Ideas and Inspiration

We share articles, op-eds, ideas, and inspirations that are circulating in our advising community.

Advising Frosh

On the value of friendship and empathy, and the stress of the transition to college: this piece from Stanford news.

View the "Who's Your Stanford Advisor?" film by Walker Brown '19 featuring a number of our Pre-Major Advisors
...and check out this year's 2017 Pringle Video an annual video in which the outgoing senior class welcomes the incoming frosh class. This video is made possible each year by generous funding from the Bob Pringle Fellowship, in honor of alumnus Bob Pringle and his deep love for Stanford.
The 2017 Pringle Fellows, Matt Shimura and Walker Brown, class of 2019, spent spring and summer filming and producing this video. They spent hours interviewing seniors and capturing student events around campus, including braving the heat at Commencement! And after they got all that fantastic footage, they spent countless more hours combing through it and piecing it together around a central message of Home. They had decided on that message back in the spring, but given all that has happened this summer, this inclusive message about home could not have come at a better time than right now, when our students are seeking reassurance and warmth as they prepare to leave their home and join ours

Advising Sophomores

From the American Association of Colleges & Universities, here is a great piece about advising initiatives at Wofford College. It looks like they are implementing something that looks a lot like our Pre-Major Advising program, and developing resources so that faculty and staff advisors (with small cohorts) can help students avoid the Sophomore Slump.

Here is another one, from Belmont College on their coordinated efforts to thwart the Slump.

HERE is a great piece from the NYT that you might want to share with your students who are strugglng with how to choose a major.

The Great Jobs, Great Lives 2014 Gallup-Purdue Index Report

For your reference, you can read about the Gallup-Purdue Index Report here and here

Liberal Education

From the New York Times Book Review: Don't Panic Liberal Arts Majors. The Tech World Wants You a review of You Can Do Anything: The Surprising Power of a "Useless" Liberal Arts Education and A Practical Education: Why Liberal Arts Majors Make Great Employees

From World Economic Forum, Forget Coding, We Need to Teach Our Kids How to Dream proposes new essentials in education.

Reflections Seminars

Pre-Major Advisor Tom Ehrlich discusses his experiences leading a Reflections Seminar.

Entrepreneurial Students

Recent piece in Business Insider, entitled Stanford Students are Dropping Out to Start their Own Companies

Engineering and the Liberal Arts

A wonderful, reflective piece written by Stanford alumna Tracy Chou, leading Silicon Valley engineer explains why every tech worker needs a humanities education

Pre-Major Advisor Stewart Levin shares this offering from  the President of Princeton University's alumni magazine page positing that the flow between Arts and Engineering goes both ways.

...and continuing the conversation is this Op-Ed piece from the Washington Post, by Dr. Loretta Jackson Hayes.

The Opening Page

Thanks toPre-Major Advisors Greg Walton and  Geoff Cohen, Pre-Major Advisors who participated in The Opening Page during the 2013-2014 school year may be interested to read this summary report, which explains the initiative itself, and what we learned from it.

Humor and Inspriration

Pre-Major Advisor JD Schramm forwarded this list of 15 Inspiring TED Talks for Freshmen Year. Anyone who works with frosh can appreciate these gems. If you see something that you think might resonate with one of your students, these make great shares. 

Issues and Insights

"Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?" The Atlantic, September 2017

Advising First-Gen and/or Low Income Students

" Why First Generation Students Need Mentors Who Get Them" KQED

"Advising as Activism" from Inside Higher Ed, 9/9/2016

"First Generation Students Unite" is a great piece by Laura Pappano, from The New York Times April 12, 2015.

"Why Poor Students Struggle" by Vicki Madden, The New York Times September 21 2014 is a compelling conversation starter, featuring this quote,  "...once those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds arrive on campus, it’s often the subtler things, the signifiers of who they are and where they come from, that cause the most trouble, challenging their very identity, comfort and right to be on that campus. The more elite the school, the wider that gap."


"What is Cardinal Service?" a video which explains Stanford's committment to meaningful service work as a critical component of a liberal education.

Failure and Resilience

A Smith College initiative called “Failing Well” is one of a crop of university programs that aim to help high achievers cope with basic setbacks.