2023 projects stretch from Bay Area to Central Valley
The Office of Community Engagement supports Stanford faculty and staff working with community collaborators on projects that align with the Stanford Vision to accelerate solutions to affordability, health and sustainability.
The 2023 projects, chosen by a university selection committee, center on building healthy and resilient communities in the Bay Area and beyond. They range widely, but the joint projects share a common goal of connecting research and education to make a difference in the communities that Stanford touches.
They appear, alphabetically by project title, below:
Parents work with the Dolores Huerta Foundation on nutrition education in the San Joaquin Valley. Image credit: Dolores Huerta Foundation
A Living Lab for Sustainable Employment among Stanford's Working Learners
Community Collaborator: San Mateo County Economic Development Association (SAMCEDA)
Stanford Leadership: Mitchell L. Stevens Peninsula Working Learners Collaboratory; Graduate School of Education (GSE)
Fully two-thirds of employed U.S. adults are “working learners,” yet they often are thwarted in career mobility because of pervasive employer bias toward those who do not hold college degrees. The Peninsula Working Learners Collaboratory in the Graduate School of Education’s Pathways Lab has developed relationships with leaders in many Stanford units that employ working learners. Because Stanford also faces chronic recruitment and retention problems in many entry-level positions, it is collaborating on this project with SAMCEDA (comprising businesses, organizations and entrepreneurs) to serve instrumental workforce-development needs and social-justice goals. OCE funding supports stipends for members of a community advisory group, a research assistant, and equipment needed to design, build and implement novel recruitment and mobility pathways into employment at Stanford.
Testing kits at Nuestra Casa. Image credit: Courtesy of Nuestra Casa
Community College Outreach Program - Research Internships and Mentorship Initiative
Stanford leadership: Anne Villeneuve, Sarah Stern, Megan Agajanian, Community College Outreach Program (CCOP); School of Medicine
Community college students come from a diverse range of demographic and socioeconomic backgrounds, and include first-generation and low-income students, who remain underrepresented in STEM. To help address these challenges, CCOP provides three opportunities for community college students: 1) Paid research internships in Stanford Bioscience labs; 2) A transfer application and career development bootcamp; 3) A learning experience in developing scientific hypotheses/critical thinking skills and mentorship through the Science Small Groups Program. OCE funding will pay for lab materials, internship stipends to reduce a significant financial barrier, as well as honoraria for mentors, and “Day of Science” events at partner community colleges.
First day of Summer Session in 2022. Image credit: Courtesy of Stanford Summer Session
Connecting Generations Through Haiku
Community Collaborator: PVI Adult Day Services at Rosener House, Menlo Park
Stanford Leadership: Yoshiko Matsumoto, Stanford Global Studies; School of Humanities and Sciences
The haiku project is conducted through intergenerational small-group sessions of creation and appreciation of a short form of Japanese poetry (haiku). It aims to engage older adults in positive and inclusive social interactions and maintain verbal creativity. Informed by medical and psychological studies reporting that older adults living with cognitive impairments are at risk of social isolation, the project first started with online and in-person sessions, with a grant from the Changing Human Experience Initiative. OCE funding will support more frequent and expanded haiku activity sessions via a partnership with PVI Adult Day Services at Rosener House, so that older adults living with cognitive impairments and Stanford students can benefit from more sustained, intimate social and artistic interactions through this intergenerational activity.
Stanford psychologist Greg Walton and Hattie Tate, administrator at Oakland Unite's Juvenile Justice Center during an earlier collaboration that led to the 2023 project. Image Credit: Kurt Hickman
Equity Forward Anchor Network
Community Collaborator: Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF), San Mateo
Stanford Leadership: Jeremy Weinstein, Stanford Impact Labs; School of Humanities and Sciences
Mobilized by fresh momentum to improve material conditions in this region, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) launched Equity Forward as a multi-sector movement to close the racial wealth gap in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. Stanford partnered with SVCF to engage a network of 14 regional public and private colleges and universities in thinking through how collectively we can be a part of the solution to foster shared economic prosperity. To deepen these initial conversations, OCE funding will support the establishment of an anchor-institution network for higher education in this region. The new Equity Forward Anchor Network is intended to generate a shift in institutional practices, centering equitable economic development and directly address the imbalance of economic prosperity that Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other people of color have in our two counties. The goal is to build momentum for a new “normal” of how place-based institutions can support developing mutually beneficial economic opportunities with historically marginalized communities.
A child samples a vegetable cone. Image credit: Linda A. Cicero, Stanford News Service
IDD-TRANSFORM: Partnering to Improve IDD Health in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties
Community Collaborator: Special Olympics Northern California
This project will focus on improving the health, health care, and health outcomes for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in a measurable way. This population has been traditionally and historically marginalized by challenges in accessing health care and providers; they experience significant health disparities, poorer health outcomes and shorter life expectancies. This project, with partner Special Olympics of Northern California, will engage the Stanford community, including students, faculty, and staff and across multiple schools, in several key activities. OCE funds will support a core advisory board, health forum speakers and at least one event at Stanford with Special Olympics Northern California.
Image credit: Field Conservation Facility
Interactive Technology for Skin: Community Outreach, Research and Education
Community Collaborator: San Mateo County Office of Education, Redwood City
Stanford Community Engagement Hub: Center to Support Excellence in Teaching (CSET)
The Center to Support Excellence in Teaching is collaborating with the San Mateo County Office of Education to co-design and pilot an interactive virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) STEM education curriculum in San Mateo secondary schools. Interactive Technology for Skin: Community Outreach, Research, and Education (iTS-CORE) will use dermatology as a lens. The approach is to teach key STEM ideas and increase career awareness by creating multisensory AR and VR experiences about sun safety, skin cancer awareness, and skin health that inspire marginalized students to pursue careers in medicine and science in a manner that is both scalable and sustainable. OCE seed funds will support coding of AR/VR experiences, focus groups, pilot testing, statistician for data analysis and an AR/VR machine.
PRIDEnet staff work at The Pride Study table to conduct outreach at a 2022 event. Image credit: Courtesy of PRIDEnet
Para Pro Academy
Community Collaborator: Santa Clara Unified School District
Stanford Leadership: Christopher J. Lemons, Stanford Down Syndrome Research Center, Graduate School of Education, School of Humanities and Sciences
Paraeducators are special education support personnel who provide direct academic and behavior support to students with disabilities. Professional development opportunities for paraeducators are often limited and many report feeling unprepared to do their job well. Further, the special education teachers who supervise paraeducators also report having insufficient training and time to provide high quality professional development and coaching to the paraeducators they support. The Para Pro Academy project Santa Clara Unified School District is designed to provide high-quality, research-based professional development and coaching to 14 paraeducators who support elementary students with an intellectual or developmental disability who are also from Black, Hispanic, and/or low-income families. OCE seed funds will pay for honoraria for paraeducators, teachers and presenters.
Makeshift shelter in a retail business doorway. Image credit: Dan Burton on Unsplash
Ravenswood-Stanford Live Arts Learning Partnership
Community Collaborator: Ravenswood City School District, East Palo Alto
Stanford Leadership: Chris Lorway, Stanford Live, Vice President for the Arts
Stanford Live is building on a long-standing relationship, following an invitation by Ravenswood City School District in 2015-16 to collaborate on an arts education partnership, which included an artists-in-schools program. Resident teaching artists from Quinteto Latino visit music classes in all district schools, and offer individualized training for music teachers. The OCE seed funding will support an expanded program, including teaching artist visits to classrooms before and after students attend matinees on campus in order to lead activities that deepen their learning experience. Other new elements to the program include expanded music and art residencies. Finally, the OCE seed funds will make possible two composer commissions for works for middle school ensembles to play side by side with Quinteto Latino.
Photo right: Armando Castellano, lead teaching artist of Quinteto Latino, collaborates with students on a creative project in a classroom of Ravenswood City School District. Image credit: Quinteto Latino
Chris Vlahopouliotis (Daylight Foods) and Will Scott (Scott Family Farms and African American Farmers of California), at a farm in Fresno, May 21, 2021 Image credit: Diane Mavica
SFUSD Shoestrings Program: Supporting Young Black Students and Their Families
Community Collaborator: San Francisco Unified School District Early Education Department, Shoestrings Program, San Francisco
The San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) Shoestrings program began in 2018 in response to the disproportionate number of Black students designated for exclusionary discipline and special education. Each year, Shoestrings engages up to 25 preschool, transitional kindergarten, and kindergarten-age students and their families in an intensive 10-week intervention that provides students with individualized social, emotional, and sensory integration support to prepare them to thrive in general education classrooms. In partnership with the SFUSD Early Education Department, the SPARK Lab will analyze historical program data, survey participating families, and create reports summarizing key lessons learned and implications for practice and policy for those working to disrupt the preschool-to-prison pipeline within and beyond SFUSD. OCE funding will support the work of a research analyst, interviews and reports, and data cleaning.
Tutor Bart Chu of Palo Alto works with a rising first-grader during the 2022 summer session program of Ravenswood Reads. Image credit: Lisa Chung