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2017 Phd Pathways Program

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2017 Program Schedule

Conference Program

Keynote Lecture




Conference Program
Friday March 24, 2017
8:30-9:00 Registration

Opening by Patricia Gumport, Vice Provost for Graduate Education
Keynote by Bill Burnett, Co-author of Designing Your Life

  McCaw Hall Lane Room Cranston Room Barnes Room Lodato Room



Research Outside Academia: STEM




Research Outside Academia: Humanities & Social Sciences


University Administration


Improvising Your Way To Talking To Anyone



Scientific & Technical Consulting


Non-Tech Positions in the Tech Industry


Policy & Government


Education: Teaching


How To Tell Your Advisor What They Don't Want To Hear

12:30-1:30 Networking Lunch


Leadership & Business Development in Industry



Education: EdTech & Curriculum Design


The Recruiter's Perspective


Media, Arts & Entertainment


Defining Your Personal Mission



Data Science


Management Consulting


Foundations & Non-Profits


Communication, Writing & Editing


Using Life Design Strategies After the Conference

4:00-5:00 Networking Reception

Keynote Lecture

Bill Burnett
Co-author of Designing Your Life, Executive Director of the Product Design Program at Stanford University, and Adjunct Professor in Mechanical Engineering - Design at Stanford University

Bill Burnett is an Adjunct Professor of Mechanical Engineering in the ME Design Group and the Executive Director of the design programs at Stanford University. He received his Bachelors of Science and Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering - Product Design at Stanford in 1979 and 1982.

He directs the undergraduate and graduate program in design and teaches classes at the  In addition, he has worked in startups and Fortune 100 companies, including seven years at Apple designing award-winning laptops and a number of years in the toy industry designing Star Wars toys.  He holds a number of mechanical and design patents and design awards, and in addition to his duties at Stanford, he is on the board of VOZ, a socially responsible fashion start-up, and advises several other start-up companies.

Bill is the co-author of Designing Your Life, a book that captures the lessons from 9 years of teaching the Stanford class of the same name. Based on design thinking and positive psychology, the book attempts to help people answer the age-old question, “What do I want to be when I grow up?”


Research Outside Academia: STEM Panel

  • Liv Herdman - PhD in Environmental Fluid Dynamics - Oceanographer at the U.S. Geological Survey
  • Jonathan Huang - PhD in Robotics - Research Scientist at Google
  • Jenny Johansson - PhD in Cell Biology - Research Scientist I at SRI International
  • Alexander Scholz - PhD in Cell Biology - Scientist II at Atreca
  • Urmila Venkatesh (Moderator) - MFA in Photography and Design  - Associate Director of Career Catalysts at Stanford Career Education

Entrepreneurship Panel

  • Ben Blair - PhD in Philosophy & Education - Co-Founder at
  • Danielle Harlan - PhD in Political Science - Founder and CEO at the Center for Advancing Leadership and Human Potential
  • Andrew Lee - PhD in Chemical and Systems Biology - Co-Founder at StartX-Med
  • Lucian Orabi - PhD in Chemistry - Co-Founder and CEO at Cell Data Sciences
  • George Wang - PhD in Biology - Co-Founder and Director at Sirum
  • Joseph Wagstaffe (Moderator) - MS in Sport Management - Associate Director of the Global Innovations Program at Stanford Graduate School of Business

Research Outside Academia: Humanities & Social Sciences Panel

  • Vida Mia Garcia - PhD in Modern Thought and Literature - Ethnographer and Designer at Red Cover
  • Anthea Hartig - PhD in History - Executive Director and CEO at California Historical Society
  • Kristin Hendrix - PhD in Psychology - User Experience Researcher at Facebook
  • Andrea Davies (Moderator) - PhD in History - Associate Director at Stanford Humanities Center

University Administration Panel

  • Emily Beitiks - PhD in American Studies - Associate Director of the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability at San Francisco State University
  • Lupe Carrillo - PhD in English Language and Literature -  Diversity Officer, Office of Multicultural Affairs at Stanford School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences
  • Gloriana Trujillo - PhD in Biological Sciences - Associate Director for STEM, Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning at  Stanford University
  • Katherine Wang - PhD in Biological Sciences - Director of Upper Division Advising and Pre-Professional Programs at Stanford Undergraduate Advising and Research
  • Brett Alpert (Moderator) - PhD in Higher Education - Director of Career Ventures at Stanford Career Education

Scientific & Technical Consulting Panel

  • Stephanie Benight - PhD in Chemistry - Managing Consultant at Exponent
  • Michael Smith - PhD in Sociology - Principal at ENERCON
  • Carolyn D. White - PhD in Mechanical Engineering - Associate at A.M. Fitzgerald & Associates
  • Jenny Irwin (Moderator) - BS in Biology - University Recruiting Manager at Exponent

Non-Tech Positions in the Tech Industry Panel

  • Amanda Cannata - PhD in Music History - Senior Product Manager at GuideSpark
  • Whitney Trump - PhD in English and American Literature - Content Strategist at Instagram
  • Jessica Weare - PhD in English - Civic Technology & Community Engagement Manager at Microsoft
  • Anais Saint-Jude (Moderator) - PhD in French and Humanities - Program and Engagement Manager at Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP)

Policy & Government Panel

  • Mikel Shybut - PhD in Plant Biology - Civic Technology & Community Engagement Manager Fellow at California Council on Science and Technology (CCST)
  • Alice Siu - PhD in Communication - Associate Director, Center for Deliberative Democracy at Stanford University
  • Dena Vallano - Phd in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology - Physical Scientist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Jeff Schwegmann (Moderator) - PhD in History - Humanities and Arts Initiatives Coordinator, School of Humanities and Sciences Dean’s Office at Stanford University

Education: Teaching Panel

  • Nina Arnberg - PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology - Science Faculty and Girls in STEM Director at Menlo School
  • Allen Frost - PhD in English Literature - Upper School English Teacher at the Nueva School
  • Sarah Parikh - PhD in Mechanical Engineering - Engineering and Physics Instructor at Foothill College
  • Tom Winterbottom - PhD in Iberian and Latin American Cultures - Academic Mentor and Tutor at Calliope Academic Mentoring,  and Youth Education Associate at SFFilm
  • Luke Terra (Moderator) - PhD in Education - Associate Director of Community Engaged Learning and Research, Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford University

Leadership & Business Development in Industry Panel

  • Ming Cheah - PhD in Immunology - Manager of Market Analysis and Strategy at Genentech
  • Jennifer Dawson - PhD in Mechanical Engineering - Director of Marketing and Sales at Space Systems Loral
  • Amirali Kia - PhD in Computational Biology - Manager of Bioinformatics at Illumina
  • Carrie Northover - PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology - Manager of Research Partnerships at 23andMe
  • Rob Urstein (Moderator) - PhD in American Studies - Lecturer in Management & Glosl Innovation Programs at Stanford Graduate School of Business

Education: EdTech & Curriculum Design Panel

  • Elizabeth Jones - PhD in Classics - Senior Product Manager, Higher Education at Oracle
  • Isidora Milin - PhD in Mathematics - Senior Curriculum Designer at IXL Learning
  • Tracy Michele Steele - PhD in Education - Director of Counseling at Stanford Online High School
  • June Yoshii - PhD in English Literature - Content Developer and IBM Cloud Technical Enablement at IBM
  • Nereyda Salinas (Moderator) - MPP in HR, Labor and Education - Director of Stanford EdCareers at Stanford University

The Recruiter's Perspective Panel

  • Jenny Irwin - BS in Biology - University Recruiting Manager at Exponent
  • Beth McCormick - MS - Director Recruiting and Diversity, Engineering at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  • Chris Stewart - BS in Business Marketing - Talent Acquisition Partner at Illumina
  • Charlene Zhou - PhD in Economics - Manager at Analysis Group
  • Jeffrey D'Andria (Moderator) - MS in Student Affairs Counseling - Assistant Director of Career Ventures at Stanford Career Education and former Recruiter for Microsoft

Media, Arts & Entertainment Panel

  • Alexandra Schnoes - PhD in Biosphysics - Associate Director of Career and Professional Development at iBiology
  • Anja Scholze - PhD in Developmental Biology - Experience Developer and Program Manager of Biotech & Health at The Tech Museum of Innovation
  • Simran Thadani - PhD in English - Founding Executive Director at The Letterform Archive
  • Richard Marks - PhD in Aero/Astro Engineering - Senior Research Engineer at Sony Interactive Entertainment (PlayStation)
  • Matthew Tiews (Moderator) - PhD in Comparative Literature - Associate Vice President for the Arts at Stanford School of Humanities & Sciences

Data Science Panel

  • Aaron Daugherty - PhD in Genetics - Senior Scientist at twoXar
  • Ted Hwa - PhD in Mathematics - Staff Data Scientist at LinkedIn
  • Lisa Qian - PhD in Applied Physcis - Data Science Manager at Airbnb
  • Elspeth Ready - PhD in Anthropology - Associate Product Manager at RevUp Software
  • Jake Klamka (Moderator) - MS in Physics - Founder & CEO at Insight Data Science

Management Consulting Panel

  • Kelcie Abraham - PhD in Sustainable Design & Construction - Consultant at the Boston Consulting Group
  • Tim Bombosch - PhD in German Studies - Consultant at Bombosch Consulting
  • Sharanya Prasad - PhD in Immunology - Business Associate Consultant at ZS Associates
  • Zaneta Odrowaz - PhD in Biology - Associate at McKinsey and Company
  • William Stork - PhD in Biology - Consultant at L.E.K. Consulting
  • Debra Rosenfeld (Moderator) - MA in Counseling and Psychology - Assistant Director of Counseling and Resources at Stanford School of Medicine Career Center

Foundations & Non-Profits Panel

  • Alexis Charles - PhD in Modern Thought and Literature - Education Lead at the Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Foundation (LeanIn.Org | OptionB.Org)
  • Janet Coffey - PhD in Science Education - Program Officer at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
  • Heather Lukacs - PhD in Environment and Resources - Central Coast Technical Assistance Specialist at The Environmental Justice Coalition for Water
  • Guillaume Paumier - PhD in Microsystems for Life Sciences - Senior Analyst at the Wikimedia Foundation
  • Helen Doyle (Moderator) - PhD in Biology - Associate Vice Provost for Graduate Education at Stanford University

Communication, Writing & Editing Panel

  • Michelle Dohm - PhD in Chemistry - Senior Editor of Process Optimization at PLOS ONE
  • Chris Kark - PhD in Iberian and Latin American Cultures - Director of Humanities Communication at Stanford Humanities Center
  • Kristin Sainani - PhD in Epidemiology - Science Writer and Associate Professor (teaching) in Health Research and Policy at Stanford University
  • Suzanne Scala - PhD in Comparative Literature - Technical Writer at Mesosphere, Inc
  • Sheetal Patel (Moderator) - PhD in Strategic Communication - Director of Branding and Digital Communities at Stanford Career Education


Improvising Your Way to Talking to Anyone

  • Annelies Ransome - Associate Director, Office of Postdoctoral Affairs at Stanford University

Techniques from improvisational theater can help you learn to communicate your ideas more effectively and feel more comfortable doing so. This workshop will focus on the skills needed to talk to anyone here at the conference, and after. You can also apply these techniques to collaborating, mentoring, daily conversations, presentations, or job searches. Best of all, improv is really fun!

How To Tell Your Advisor What They Don't Want To Hear

  • Jessica Notini  - Negotiation Consultant and Trainer; Lecturer at Stanford Law School

Does the idea of telling your advisor that you want a career beyond academia make you nervous? You are not alone. Conversations with those who are more powerful than you can be difficult. This workshop provides concrete strategies to make those hard conversations smoother and easier by (1) better identifying the interests on both sides that may be driving the conversation, (2) improving selection and framing of different influencing strategies to increase the likelihood of a positive response, and (3) breaking down the components of a “difficult message” and discussing and practicing how to “frame” them most effectively so that the conversation is more likely to be respectful and productive.

Defining Your Personal Mission

  • Danielle Harlan - Founder and CEO at The Center for Advancing Leadership and Human Potential

What impact do you want to make in the world? Who are you as a leader? In this workshop you will develop your personal mission statement, building from the many things you have already accomplished. You will be amazed at what you learn about yourself.

Using Life Design Strategies After the Conference

  • Kathie Davies - Managing Director of the Life Design Lab at Stanford University

You will engage in hands-on practice and discussion with peers to learn some practical life design tools. Building on Bill Burnett’s keynote address, you will close out the conference with actionable plans for informational interviews and life prototypes to design your way forward into a thriving life and meaningful career.