll visit 20th century coal mines that are now flooding with melting permafrost, caused (ironically) by burning the very product of those mines. We’ll witness first-hand the massive climatic changes in the Arctic, which is heating up more and faster than anywhere else on the planet.

We’ve been talking through some slogan ideas for a new generation of STS T-shirts. Here are a few:
  • Infrastructure is policy.
  • Technology is constitution.
  • Understanding today's challenges. Reimagining our future.
If you have an STS slogan idea, please let us know! Maybe we’ll put it on our T-shirts – and look for a chance to support the Program and receive a T-shirt for yourself.

STS Associate Director Dr. Kyoko Sato has exciting news: she’s received a $265,000 grant from the Hitachi Global Foundation. With two other Japanese STS scholars, she’ll investigate Japanese policy and public responses to the pandemic. It’s building on her work as part of a multinational consortium, led by Harvard and Cornell, that’s comparing covid responses in 16 nations.

In STS staff news, our longtime Program Manager, Ipshita Sengupta, moved to Princeton University in Fall 2020. (Those poachers! But I hear she’s quite happy there.) We’ve been very lucky to hire Dr. Denise Geraci as our new Program Manager. Dr. Geraci holds a PhD in Cultural Anthropology – obviously an asset for STS – and she joins us from previous Stanford administrative positions in Global Studies and the Center for Latin American Studies. We’ve also hired the efficient and effective Camille Walker as Program Associate. Meanwhile, our outstanding Student Services Officer Dominique Topps continues to support our students and our program with creative ideas… some of which might involve you! Please let her know if you’re planning to be in the Palo Alto area and you might be available for an alumni panel or a presentation.

And to all of you, please stay in touch. We want to know where you’ve traveled in your life and your career, how STS shaped your thinking and your goals, and your thoughts about what the Program should be doing to support our current generation of Stanford students.

Paul N. Edwards
Director, Program in Science, Technology, and Society
William J. Perry Fellow, Center for International Security and Cooperation
Professor of Information and History (Emeritus), University of Michigan

Program News

STS Launches Two New Concentrations

STS Examines Issues of Race in STEM Fields

Race in Science, Technology, and Medicine, a three-course sequence offered in 2020-21, virtually brought together Black, Indigenous and other scholars and professionals of color (BIPOC) from around the country to explore the intersections of race, racism and scientific practice and to share their personal experiences. Read the full article.

Alumni Events


Reunion Weekend Alumni Reception

Thank you to everyone who attended our annual Alumni Reception during Reuinon Weekend.  It was great to see our STS/VTSS alumni, meet your guests, and hear what you've been up to!

Join Our Alumni Panels!

STS has many, very successful alums who gather to share the skills and talents they honed as part of their STS education. Each year, alums participate in Alumni Panels to talk about how they used their STS critical thinking, problem-solving and big picture thinking skills to their careers. We would love to hear from any STS alumni would like to join a panel. Contact our Student Services Officer to sign up!

Submit Your Alumni Story!

Are you an STS Alum? We'd love to hear your story! Share news about career changes, promotions, retirement, awards, and life milestones by filling out our Alumni Stories form and we'll feature your story on our website!
Submit Your Alumni Story!

Welcome New STS Faculty

Xiaochang Li
Stephen Luby
Daniel McFarland
Aileen Robinson
Aileen Robinson
Xiaochang Li: Dr. Li is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication. Her research examines the relationship between information technology and knowledge production and its role in the organization of social life. Her current book project explores the history of automatic speech recognition and natural language processing and how the problem of mapping communication to computation shaped the rise of big data, machine learning, and related forms of algorithmic practice.

Stephen Luby
 Dr. Luby is Professor of Medicine. His research focuses on health in low and middle income countries. His current projects include human and planitary health related to the way bricks are manufactured across South Asia, as well as practical interventions to reduce infectious diseases through maximizing the uptake of masks, water treatment and vaccines. He continues to advance his long-standing interest in the epidemiology and prevention of Nipah virus and typhoid fever.

Daniel McFarland: Dr. McFarland, Professor in the Graduate School of Education, studies the social and organizational dynamics of educational systems like schools, classrooms and universities. In particular, he has performed a series of studies on classroom organization and interaction; on the formation of adolescent relationships, social structures, and identities; on interdisciplinary collaboration and intellectual innovation; and on relational sociology. 

Aileen Robinson
 Dr. Robinson
is an Assistant Professor of Theater and Performance Studies at Stanford (TAPS). Her current project explores the contribution of theatre and magic performance to emerging practices of science communication in the nineteenth century. She investigates how theatrical performances and magic shows drew upon technological innovations and formed unique methods for disseminating scientific knowledge.


Photo of Jasmine Reid

New STS Director’s Award for Advancing Social Justice in Science, Technology, and Medicine

Jasmine Reid, PhD Candidate in the Department of Anthropology, is the first recipient of this new annual award that recognizes an STS undergraduate or graduate student, teaching assistant or staff member who made a special contribution to social justice for historically disadvantaged groups who are underrepresented in STEM fields. Jasmine helped Dr. Edwards to plan, organize, and teach our 2020-21 speaker series on Race in Science, Technology, and Medicine. Read the full article.
Photo of Natalie Hojel

2021 Robert McGinn Award Winner

Natalie Hojel received this award in recognition of her outstanding academic achievement towards a B.A. degree in the STS Program. She completed her degree with a concentration in Innovation and Organization.
Photo of Meghan McClure

2021 Walter Vincenti Award Winner

Megan McClure received this award in recognition of her outstanding academic achievement towards a B.S. degree in the STS Program. She completed her degree with a concentration in Innovation and Organization.
Photo of Hannah Scott

2021 Robert M. Golden Medal Award Winner 

Hannah Scott, who received her B.A. in STS, won a Golden Medal for her honors thesis titled “Light and Sound, Not Song and Dance: Cybernetic Subjectivity in the Environmental Art of the Pulsa Group, 1966–1973”. Hannah was advised by Dr. Fred Turner.

Athletic Achievements

  • Keeley Akagi, Lily Croddick, Caroline Reinhart, and Rose Winter, Field Hockey, Two-time America East champion (2019-20)
  • Kyla Bryant, Gymnastics, Pac-12 champion - floor (2021)
  • Julia Cooper, Lacrosse, Pac-12 Academic Honor Roll (2020)
  • Levani Damuni and John Lynch, Football, Greg Piers Award (2019)
  • Sierra Enge, Abigail Greubel, and Madison Haley, Soccer, NCAA Champions (2019)
  • Taylor Gindlesperger, Softball, NFCA All-West Region third team (2021)
  • Shane Griffith, Wrestling, Amateur Wrestling News National Rookie of the Year (2020)
  • Chloe Harbilas, Water Polo, MPSF/Kap7 Player of the Week (March 9, 2021)
  • Jake Hornibrook, John Lynch and Kyle Petrucci, Football, Pac-12 All-Academic Honor Roll (2020)
  • Brock Jones, Baseball, Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Week (March 8, 2021)
  • Jack LeVant, Swimming & Diving, School record holder in the 200 free (1:32.61)
  • Haydn Maley and Shane Griffith, Wresting, Pac-12 team champion (2019) - first in program history
  • Gabriel Navarro, Track & Field, All-American, School records in the indoor and outdoor 4x400
  • William Richmond, Soccer, United Soccer Coaches All-Far West Region Second Team (2020)
  • Alexandre Rotsaert, Tennis, ITA Northwest Region Player to Watch (2020)
  • Carolina Sculti, Swimming & Diving, 2019 Pac-12 Diving Newcomer of the Year
  • Gabriel Segal, Soccer, TopDrawer Soccer National Team of the Week (March 16, 2021)
  • Louis Stenmark, Track & Field, MPSF champion in distance medley relay (2019)

Connect With Us

If you're not already a member of our LinkedIn group, please take a moment to visit our Stanford STS LinkedIn Group and request membership. Many of our majors use our group to find out what career paths our Alums have taken.
Do you have a job or internship opportunity you would like to share with STS majors? Please fill out our STS Opportunites Form and we will include it on our website and STS Wire e-newsletter. 
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