Emily Polk

Emily Polk's Blog Posts

Jenne Stonaker and PWR 91JS: “The Stanford Science Podcast”

Jenne Stonaker’s popular advanced elective PWR course, PWR 91JS “The Stanford Science Podcast,” has inspired some of the most compelling podcasts ever developed by students at Stanford. The course gives students—especially those interested in science communication— a chance to dive into this increasingly popular medium.

Doree Allen returns to her roots with powerful 'verbatim theater' project

Many of you know Dr. Doree Allen as the founding Director of Stanford’s Oral Communication Program. I first was introduced to her during my job interview with PWR by then Associate Director Zach Waggoner. “Doree is one of the most respected people at this institution,” he told me. “And you should also know, she is one of the most loved.”

Teacher, Writer, Scholar: Lindsey Dolich Felt

The coming new year is going to bring a lot of wonderful things for Lindsey Dolich Felt—chief among them a new article, “Cyberpunk’s Other Hackers: The Girls Who Were Plugged In,” slated to be published in a special issue on Crip Technoscience in Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, and Technoscience. The article, much like Lindsey’s brilliant writing and teaching work, interlaces disability studies, STS (Science and Technology Studies), literary scholarship and archival research—in this case, on the history of Bell System’s telephone operators, or “hello girls.”

Teacher, Writer, Scholar: Selby Schwartz

[Note: The phrase "Hope in the Dark" in the photo deliberately echoes the title of Rebecca Solnit's book]

Selby Schwartz returns to a new year in PWR with a slew of exciting projects that speak to her fierce and long-time commitment to groundbreaking scholarship, advocacy work, and to creating space to center marginalized voices at Stanford and beyond.

Teacher, Writer, Scholar: Clara Lewis

A deep sense of compassion, boundless intellectual curiosity, and an unflinching willingness to explore some of the graver sides of humanity have defined Clara Lewis’s career and perhaps most especially her current research.

When she is not teaching in PWR, consulting as a Writing Specialist for the History Department or tutoring in Hume, Clara is working on a pioneering new book on the subject of neonaticide in the United States and its adjudication. Neonaticide is the killing of a newborn baby in the first twenty-four hours of life.

Student Spotlight: November 2017

PWR Student Spotlight: Becca Nelson

There may not be another student on campus who loves ants more than sophomore Becca Nelson. Her love affair with the tiny, powerful creatures began as a small child and is sustained in part by her current ecology research on ants and oak trees. Becca’s ability to communicate her fascination with and knowledge of ants is just one of the skills she has honed in her PWR class.       

Writing Specialist Confidential: Emily Polk, School of Earth, Energy, and Environmental Scientists Writing Specialist


The Stanford Writing Specialist program locates lecturers from the Program in Writing and Rhetoric (PWR) in a range of departments and programs to support undergraduate writing and the teaching of writing across all four years of study. Funded by the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, the Writing Specialist program grew out of the 2012 SUES Committee’s recommendation that experienced writing instructors should serve as “formal writing consultants” in departments and programs across the university.